Obama’s S&M (Steady & Methodical) Criminalizing of Dissent
On the Black Agenda Report website Jemima Pierre writes:
Clearly, and methodically, “the US government is preparing for domestic insurrection.”
.... In only three years, the Obama administration and its enablers have established, legitimized, and normalized a national security state apparatus that removes any doubt that domestic policing is a prelude to a totalitarian police state. This apparatus has surpassed the Bush administration’s attempts to expand executive power by crushing the civil liberties of US citizens. And it has done so boldly, with only a few prominent critics, and without so much as a whimper from so-called leftists.
December 31, 2011 Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA). BASED ON SUSPICION ALONE the military can detain ANYONE who it considers a “terrorist” or an “accessory to terrorism.”
THIS IS THE FIRST TIME IN AMERICAN HISTORY INDEFINITE MILITARY DETENTION WITHOUT CHARGE OR TRIAL IS CODIFIED INTO LAW.
What is most dangerous about this law, according to its many critics, is its broad language about who can be considered a target. In his column describing why he is suing the Obama administration over NDAA, journalist Chris Hedges points particularly to Section 1031 defining a potential target as a person who is either a member of, or substantially supported, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or “associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.” This also includes “any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.”
The law doesn’t define what “associated forces” are, or what “engaging in hostilities” against the US means. And because the definition of a “terrorist” shifts according to political necessity, all of us – all over the world – are potential targets and eventual victims. Historically, we have seen how the US government has labeled “domestic terrorist” any persons or groups, particularly those on the left, who have dared challenge inequality and state oppression (clear examples are the American Indian Movement and the Black Power Movement). Most recently, we have seen the brutal suppression of domestic dissent through the militarized dismantling of Occupy Wall Street encampments – which brings us to the next worrisome law, HR 347.
Obama was on the Jimmy Fallon show last night I see. Trying to coax those tragically uninformed and/or with low interest in what is actually happening to and by this country, particularly those young voters who are hip but uninformed, to vote based on style NOT substance. Obama is exploiting an endorsement by CORPORATE craven media. Too many citizens are still myopically and willfully fighting Obama disillusionment or have an equally insane sensibility that Obama is too liberal and socialistic (when he is FASCISTIC) because, I grant you, the reality is just too horrible.
That smiling and amiable, seemingly self-effacing black man (driven by his own ego and his one percent puppeteers) is doing what he does best, campaigning for votes CUZ HE IS A HIP AND CHARMING CELEBRITY. His message of seduction is for you to not believe your own lying eyes and ears. Your common sense. Your brain. Your heart. To ignore or better yet, begin to groove to those sirens of cognitive dissonance bouncing around in your skull.
Obama is not just an incompetent president. He is an operative busily setting up a totalitarian government for us all. IN PLAIN SIGHT.
NDAA and the rest of the Patriot Act fathered bills of oppression???? They flush our civil protections down the toilet.
WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE AND THE BLOWBACK? Where is at least a fight for our rights? Where is our collective voice? Our consciences?
So much of the so-called progressive corporate media colludes with the destruction of our constitutional rights as it attacks the specter of a Republican administration. As if danger looms in our FUTURE. What bullshit unloaded on us all that the Democratic legacy party is wearing the proverbial white hat.
DANGER to our welfare and quality of life HAS ARRIVED!!!! We must stop ignoring it.
Kidding around late night with Jimmy Fallon gives Obama the right to trash our rights and get a shot at another term cuz he is just that cool (or “wannabe cool” more accurately)? Are we that EASY and seducible as a citizenry? DEAR GOD!
Another fresh HELL of a bill in Obamaworld is “The Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011” or the “Trespass Bill” (HR 347 and its companion Senate bill, S. 1794). Obama signed it recently, March 9, 2012.
This law, according to a Business Insider article, “potentially makes peaceable protest anywhere in the U.S. a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.” What it says, specifically, is that anyone can be charged with a federal felony for “trespassing” on property or grounds that is under Secret Service protection, even if the supposed “trespasser” is not aware that the area is under such protection. One can also be charged if he or she “impede[s] or disrupt[s] the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions.”
Say what? You can be charged with a felony for trespassing on secret service protected ground even if you don’t know you are on secret service protected ground?
Orwell meets Abbot and Costello. Who's on first?
Also, if one is “impeding” the ORDERLY CONDUCT OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS OR OFFICIAL FUNCTIONS.
ORDERLY CONDUCT OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS OR OFFICIAL FUNCTIONS????? WTF?
Pierre translates the surreality:
This law effectively criminalizes any form of protest. This means that any place or event can, at any time and under any circumstance, be designated a “trespass” area and, anyone protesting any event can potentially be arrested. Knowing also that under NDAA, once arrested, a person can be detained indefinitely and extradited if he or she is deemed a threat, should give us all pause.
Pierre also writes about Obama’s March 16, 2012 National Defense Resource Preparedness (EO 8248).
This order allows the executive branch – through various federal authorities such as the Secretaries of Energy, Health and Human Services, Transportation, Defense, and Commerce – to take control of all food, all energy, all health resources and all transportation resources in the service of “national defense,” even in times of declared peace. It is true that this latest executive order is an update to the one signed by Bill Clinton in 1994. But in the context of the growing number of laws that expand executive and military power to stifle dissent along with the rapidly expanding national security enterprise, we should be wary.
We are a nation of laws. More and more we are a nation of anti-citizen laws imposed by constitutional-law-discarding fascists in Democratic and Republican clothing. Most significant are the monumental and obscene selling-out Democratic Party leaders and their media enablers hypocritically trying to fog out the horror of what is happening.
Obama REAUTHORIZED the Patriot Act of 2001 which has given our fascist leadership what they consider a blank check (an illegitimate one) to do ALL THE UNCONSCIONABLE ACTIONS IT WANTS. Pierre:
... we have seen assaults on our dignity, our human rights and ability to protest. These assaults now come from multiple fronts and contain diverse tactics. And they affect us all. We see examples in the local and federal militarized response to the Occupy Wall Street movements, the deployment of drones domestically by city governments, universities, private contractors, and local police (see domestic drone authorization map here), and we see how the Obama administration has waged an all out war against whistleblowers by using the archaic World War I era Espionage Act, prosecuting more people than all other presidents combined.
More importantly, there is what the Washington Post last year called the “National Security Enterprise” that depends on “854,000 civil servants, military personnel and private contractors with top-security clearances,” and whose major work is domestic surveillance to curtail dissent. The unprecedented $1.5 billion, almost 1 million square feet National Security Agency data center (or “Spy Center”) that is being built in Utah, is to work both as a bottomless database for all information on all Americans, and as a remote interrogation center.
The US government is breaking moral law all over the globe with its military MISADVENTURES. It bullshits about humanitarian intent but look at who ends up governing in said destabilized countries (destabilized with lotsa help from you know who) and which oppressive governments the US is perfectly content to enable. A cabal of international bullies.
We are at the mercy of a government that is committing war crimes now at warp speed.
We are reduced to looking outward at the world and thinking, “Wow, safer to be within U.S. borders than without.” Cold and temporary comfort. If you happen to live in the Middle East or Africa, especially now, you or your nearest and dearest can get incinerated or maimed in a New York second just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Tidily zapped to red mist by some callow kid at a joy stick in Nevada. Labelled insurgent if your death makes it to any US media, though that is unlikely. Labelled a “bug splat” by whoever is behind the drone killing console screen. Pierre:
With all of this, it is clear that, even though it seems to only be concerned with international wars and other misadventures, the US government is preparing for domestic insurrection. And it has done so by unleashing the structures of totalitarianism, as it seeks to regulate our actions through mass surveillance, fear, and threats of repression. (For how else can we understand the recent purchase by the Department of Homeland Security of nearly 500 million rounds of ultra-deadly hollow-point bullets and 40 caliber ammo, as well as a large number of semi-portable steel checkpoint guardhouses, complete with high-impact bulletproof glass windows and doors?)
People are actually saying on these faux-progressive MSNBC shows that once Obama is safely in place for a second term, he will finally feel safe enough to be the softer, more liberal, more empathetic and responsive to citizen suffering, REAL Obama.
There’s an East River bridge in New York I’d like to sell them.
LISTENING BARACK? Of course you are. Well, not you exactly. Creepily, your surveillance apparati is listening.
Dr. Stein is pitting her conscience against the unconscionable anti-American and anti-global-citizens activities of the Obama administration and our mass-murderous government.
Who’s back should we have? Obama’s or Stein’s? I choose Stein’s. The more of us who take that stance the safer Stein and all of us daring to protest will be.
Obama being cute on Jimmy Fallon? What Obama is doing behind all the cronied celeb media propaganda is not cute. It is destroying democracy. It must be stopped.
Are we waiting for corporate media to give us permission to take this all seriously? That ain't gonna happen. The clock is ticking. The slippery slide to fascism is pretty much complete.
Our nation must be saved. We can do it if enough of us face down REALITY, a reality evident right out there in the open. A reality that profoundly and dizzyingly repels, granted. A reality that awaits our exercising our responsibility as citizens. Responsibility a/k/a the “ability to respond.”
By the way, the audacity was never of hope. It was the audacity of evil.
[cross-posted at correntewire and open salon]