National Defense Authorization Bill: Can you feel the cold?
I know that we are experiencing a warmer winter this year, but I feel obligated to warn of a very cold progressive storm front approaching that may settle on our land. It formed long ago, we have seen waves of it pass before, but now I am beginning to fear the effect it will have on our freedom.
Storm clouds began to form at the beginning of the 20th century, followed by snow storms in the 30’s, blizzards in the 60’s and now it is getting so icy cold in the 21st century that I fear even the Constitution itself will freeze.
It started with the RICO Act passed to fight organized crime and morphed easily into the War on Drugs. In 2001, the Bush administration endorsed the Patriot Act, which significantly reduced constitutional restrictions on a government agent’s ability to wire tap American citizen phones, read their e-mail and medical and financial documents without seeking the approval of a judge; all under the guise of fighting terrorism. The Act also broadened the definition of a terrorist; a rather pejorative term which is interpreted by the government agent. In 2011, the Obama Administration extended the Act to include roving wiretaps, searches of business and library records, and surveillance of suspected terrorists or terrorist groups.
On the last day of 2011, the Obama administration endorsed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), granting him absolute power to detain American citizens suspected of being a terrorist. This Act allows a government agent to utilize the power of the US military to engage in law enforcement within the states. The FBI and the Pentagon warned McCain and Levin not to grant them such powers. The President “reluctantly” signed the Act promising he would not utilize the power. Let us pray that he keeps his word and that the next congress will repeal this unconstitutional abomination. Given that the Patriot Act has been in effect for 10 years and was just extended, it is not likely these provisions of the NDAA will be repealed, however. As history reveals, once government (king, czar, president, etc.) acquires power, it is very reluctant to let it go.
Imagine the following scenario. A government agent listens to a private cell phone conversation, or reads a letter to the editor critical of the administration and interprets the words to be a threat to the government. The agent perceives the citizen to be an enemy combatant and notifies his superior, who then notifies the military. Shortly after, an Army drone locates the citizen, a Navy Seal team snatches and takes him to an unknown location for integration. The Seal team does not question the order, for they are informed that the citizen is a terrorist, an enemy of the state. The citizen is now a prisoner of the US. He does not know where he is. His family, employer, and friends have no idea what became of him, just that he disappeared. Fearing foul play, they notify the local police, who cannot find any information, since the government policy does not allow agents to inform local law enforcement. If you believe I exaggerate this potential for government abuse, read the accounts of Fast and Furious.
The authors of the constitution endured such abuse by the British King, which was endorsed by the British Parliament. American citizens, classified as subversives, were seized, jailed by the military and held indefinitely. The Anti-federalist, fearing the same, demanded an individual bill of rights, which significantly limited the powers of this new federal government. Now 225 years later, their fears are realized. The Sixth Amendment assures the accused notification of the nature and cause of the accusation; a speedy and public trial; an impartial jury; freedom to confront the accusers; and to have defense counsel and witnesses in his favor. Tell that to our citizen.
Thomas Jefferson understood the potential for governmental abuse of the people. Although he played a major role in the formation of the government and was a major participant, he wrote “I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.” And “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
Eighty-six percent of the Senate, including Richard Burr and Kay Hagan, and sixty-eight percent of House members, voted for the NDAA. Are you fearful? Do you feel the cold? Now that you know, you know what to do.
Dr. Dan Eichenbaum