Indefensible Authorizations

Information from CSFR and Veterans for Peace on making phone calls to Senators and the President is below.

The title of a recent business section article was “Enron’s fall is a lesson we still can’t seem to learn.” That could be echoed by “A WWII lesson we still can’t seem to learn,” regarding the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act.

A hero of that war was Winston Churchill, who said:

The power of the executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious, and the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.

Now our own government is lurching toward that very form, with provisions (1031-3) in that act which would allow “suspected” U.S.

civilians, on U.S. soil, to be seized and held indefinitely without charges or trial. This would concentrate powers in the executive beyond anything in our history, via the miltary while also expanding its role – against citizens. Bye to the checks and balances of judicial or much legislative oversight. Hello to the possibility of any Strongman down the road (euphemized in some quarters as the “unitary executive”) able to oppress people.

It’s my feeling that overly-aggressive elements in our government and, to use a term of another WWII hero, Gen. then Pres. Eisenhower, the military-industrial complex, want to front load things. Why bother with prevention/peacemaking? Just go to pre-emptive war.

Why be tied down with proper arrests, Miranda, and other rights? Just end run all that (and the Constitution) by being able to snatch anyone off the street and throw them in a detention center indefinitely. One simply has to raise the ill-defined spectre of terror, e.g. al-Qaeda (or any adversary du jour) to effect this. Yet James Madison warned, “If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”

The timing of this is very bad and even suspect, as Americans are in their busiest time of year with all the upcoming holiday demands. 

Despite that, we need to call, email, twitter, etc., our U.S. senators about not letting the conference committee or subsequent chamber votes include these provisions, by their mid-Dec. break. If the final version nevertheless does, pressure needs to be put on the president to veto this Bill of Rights-annihilating bill, until it’s sent back to him clean and cleared of them. To echo or paraphrase a carol we hear while shopping, “It came upon the midnight clear, those glorious lessons of old … “

Diane Steen-Hinderlie, St. Louis Pk.

Here is information for calling:

National write in/call in day, Thursday, December 15   (Bill of Rights Day)

Tell U.S. Senators to reject indefinite detention without trial.  Demand an Obama veto.

You can contact your Senator here:
Also, call President Obama at 202-456-1111

A serious attack on our civil liberties is underway in Congress.  Congress is passing the National Defense Authorization Act, which contains a provision that allows the President to authorize the military to detain anyone suspected of ‘terrorism’ indefinitely, inside or outside the United States, without trial.  Congressional leaders are now meeting in secret, and some want this passed into law within the next few weeks.

The Committee to Stop FBI Repression urges you to contact your U.S. Senator and tell them to vote against “indefinite detention without trial.”

We need to do everything in our power to push back against repression.  Under the guise of the preventing ‘terrorism’ our democratic rights are being taken away.  We have seen this in the case of the 24 anti-war and international solidarity activists who were raided by the FBI and/or called to the grand jury investigating “material support for Foreign Terrorist Organizations.”   And we have seen this in the prosecution of veteran Chicano activist Carlos Montes.

Over the past decade this repression has led to the jailing or deportation of thousands of Arabs and Muslims.  We need to say enough is enough.

This happened before in 1942, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the U.S. military to round up 120,000 Japanese Americans in concentration camps, without charges or trials. Years later a U.S. government commission called this a result of “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.” It was wrong then and it is wrong now.

Thanks for your ongoing interest in the fight against FBI repression of anti-war and international solidarity activists!
Our mailing address is:   Committee to Stop FBI Repression, PO Box 14183, Minneapolis, MN 55414

Veterans for Peace also urges you to call:

To all VFP members and supporters:

The House voted for the NDAA today and the Senate will vote tomorrow, BIG money for the wars and the War Department, AND the next big step into fascism — the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

If you’ve called or sent a message already, please do so again! 

If you haven’t, please do so NOW!

This is the one that allows the administration to JAIL AND HOLD INDEFINITELY WITHOUT CHARGE ANYBODY IN THE U.S. who fits whatever “threat” profile they concoct.

The ACLU, Human Rights Watch and others are ALL OVER this legislation.  VFP can do its part.  We contacted 288 Congressional Districts the last time we sent an appeal like this!!

Here’s a brief description of the NDAA along with a phone number to call the Capitol switchboard and a link to click to send a letter to YOUR reps.

Please…It takes just a minute.

Thank You!

Mike Ferner for VFP

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By Published On: December 14th, 2011Comments Off on Diane Steen-Hinderlie> Indefensible Authorizations> Call today. Take action against the NDAA

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