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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Potential Surrender of American Liberty in Defense Authorization Bill - Frank's Quitting

Today in Washington, D.C. - Nov. 28, 2011  [Edited 9/29/11]

Rep. Barney Frank (MA), liberal Democrat and the co-author of the disastrous 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation, will not seek re-election in 2012. Frank will forever be known, not for his being gay, but for being reprimanded by Congress for his using his congressional status on behalf of a male prostitute he employed as a personal assistant, including his male partner running a prostitution ring out of his office. Although Massachusetts will lose one Congressional seat due to redistricting, the restricting did not, as some people alleged, affect enlarged the size of Rep. Frank's district.

Presently 16 Democrats and and 6 Republicans have announced they will not run for re-election to the House of Representatives. One of them is Republican Ron Paul who is retiring from Congress but is a active candidate for the GOP Presidential nomination. Paul's district is expected to be safely in Republican hands.

Tomorrow the US House will be in session.

Now A Very Concerned Vet
Defense Authorization Bill with Hidden Provision Threatening American Citizens:
Today, the US Senate reconvened and resumed consideration of S. 1867, the Fiscal Year 2012 Defense Authorization bill. The bill has 270 amendments pending. Included in the bill is the worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial provision, which will be on the Senate floor on Monday. The bill was drafted in secret by Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and John McCain (R-AZ) which passed in a closed-door committee meeting without even a single hearing. It is hard to imagine that Sen. McCain, a decorated war veteran, would have authored and and supported a provision that will direct American military resources to be used - not at an enemy shooting at our military in a war zone - but against American citizens and other civilians far from any battlefield — even American citizens within the United States. It is a strange world when this site finds agreement with the ACLU on an issue.

This provision as written needs to be stopped. Another democrat Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO.) is offering the Udall Amendment that will delete the harmful provisions and replace them with a requirement for an orderly Congressional review of detention power. However, the best option is having no option of using the military in within the U.S. against its own citizens. That is the present general provision of "Posse Commitatus" which prevents the direct participation by a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps in a search, seizure, arrest, or other similar activity unless participation in such activity by such member is otherwise authorized by law. There have been several efforts to amend this general provision and all have been formerly repealed.

It is proper for the U.S. military to stand on our very borders facing outward to stop invasions and attacks.  However, it is improper to have it fighting its own citizens and enforcing laws regardless of the incumbent United States president.

At 5 PM, the Senate will take up the nomination of Christopher Droney to be United States Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit. At 5:30, the Senate will vote on the Droney nomination. Droney is the replacement for President Obama’s previous, extremely controversial pick for this seat, Judge Robert Chatigny, whose nomination was withdrawn after objections from Senate Republicans.

Justice Elena Kagan Remains in the News:
The Washington Post reports today, “Just a little more than an hour after some House Democrats recently demanded an inquiry into Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s ethics, Senate Republicans stepped up the pressure on Justice Elena Kagan to take herself out of the court’s decision on the health-care reform act. . . . Federal law requires judges, including those on the Supreme Court, to disqualify themselves when their ‘impartiality might be reasonably questioned’ . . . . In addition, it calls for recusal when the judge has served in the government and ‘participated as counsel, adviser or material witness concerning the proceeding or expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case or controversy.’”

The Post notes, “The charges against Kagan arise from her work as solicitor general, the government’s top appellate lawyer. If she were still in the job, Kagan would be defending the health-care law at the Supreme Court rather than deciding whether it is constitutional. Kagan was notified by the White House in March 2010 — just before the law was passed — that she was under consideration to be named to the high court. She said during her confirmation hearings that she played no role in preparing for the inevitable legal challenges that were to come. . . . But congressional Republicans say e-mails released to conservative groups under public records requests raise questions about the White House’s contention she had been ‘walled off’ from discussions about the health-care act. One e-mail from then-Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal says Kagan wanted to make sure her office was involved in strategy decisions, although Katyal said he took the lead and Kagan was not involved. Another e-mail seemed to indicate enthusiasm for the bill. In response to a message at the time of the vote from Harvard law professor Laurence H. Tribe, then working at the Justice Department, Kagan wrote: ‘I hear they have the votes, Larry!! Simply amazing.’ [Rep. Lamar] Smith [R-TX], the [House] Judiciary Committee chairman, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have pressed Holder for more information, which his department has been reluctant to provide.”

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Leader McConnell, and Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Mike Lee (R-UT) wrote, “[E]mails finally produced by your Department in response to lawsuits to enforce the Freedom of Information Act suggest involvement by then-Solicitor General Kagan in the Administration's preparations for defending the [Obama administration’s health care law]. In January 2010—two months before then-General Kagan was even aware she was being considered as a potential nominee to the Supreme Court—your Department began planning to defend this law against legal challenges. Neil Katyal, Ms. Kagan's principal deputy, stated he would "speak with Elena" about her office participating in a Department working group that would plan the Administration's litigation strategy, exclaiming that he wanted the Administration to ‘crush’ those challenging the [health care law].”

The Senate Republicans’ letter summed up their concerns: “President Obama chose to nominate a member of his Administration to the Supreme Court knowing it was likely that, if confirmed, she would be in a position to rule on his signature domestic policy achievement—‘litigation,’ Mr. Katyal noted to former Solicitor General Kagan, ‘of singular importance’ to the Administration. Among other involvement in this matter, it appears that she was privy to discussions of legal claims and litigation strategy concerning court challenges to the PPACA. And it is apparent that she herself enthusiastically supported this legislation as a member of the Administration which is now defending it. When a former member of the Administration is in a position to rule on litigation in which she apparently had some involvement and which concerns legislation she herself supports, public confidence in the administration of justice is undermined.”

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Posted by Bill Smith at 3:10 PM - Post Link

2 Comments:

Anonymous The WCTP team said...

An important vote is expected tomorrow--another bill hundreds of pages long with no time for the public to read and digest it all. We have heard of several controversial items being thrown into this necessary defense bill, items unrelated to defense, of course. Any time a large bill is being rushed through on short notice like this, we should necessarily beware. It is maddening that this is becoming common practice in D.C.!

Contact John Boozman: Phone: (202) 224-4843 email: http://boozman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me

Contact Mark Pryor: Phone: (202) 224-2353 email: http://pryor.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactForm

Let us know if you get any response from either of them.

The U.S. Senate is about to take some law enforcement powers from the Justice Department, and give greater policing powers to the Department of Defense. These policing powers can (and will) be used on American soil. It appears that, under just two small sections of the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1867).

1. American citizens and lawful resident aliens, could be held, INDEFINITELY, jailed.
2. Other persons can DISAPPEAR by the military, without benefit of habeas corpus or trial. And worse...
3. These other persons can also be shipped off to a foreign judicial system that might deliver a result the Justice Department wants.

The sponsors of this bill claim that this bill contains no new powers -- that they're merely codifying the behavior of two (renegade) administrations.

Yet two of the bill's Senate backers admit there is a new power: The ability of the military to engage in police work on American soil -- Posse Comitatus be damned.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who backs the bill, indicated that the bill "basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield" and people can be imprisoned without charge or trial "American citizen or not." Another supporter, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) also declared that the bill is needed because "America is part of the battlefield."

In section 1031 the Federal State gains the power of indefinite imprisonment without trial. In 1032, American citizens and lawful resident aliens must be given civilian jails for their potentially permanent stays, and cannot be shipped off for a show trial by a convenient foreign power.

The sponsors of this bill are forgetting their Article I role as a protection against an overreaching and potentially tyrannical Executive Branch, and are instead rapidly inventing powers for that branch. They're trading Liberty for Security because we've become so scared of the boogeyman.

We should stop being so cowering and fearful. We should tell Congress, loud and clear, "I Am Not Afraid."

11/29/2011  
Anonymous Bob said...

Regarding Barney -- Thank god and greyhound some trash gone !!!!!!!!!!

11/29/2011  

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