LOSS OF FREEDOMS DEPT.
Current events commentator Joel Skousen in his recent newsletter has highlighted several news items which illustrate the continuing loss of freedom and the slide into a police state by the United States. Lest anyone think this is just worrisome and paranoid conspiracy theory, it should be noted that a Montana man faces jail time for evading a deputy sheriff’s roadblock in an effort to save his home and ranch animals from a raging forest fire while a Maryland man faces charges after a 150-man SWAT raided his home after he merely told un undercover cop he was “very irritated” by the re-election of President. Only after the raid, did authorities claim he was a “doomsday prepper (one who prepares)” and may have possessed a cache of firearms. Neighbors said the man was smart and nice and did not represent any danger to the community. It would appear that if you cannot toe the “Party Line,” at least you should be silent about it.
By Joel Skousen
World Affairs Brief
December 7, 2012
INSIDE THE NEW NDAA
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has become one of the most watched and dangerous of all legislation passed each year. Because it is considered essential, dozens of controversial pieces of law are attached in order to ride its coattails to passage. This year, the bill passed the Senate unanimously 98-0 after the bill was debated for five days and hundreds of amendments were considered on the floor.
Added to the wide-ranging defense authorization bill is language that restores threatened Pentagon biofuels programs, and it issues new sanctions against Iran. It also made a controversial change to U.S. detention policy for American citizens. If they were serious about unconstitutional detention of US citizens they should have repealed that language. As it stands, they merely gave it some lip service and then allowed for a huge loophole to undo that protection. This is precisely what Senator John McCain did as the faux-champion of anti-torture legislation. What he finally agreed to pass was a ban on torture “except as authorized by the president.” Some ban.
As Michael Kelly wrote for Business Insider, “An amendment to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and passed by a 67-29 vote late Thursday has been hailed as a way to end the prospect of indefinite detention of U.S. citizens. But it isn’t, because there’s a catch.
“Here’s the key sentence of the amendment: ‘An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States apprehended in the United States, unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention [which they already have in a previous version of the NDAA].”
“The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sent lawmakers a letter that said ‘the clause ‘unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention’ could be read to imply that there are no constitutional obstacles to Congress enacting a statute that would authorize the domestic military detention of any person in the United States.’ Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) seemed to agree: ‘This is a big ‘unless,’’ he said.”
Whenever you have conflicting language in several version of a law, the courts are allowed to pick and choose the interpretation they want. A current trend in Congress is to leave things ambiguous so as to please both sides—even though only one side will prevail in the courts. And, the courts have mostly come down on the side of more government power.
MORE PRIVACY INVASION IN THE NAME OF TERRORISM
Infowars.com reported that “The TSA is seeking permission from the Office of Management and Budget to conduct ‘security assessments’ on highways as well as at 140 other public transportation hubs, including bus depots and train stations. The request was buried amidst a deluge of jargon and published in the Federal Register on November 30. If approved, it would allow the TSA to ‘conduct transportation security-related assessments during site visits with security and operating officials of surface transportation entities.’
Well, they have already been doing trial runs in Tennessee. I foresee the day when we will have regular checkpoints integrated into every form of transportation to “show your papers” and submit to search. As further evidence of the erosion of privacy, the liberal 9th Circuit Court of appeals gave the green light to law enforcement to enter your house and use a secret video camera to record intimate details, without a warrant.
SEMI-AUTO BAN THROUGH THE BACK DOOR
The Obama administration is preparing a back door interpretation of current law as a further infringement on the ownership of assault type weapons. Long time gun writer John Snyder writes that “According to confidential information, forces linked with the administration suggest the government classify semiautomatic firearms and multiple capacity ammunition feeding devices as Title 2 National Firearms Act items under the Gun Control Act of 1968.
“Under this scenario, semiautomatics and high capacity magazines could be acquired only with great difficulty and at great expense by America’s estimated 100 million law-abiding firearms owners. Bringing semi-autos under Title 2 would be justified because they could be ‘easily converted’ to automatic—which is not true.”
What this does is put semi-autos into the Class 3 category requiring a special fee and permit from the ATF, just like you have to do to possess an automatic weapon.