By Douglas J. Hagmann
Additional research and investigation into the controversial National Defense Authorization Act found something very interesting that is not apparently being reported by the U.S. media. Readers will recall the controversy that surrounded the liberty-threatening NDAA legislation passed with bipartisan support in the House and Senate and signed into law by Barack Hussein Obama last New Year’s Eve.
That law essentially gave the government the right to arrest and detain, without due process, American citizens on significantly vague and broad charges ostensibly related to terrorism. The legislation opened a “Pandora’s box” of unpleasant possibilities that undermine our Constitutional rights and threaten our liberties, unlike any other time in our national history.
Supporters of the NDAA, along with the media, were quick to point to a “signing statement” penned by Obama expressing his concern over the liberty restricting rights of the law, as if that somehow made the language of the new law suddenly conform to the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Obviously, it did no such thing, but people were apparently comforted by this eight-page cross-my-heart promise that Obama and his redesigned national security apparatus would never use it for “bad.” Obama said he was uncomfortable with the particular language of section 1021 (and related portions) that called for arrests and indefinite detentions of U.S. citizens under the broad brush of terrorism.
Despite what you’ve been told, it is obvious that Obama and his cohorts are not uncomfortable with those provisions, and are quietly fighting to make sure the controversial provisions remain.
It appears that the fight against tyranny and oppression creates some interesting alliances on both sides. On January 13, 2012, a group of plaintiffs that include socialist and anarchist Noam Chomsky, political activist Daniel Ellsberg, the U.S. Day of Rage, and others filed a suit in the United States District Court in and for the Southern District of New York, challenging the Constitutionality of the controversial sections of the NDAA. They asked the court for “preliminary and permanent injunctive relief with respect to one section, (indeed one page) of that voluminous legislation: Section 1021” (of the NDAA). The case was heard by Manhattan federal court Judge Katherine Forrest.
The defendants of this case were named Barack Obama (individually and as a representative of the United States), Leon Panetta, John McCain, John Boehner, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, and Eric Cantor.
Despite any sentiments that might be evoked by the identity, social and political views of the plaintiffs, even the most conservative among us would be hard-pressed to argue with the merits of their lawsuit. The NDAA shreds the Constitution, and these plaintiffs took legal action to stop it. Those are simply the unbiased facts of the matter, all of which are of little interest to the Obama-pandering corporate media. But wait, it gets better.
After an expedited discovery process, an evidentiary hearing was held on March 30, 2012. The federal judge in this matter and all of the plaintiffs showed up in person at that hearing except one, who provided testimony by sworn declaration pursuant to previous authority granted by the court. No one from the government offered any testimony, provided any documentation, or made the slightest noise at the hearing.
I’ll spare any further writings about the legal minutia of the process except to say that the government attempted to argue, in post-hearing memoranda, that section 1021 of the NDAA is an extension of the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).
On May 16, 2012, federal court Judge Katherine Forrest granted the plaintiff’s motion for relief in a 68-page ruling, meaning a win for the plaintiffs and a legal setback for the U.S. government. She writes that “preliminarily enjoining an act of Congress must be done with caution” and refreshingly adds that “it is the responsibility of our judicial system to protect the public from acts of Congress which infringe upon constitutional rights.”
Recall that Obama stated his opposition to Section 1021 of the NDAA in his signing statement or the very portion of the legislation that was at issue in this legal suit. Why, then, has Obama, through his legal department, filed an appeal with this federal court to overturn the ruling?
It would seem that by enjoining Section 1021 of the NDAA, U.S. citizens’ rights to due process would be protected, which again addresses the exact issue to which Obama dedicated eight-(8) pages of a “signing statement.” Based on the government’s actions, it would appear that Obama and his appointees have no reservations about section 1021 of the NDAA, and that the signing statement is, as former President Richard Nixon might have said, “inoperative.”
Equally disconcerting is that the U.S. media appears to be unwilling to report on this “inoperative” statement or the apparent bi-polar actions of this “administration.” The American people deserve better from our leaders as well as our media. Shame on both.
By Douglas J. Hagmann
As the attention of most Americans was captivated by the shiny object in Times Square this weekend like infants fixated on car keys dangled in front of them, Barack Hussein Obama signed into law H.R. 1540, better known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Regardless of any concurrent executive signing statements that are mere window dressing and not legally binding, Obama and every member of congress who crafted and voted for this act has essentially declared war on American citizens on U.S. soil.
To quote Rush Limbaugh, “words mean things.” As a career investigator, I can assure you that words contained in local, state, and federal laws most certainly mean things, and provide the legal authority for conduct sanctioned by national or state authorities without regard to any promised judicial or prosecutorial discretion that could be likened to the signing statement. The NDAA now codifies the most controversial aspects of the Patriot Act, which “candidate” Obama publicly opposed. What changed?
Any person of reasonable sensibilities should be raising a multitude of questions upon considering the current and historical conduct of the executive and legislative branches of our government. It was the attack on 9/11 that ostensibly paved the way for the Bush administration to craft the USA PATRIOT Act, which was signed into law by congress on October 26, 2001. That legislation broadened law enforcement powers well beyond the rights granted to Americans by the U.S. Constitution. While many of the provisions in the PATRIOT Act were scheduled to end on December 31, 2005, the U.S. Senate passed a reauthorization bill containing numerous changes in July 2005, and the House of Representatives submitted a bill that kept most of the original bill intact. The largely unchanged bill passed a congressional vote on March 2, 2006, and was signed into law by George W. Bush.
Although the PATRIOT Act has gone through various subsequent incarnations, congress crafted, and Obama signed, a four-year extension last May, extending certain key provisions that particularly focused on businesses in the U.S. It is important to note that the manner and methods in which the U.S. government interprets and carries out the provisions of the PATRIOT Act are classified and kept secret from the American public, an issue rarely addressed by politicians or pundits. Why the secrecy?
One must also question the obvious continuity of agenda from the Bush administration to the Obama administration and from the congress seated in 2001 through today. Despite pro-Constitutional campaign rhetoric from both Republicans and Democrats, and the rapid acquiescence of some TEA party candidates who now occupy seats of power, it is obvious that the rights of Americans granted by the very Constitution elected officials swore to uphold are under attack. Why the change?
As one looks at the larger picture, pieces of the puzzle seem to become more recognizable.
Once thought to be the fanciful designs of the conspiracy-minded, there appears to be an acceleration toward one world governance or the infamous “New World Order.” It is an agenda that has been in place for decades, yet the politically myopic and the agent facilitators deliberately avoid any discussion of its existence. Exposure of this agenda has been hobbled by the merger of major news organizations into a half-dozen corporations that control what is reported. Even many who present themselves as purveyors of the truth decline to discuss the globalist agenda or are held hostage by big money contracts with editorial stipulations and controls.
While the attacks of 9/11 paved the way for the passage of the PATRIOT Act, what could explain the draconian legislation contained in the NDAA of 2012? Looking through the prism of current events, those with intellectual honesty can readily see events unfolding that would create conditions to necessitate its implementation.
Who could have predicted the economic crisis of 2008, just two months before the U.S. presidential election? Nearly everyone was aware of the agenda of the global elite. The economic crisis of 2008, an incident in which the banking elite used the specter of martial law to fund their global operations, landed a financial sucker punch on every American with the approval of congress. Using such phrases as “too big to fail,” banking giants, facilitated by the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Treasury, and members of congress knowingly and deliberately defrauded the American public out of trillions of dollars, much of which remains unaccounted for despite dubious internal financial audit reports.
While the corporate media remain lapdogs for the banking and global elite and report recovery on the horizon, the real story has yet to be told by our media and elected officials. There is a controlled demolition of not only our national economy but the entire world economy. Look at the financial death throes of the European Union, which cannot survive, despite the best fiction from cable news economists hired to hide the truth from the masses. The consequential social upheaval will not be contained to Europe, nor will the economic apocalypse. Due to the Ponzi scheme created by the globalist bankers and government leaders from the Goldman Sachs bloodline, Americans will find themselves in financial turmoil unseen in modern history.
Perhaps it is for those who cannot seem to take their eyes off the shiny objects or camp out at big box stores for bargains on the latest and greatest electronic gadgets that the NDAA was crafted.
By Douglas J. Hagmann
Was the timing merely serendipitous, or is something else at play? Yesterday was the “birthday” of the United States Bill of Rights, which our forefathers ratified exactly 220 years ago. The same people who believe the constitution is a living, breathing document just put it on a respirator, metaphorically speaking, by passing the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA). Obama has declared his intention to sign the legislation, despite initial indications from the White House of a veto (more on that dog-and-pony show later in this writing).
Every year, a new version of the defense authorization bill is crafted and ultimately enacted into law. It is an extensive piece of legislation that appropriates funds for defense projects. The current bill provides for a $662 billion defense budget and places the chief of the National Guard Bureau on the Joint Chiefs of Staff despite strong opposition from some military leaders. The massive budget allocation and the creation of a cabinet position for the chief of the U.S. National Guard are not at issue, however. The somewhat muted public frenzy over this bill stems from controversial and seemingly contradictory language that will have an impact on all United States citizens.
The language of the bill is readily available on numerous open-source government sites, so it will not be included here. It was detailed in my previous article titled Connecting the dots of the National Defense Authorization Act, and its implications were discussed in Judi McLeod’s article “Disappearing dissenters in Obama’s new Amerika.” Yet, there seems to be a full frontal assault by Democrats and Republicans alike to whitewash the bill’s actual ability and intent.
While one section of the bill seems to exclude U.S. citizens from all aspects of this legislation, the key lies in the placement of discretion of exactly who fits the broad definition of a “terrorist” or, broader still, someone who has engaged in a “belligerent act.” The bottom line is that the NDAA bill contains language that will codify, or make into law, the much-debated act of defining U.S. citizens as enemy combatants. It will leave that discretionary power to the executive branch.
While many readers have contended that nothing in this bill applies to U.S. citizens, Senator Carl Levin, the bill’s sponsor, explicitly disagrees. Even more alarming, it was Senator Levin who announced in Senate chambers that it was Barack Obama himself who demanded the verbiage that includes U.S. citizens as fair game by our own military on U.S. soil. This followed Senator Lindsey Graham’s gleeful announcement that through the passage of this draconian legislation, the whole of America is now a battlefield and a venue in which the U.S. military may operate against its own.
Even in the face of such official pronouncements, there are many legislators who insist that this bit of lawyer-speak does not apply to citizens, and to think it does is just plain silly. Republican Congressman Tim Griffin, for example, has dedicated a Face Book site to decry the myths of the NDAA, showing readers in that venue where he is correct and others are not. Griffin is just one of many attempting to convince an unsuspecting public to relax, continue shopping and allow the government to handle such matters.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that what is taking place in Washington is without purpose. The contradictory language, the circular arguments, and the much-publicized threats of veto by this administration are intended as smokescreens as the collective attention of a nation is diverted as America prepares to “shut down” for the Christmas holiday. The bipartisan support for this bill adds to this confusion by convincing the American people that their Tea Party Republicans or their civil rights watchdogs would never betray the trust of the people. Unfortunately, they have. But few are asking the most important question of them all: why?
Within the last five weeks, I’ve been in contact with highly placed sources, their staffers, and associates who work inside the beltway. I’ve also engaged in dialogue with top security officials, all who state that this legislation is not about the security of our nation but the ultimate control of the American people. According to these sources, the administration and congress are anticipating an apocalyptic scenario in the not-too-distant future.
While all eyes are on some type of unspeakable nuclear, biological or chemical event at the hands of “homegrown terrorists,” the real event is already in progress, although America has not yet experienced the full fallout from what is taking place. The terrorists are indeed homegrown actors, and they are engaged in actively destroying the United States, but not with bullets or bombs. Bullets and bombs are effective but do not have the long-term capacity to affect every citizen from shore to shore. Additionally, such non-state terrorists don’t have the capacity to so effectively infiltrate the administration, the majority of congress, as well as the various regulatory agencies that exist in the U.S.
Driven not by a third-world theology, the true terrorists are those whose god is greed, power, and control, and who have effectively destroyed our monetary and economic system. For years they have been facilitated by all three branches of the American government, although they have been empowered by this administration in particular. Perhaps that’s why we have a man in the Oval Office who lacks the bona-fides of his predecessors and why those in power refuse to address the lack of due diligence in that venue.
After all, it is Obama and his closest political supporters who have been the largest financial benefactor of the incestuous Goldman Sachs-Federal Reserve-U.S. Treasury-IMF-World Bank Ponzi scheme, and it is Eric Holder, as attorney general, who has declined to prosecute the criminal behavior of the money changers. One has to look no further than the MF Global rape of American citizens, where upwards of $1.2 billion turned up “missing” from customer accounts under the leadership of Obama administration confidant and Goldman Sachs alumni Jon Corzine. Testifying before congress, Corzine was stricken with a case of idiocy when questioned about where the money went.
The most telling part of those hearings was not Corzine’s display of hubris through amnesia but statements made by the panel charged with the inquiry. Instead of ordering Corzine into custody to allow his memory to revive, the congressional panel spoke of “learning from mistakes” and “moving forward.” That’s akin to asking a masked bank robber about the location of stolen money, and when he fails to tell his questioners, they look at the bank to determine what steps could have been taken to prevent the robbery.
The MF Global and the Jon Corzines of the world are the mere tips of the iceberg. Money is being systematically stolen from each and every American at wholesale levels while this administration and this congress sit by, themselves as the benefactors of the actions of the global banking takeover of our country and the world.
As the majority of American people are told by the nightly news that things are improving in Camelot and consequently continue their needless shopping at big box stores for items they don’t need and can’t afford, they are oblivious to what is coming. When the inevitable happens, they will be surprised, shocked, and outraged.
Of course, that’s all hyperbole, according to the very people who created and perpetuated this madness. And if it were true, wouldn’t the GOP nominees be talking about this in their debates? Oh, wait, considering who’s asking and answering the carefully scripted questions, why would they?
As watchmen begin to expose the people, companies, and even lawmakers behind this money and power grab, they could be considered dangers to the “security” of the United States or engage in “belligerent acts.” So too, could the people who will protest in anger about the bank holidays, the overnight evaporation of their retirement accounts, and even the fire sale of national assets to manage the unmanageable and unsustainable debt. Their anger must be controlled in the name of national security.
To be certain, their warnings will not be heard, nor will protests be allowed from a detention facility.
You know, the facilities that don’t exist?
By Douglas J. Hagmann
By now, most Americans have learned about the existence of a “kill or capture list,” or a list of people who presumably have sufficiently demonstrated their ill intent or deeds against the United States of America. As average Americans and civilized people of the West, it is likely that we envision those on such a list as the very faces of evil themselves and deserving of the full weight of ultimate justice that the U.S. has to offer. That justice can be delivered from afar, from a drone that the name on the list will never hear or see, or up close and personal. The method is dictated by circumstances.
According to the release of a document by our government with the self-proclaimed most transparent administration at the helm, the list is created and maintained by a secretive panel of unnamed government officials consisting of a subset of the White House National Security Council. There is no public record of the panel’s operations or decisions, nor is there any U.S. law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate.
Further queries into the list-making process revealed that recommendations are made by a committee of mid-level National Security Council officials, which are then sent to an NSC “panel of principals” for final approval. The “principals” are an apparent reference to NSC unit chiefs and Cabinet secretaries; however, it is important to note that this panel “could have different memberships when considering different operational issues.” This is chilling considering the vague nature of not only who merits inclusion on this list but by the ambiguity of exactly who is making such a list and the suggestion that membership in this turbo-charged star chamber may change.
As Americans, we’ve been lulled into a process of conditioning that our government knows best. We’ve willfully abandoned the U.S. Constitution as the ultimate rule of law. With this administration in particular, that abandonment began with collusion from both sides of the political aisle relative to the lack of proper authentication of Obama’s eligibility to hold office.
The constitution continued to suffer the most egregious attacks under this administration as we willingly forfeited the rights and liberties afforded us by the constitution in exchange for the illusion of security. Although this exchange progressed methodically since the 9/11 attacks when we were told of the need for the extra-judicial Patriot Act because of the asymmetrical nature of the war which was thrust upon us, it was placed on the progressive fast track under Obama. Unlike under the Bush administration, few seemed to notice – or care. Beyond the unprecedented level of submission to governmental control by Americans, I submit that there is also something else in play here. It’s intentional conditioning.
This process of conditioning or acclimation has apparently escaped the majority of Americans who appear to be otherwise preoccupied with the next winner of Dancing with the Stars or whatever else is diverting the attention of an already attention-deficient public. Regardless of the nature of the diversion, it is evident that we have been conditioned to accept government-created “hit lists” and all of the related ambiguity to this process as the new “normal.”
To best illustrate the process of conditioning, simply look at our nation’s airports. Even before 9/11, for example, air travelers were conditioned to the sight of metal detectors for the alleged security of the flying public. After acclimation to the sight of the tools and the security process itself, security measures were increased to shoe removal of all passengers. Once conditioned to the removal of footwear, the rights of American citizens became exponentially more violated through invasive pat-downs and nuclear scans with equipment possessing a dubious safety record.
Unbelievably, few objected to this warrantless search and the voluntary surrender of their constitutional rights and even gleefully accepted being treated as “grope-a-dopes” in the name of security. Notice that the insufficient objections to these practices have permitted their expansion beyond airport property and are now being placed on our streets, in our malls, and stadiums.
Now in the name of security and at the whim of a nameless and faceless oligarchy, we are permitting a virtual “open season” on American citizens being labeled as our enemies without so much as the right to a trial inherently afforded by our constitution. The sinister system of acclimation and conditioning, as illustrated in our airports, has appeared to give license to more egregious violations of our rights and liberties to the extent that we are permitting the creation of a modern-day star chamber.
It was and is not about security but conditioning. If this shadow government is permitted to continue to operate, we will soon be unable to recognize our Constitution, our rights, or even ourselves.
True enough, our enemies today don’t wear the uniforms of a hostile nation and may well be American citizens. On the battlefield, they must be identified and terminated with prejudice. The security of our nation is paramount. We can and must protect our great country and citizens, however, without having to stray from the framework of laws known as our constitution. But first, we must be willing to openly and unapologetically identify our enemy without acquiescence to the oppressiveness of political correctness or the actions of an infrastructure infiltrated by individuals who adhere to the very ideology we are fighting.
Whether by well-intentioned albeit ignorant attempts to avoid offending an entire religion, by design, or a mixture of both, we now find ourselves in the position of watching our government act as judge, jury, and executioner not just by our real enemies, but by anyone deemed to be a threat to our national security. The problem lies in the identification of our enemies or, more accurately, our unwillingness to do so publicly and without apology. The alternative is that we might find our own names on an “enemies list” at the whim of a nameless, faceless cabal working outside of our constitution.
Perhaps the most important and telling of all is that the creation of this secretive star chamber has been brought to you compliments of the Obama administration. Just a few short years ago, countless progressives and liberals were in a frenzy over the legalities of our interrogation techniques, renditions, and incarcerations of terror suspects during the Bush administration. There was public outrage and were loud demands and media pressure for the Bush administration to release the legal memoranda behind these unconscionable acts. Obama himself made such demands.
Now that Obama is the overseer of policies that exceed Bush-era practices, there is virtual silence but plenty of complacency and complicity. With the future of our nation at stake, the former is shameful. The latter is unforgivable.