Wednesday, December 14, 2011

UPDATE: The NDAA:The "Rule of Law" and Cakes

Feinstein's "Fix" did not Fix the NDAA - GO here to see why. Plz see "Did Dianne Feinstein's "Fix" on AUMF Language Actually Authorize Killing American Citizens (Be sure to see the pertinent conversation in the Comments on the site and also below on oneheartforpeace)

SO, PLEASE Call your elected officials -- including the President -- NOW to say NO loud and clear to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). (And even after it is declared cut in stone - complain loud and clear!) CALL EMAIL FAX the White House. Maybe President Obama will flip-flop again with enough pressure? Plz, no excuses - don't delay! Find Contact Info for our US folk here Capitol Switchboard 202 224-3121

File: A mosaic LAW by Frederick Dielman, 1847-1935.JPG*

CBS reported Wednesday evening that Laura Murphy, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office said, "If President Obama signs this bill (The National Defense Authorization Act - NDAA), it will damage both his legacy and American's reputation for upholding the rule of law."

Our best experts are saying things like "The last time Congress passed indefinite detention legislation was during the McCarthy era, and President Truman had the courage to veto that bill."

My daughter and son both had birthdays recently. So once again, I had the dillemma of wanting to make homemade cakes - but knowing they always flopped. My daughter pointed out with tact and truth: Mom, you're a great cook just not at cakes. It's because with cakes "you don't follow rules". I finally got it.

The Rule of Law is a requirement, not a mere matter of whim or belief in an individual's or a certain group's morality.

Without a way to challenge an executive or legislative action in court, the executive and legislative branch is not truly bound by the rule of law.

So what are we allowing TODAY as the NDAA measure to end some of our most basic laws proceeds? What is happening with a detainee' ability to argue - successfully or not -that she deserves the US Bill of Rights as well as whatever process the Constitution says he or she is due? What is happening as we give unconscionable power into the hands of our President?

Over our relatively small number of years we've fought to be a democracy, we've also seen the grave need for new rulings for which we've worked and battled long and hard - nationally and stateside. We've needed and got laws which don't give as much wiggle room for hate crimes and for bias on issues of life and death. In North Carolina, for example, The Racial Justice Act has set the stage for better safeguards, not less and has been saved (for now) by NC Gov. Beverly Perdue's rejection of the repeal voted on in the state's congress.

We and our representatives in the courtroom and on the police beat need help to do what we say we will do about fairness. We need the thoroughness and care required by a law about fairness -- even if we are inconvenienced in the process. That the court is going to be just on racial justice without such a safeguard -- as some of the legal "experts" and representatives in NC have claimed -- has simply not been true in history -- neither long past nor more recent.

Like rules for making a decent cake, we need such guidelines. To repeal the same after such a disgusting history without it, and such hard, long, careful work to get it, would be to scoff the "rule of law" for the rights of all.

Sometimes even the best lawyers spout their intentions of deciding on justice fairly by themselves on many issues. They often complain about certain laws that seem to cramp their style or hold things up. Often such self-aggrandizing folk claim they would follow the principles just as well without the law. But is this always or even often true --given the history of human kind without such just law?

While the term "the rule of law" in modern times gives credit to A. V. Dicey, the legal concept can be traced through history to many ancient civilizations.

Aristotle opposed letting the highest officials wield power beyond guarding and serving the laws. In other words, Aristotle advocated the rule of law when he said: It is more proper that law should govern than any one of the citizens. The Roman statesman Cicero has been quoted as saying, "We are all servants of the laws in order that we may be free."

In Islamic jurisprudence rule of law was formulated before the twelfth century, so that no official could claim to be above the law, not even the caliph.

In 1215, the English King John placed himself and England's future sovereigns and magistrates at least partially within the rule of law, by signing Magna Carta. In the US, the phrase "rule of law" is found in a petition to James I of England in 1610from the House of Commons:

"Amongst many other points of happiness and freedom which your majesty's subjects of this kingdom have enjoyed under your royal progenitors, kings and queens of this realm, there is none which they have accounted more dear and precious than this, to be guided and governed by the certain rule of the law which giveth both to the head and members that which of right belongeth to them, and not by any uncertain or arbitrary form of government...."

In 1776, the notion that no one is above the law was popular during the founding of the United States, for example Thomas Paine wrote in his pamphlet Common Sense that "in America, the law is king."

The following, from wikipedia on the Rule of Law may help us (capitalization is mine):

"Formalists hold that the law must be prospective, well-known, and have characteristics of generality, equality, and certainty. The substantive interpretation holds that the rule of law intrinsically protects some or all individual rights...

'All government officers of the United States, including the President, the Justices of the Supreme Court, and all members of Congress, pledge first and foremost to uphold the Constitution. These oaths affirm that the rule of law is superior to the rule of any human leader. At the same time, the federal government has considerable discretion: the legislative branch is free to decide what statutes it will write, as long as it stays WITHIN ITS ENUMERATED POWERS and respects the constitutionally protected RIGHTS OF INDIVIDUALS... "

Law Professor Frederick Mark Gedicks among many others have written that "Cicero, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and the framers of the U.S. Constitution believed that an unjust law was not really a law at all."

The Council of the International Bar Association passed a resolution in 2009 endorsing a substantive or "thick" definition of the rule of law:

"... An independent, impartial judiciary; the presumption of innocence; the right to a fair and public trial without undue delay; a rational and proportionate approach to punishment; a strong and independent legal profession; strict protection of confidential communications between lawyer and client; equality of all before the law; these are all fundamental principles of the Rule of Law. Accordingly, arbitrary arrests; secret trials; indefinite detention without trial; cruel or degrading treatment or punishment; intimidation or corruption in the electoral process, are ALL UNACCEPTABLE. The Rule of Law is the foundation of a civilised society. It establishes a transparent process accessible and equal to all. It ensures adherence to principles that both liberate and protect. The International Bar Association calls upon ALL countries to respect these fundamental principles. It also calls upon its members to speak out in support of the Rule of Law within their respective communities. "(World Justice Project)

British jurist A. V. Dicey who popularized the phrase "rule of law" in 1885 emphasized three aspects of the rule of law:

1. No one can be punished or made to suffer except for a breach of law proved in an ordinary court.
2. No one is above the law and everyone is equal before the law regardless of social, economic, or political status.
3. The rule of law includes the results of judicial decisions determining the rights of private persons.

Some would argue that if there's a fear of being killed - it's OK to assasinate or in the case of the NDAA lock up (with or without charge or advocacy) whoever is deemed to be the "villain". This, of course, creates wide differences in standards from place to place and among WHO decides. What if who decides wants to hide the facts from public eyes? Isn't that a little like saying I can simply "wing-it" -- disregarding the necessary rules -- and end up with a beautiful cake?
* At last, I learned my lesson this year and for the first time I remember I DID make -- not only one lovely cake -- I made TWO (even if I did make them from mixes). Just maybe, next year, I'll go for "from scratch - but you better bet, I'll follow the rules with cakes if I'm going to have happy eaters.

My daughter -- just yesterday -- also spoke wisely for the value of rules in other aspects of our social lives. She reminded me calmly -- and with absolutely perfect reasoning -- that I needed to have an eye to LONG-RANGE results when it came to certain kinds of conversations within the family. Isn't this the same for our Rule of Law?

What are we doing NOW for our nation's future? What about our children's and grandchildren' futures?

What do we gain in our communities and societies by seeking to calm temporary fears with bandaid measures and protections of officials over the people indicted or arrested? What about our proven overload of security measures like drones and waterboarding? What about our random disappearances - killings - imprisonments - tortures and the humiliation of unecessary threats and other intimidations? )

How are we making our societies and nations safer when we merely tantalize "other extremists" to "do unto others as done to them" rather than the more sound version of the golden rule?

What will we tell our children someday when they (and their compatriots and fellow democracy-lovers around the world) wonder what we did so that they are unable to receive justice and fair advocay in a court of law? Are we going to have to tell them - - if we are telling the truth -- that we messed up our's and their constitution and bill of rights out of fear, ignorance, because we were merely "following orders" and unwilling to stand alone?

What if we 'egg on' more and more trouble with our injustices than we assume we've been dealt? Haven't we already done enough damage along this line?

What if we are setting continual patterns that will continue to multiply? What if our supposed and real "enemies" deal the same to our own sons and daughters? What about the "recruitment tools" we simply plase securely in the palms of those we call extremists? What about the absolute fact that our nation sells -- barters -- and distributes more small handguns around the world than any other nation? Who among us has seriously considered and acted upon the fact that many of those end up in the hands of various manner of extremists/terrorists?

What and how many international agreements -- to which we are party -- do we continue to despise?

What kind of nation does the rest of the world watch us become as we call many of our laws and repeals of older, longer-standing rulings and principles null and void?

Look what has happened with the misuse and over-use of our emergency methods -- occupations before agreed upon -- use of torture such as as Abu Ghraib and Gitmo and many other places still under US auspices? Are we as a nation really happy with our Patriot Acts and growing surveillance state and the drones now using our skies without our permission? What of our willingness to become a police state step by step?

What about our US leaders choice to in cahoots with corporations such as Verizon in sharing private information?

What about the actual origins and choice of this particular time in our history - right before holy and holly days to quickly process such a ruling before we can all sit down and take a breath and learn what in the world is going on now?

I'm writing this little Op Ed on The US Bill of Rights Day. Today, The Bill of Rights Defense Committee ( states:

"The Bill of Rights was meant to ensure basic rights during times of war and times of peace, regardless of who is in power. IN ORDER TO ENSURE ITS FUTURE, we must keep using the First Amendment and speaking out when our rights and the rights of non-citizens are threatened."

In 1941, 150 years after the first 10 amendments were ratified, President Franklin Roosevelt declared December 15 "Bill of Rights Day."

How will we be proud of ourselves next year -- if today -- by such rulings as the National Defense Authorization Act -- we end up declaring away our most basic, famed and protective American rights?

If you are even just a little bit concerned - why not call NOW? Why don't we seek to stop such an unruly "law" or at least to say WHOA Nellie -- slow down! ...let's have some more national conversations first. Then we can all take a deep breathe before we sign our birthrights away.

(Some of the history notes above - especially where quoted with or without quotations were found at free Wikipedia on Rule of Law. Capitalizing freedom for emphasis on this unusual day is mine.)

* cake image above found at - credit goes to BARB43_bucket

After you've made your calls --

Source for breather image: via Kelly on Pinterest


CN said...

Media: You are free to post or publish this Op Ed if you do so with credit to me the author and this blogsite.

The Sooner you post this the better!

Connie L. Nash

CN said...

CN said...

CN said...

SEE also:


CN said...

Because the emptywheel entry for Dec 14 was so apt on this issue of the NDAA - and because sometimes the site seems to be blocked...

I'm posting here in a series of parts the content:

Part I

Did Dianne Feinstein’s “Fix” on AUMF Language Actually Authorize Killing American Citizens?
Posted on December 14, 2011 by emptywheel

To explain why it caved on its Defense Authorization veto threat, the Obama Administration had the following to say about the affirmation of detention authority.

Ensuring that we track current law and minimize risks associated with legislating on AUMF:

Made our requested modifications to the provision that codifies military detention authority under the September 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force...

Cont' next comment

CN said...

Part II from (see Part I in comment just above)

...Though this provision remains unnecessary, the changes ensure that we are merely restating our existing legal authorities and minimize the risk of unnecessary and distracting litigation.

That is, the Administration says its past complaints about the AUMF language have been addressed.

On November 17, when Obama issued his veto threat, the AUMF language said:

Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection (b)) pending disposition under the law of war.

COVERED PERSONS–A covered person under this section is any person as follows:

(1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks.

(2) A person who was part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or who has supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.


(d) CONSTRUCTION.–. Nothing in this section is intended to limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force...

Cont' in next comment

CN said...

Part III from (See Part I & II in comments above)

...If you haven’t figured it out, the specific language relating to the terms of the AUMF remains precisely the same.

In other words, Congress made no substantive changes to the AUMF language between the time the Administration issued its veto threat and the time it withdrew the threat.

And yet, when Obama issued his veto threat, he had this complaint about it.

Section 1031 attempts to expressly codify the detention authority that exists under the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) (the “AUMF”). The authorities granted by the AUMF, including the detention authority, are essential to our ability to protect the American people from the threat posed by al-Qa’ida and its associated forces, and have enabled us to confront the full range of threats this country faces from those organizations and individuals. Because the authorities codified in this section already exist, the Administration does not believe codification is necessary and poses some risk. After a decade of settled jurisprudence on detention authority, Congress must be careful not to open a whole new series of legal questions that will distract from our efforts to protect the country. While the current language minimizes many of those risks, future legislative action must ensure that the codification in statute of express military detention authority does not carry unintended consequences that could compromise our ability to protect the American people.

cont' in next comment

CN said...

Part IV (see Part I-III in comments above)

...There are two explanations for why Obama backed off his veto threat on this point, then. First, we know the Administration did make a request regarding the language in the AUMF clause, though before it issued its veto threat.

As I reported last month, the big change between the original language and the Senate bill in this clause was the removal of the language exempting US citizens from indefinite detention. And that was a change made at the request of the Administration.

The initial bill reported by the committee included language expressly precluding “the detention of citizens or lawful resident aliens of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.” The Administration asked that this language be removed from the bill. [my emphasis]

So maybe Obama backed off his veto threat because the final bill didn’t specifically exempt Americans from indefinite detention.

There’s the one other change made to this section between Obama’s veto threat and and his retraction of that threat today. DiFi’s cop-out language:

(e) AUTHORITIES–Nothing in this section shall be constructed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.

The only thing that changed between Obama’s veto threat and his retraction of his threat–though it was depicted as a sop to civil libertarians worried about indefinite detention–is DiFi’s language.

And while DiFi’s amendment seems somewhat duplicative of the “CONSTRUCTION” language–reiterating Obama’s authority under the Afghan AUMF–it is actually more than that. To some degree, it accomplishes the same thing Mark Udall’s wrong-headed amendment did: not only reaffirm the President’s authority under the Afghan AUMF, but also the Iraq AUMF and “any other statutory or constitutional authority” regarding detention.

(2) The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution 2002 (Public Law 107-243).

(3) Any other statutory or constitutional authority for use of military force.

As I’ve noted, the Iraq AUMF has served to generalize Presidential claims to war powers against terrorists who have no ties to al Qaeda since at least 2004.

And while the Afghan AUMF and Hamdi and Quirin were–according to Charlie Savage–the primary bases claimed for the Administration’s authority to kill Anwar al-Awlaki (in spite of the fact that AQAP did not exist, and therefore should not really be included in, the 2001 AUMF), the Administration also relied on two SCOTUS cases approving of the use of “deadly force” to prevent the escape of even unarmed suspects who might pose a “significant threat of death or serious physical injury” to others (even if only to the cop using the deadly force).

It also cited several other Supreme Court precedents, like a 2007 case involving a high-speed chase and a 1985 case involving the shooting of a fleeing suspect, finding that it was constitutional for the police to take actions that put a suspect in serious risk of death in order to curtail an imminent risk to innocent people.

The document’s authors argued that “imminent” risks could include those by an enemy leader who is in the business of attacking the United States whenever possible, even if he is not in the midst of launching an attack at the precise moment he is located.

In other words, by affirming all purportedly existing statutory authority, DiFi’s “fix” not only reaffirmed the AUMF covering a war Obama ended today, but also affirmed the Executive Branch’s authority to use deadly force when ostensibly trying to detain people it claims present a “significant threat of death or serious physical injury.” It affirms language that allows “deadly force” in the name of attempted detention...

cont' in next comment...

CN said...

Part V from (see Part I - IV in comments above)

In any case, it’s one or the other (or both). Either the AUMF language became acceptable to Obama because it included American citizens in the Afghan AUMF and/or it became acceptable because, among other things, it affirmed the Executive Branch’s authority to use deadly force in the guise of apprehending someone whom the Executive Branch says represents a “significant threat.”

My guess is the correct answer to this “either/or” question is “both.”

So DiFi’s fix, which had the support of many Senators trying to protect civil liberties, probably made the matter worse.

In its more general capitulation on the veto, the Administration stated that the existing bill protects the Administration’s authority to “incapacitate dangerous terrorists.” “Incapacitate dangerous terrorists,” “use of deadly force” with those who present a “significant threat of death or serious physical injury.” No matter how you describe Presidential authority to kill Americans with no due process, the status quo appears undiminished.

Update: I added “among other things” because the statutes the Executive Branch has relied on include a bunch of other things besides just the “deadly use of force.”

41 214share257

This entry was posted in Gitmo Show Trials, Indefinite Detention, Terrorism, Unitary Executive and tagged Defense Authorization, Dianne Feinstein by emptywheel. Bookmark the permalink. 17 thoughts on “Did Dianne Feinstein’s “Fix” on AUMF Language Actually Authorize Killing American Citizens?”
David Swanson on December 14, 2011 at 9:55 pm said:
But weren’t they still sort-of kind-of threatening a veto AFTER the DiFi but before the conference committee?

cont' next comment with replies...

CN said...

Replies to emptywheel analysis on NDAA for Dec. 14th

Reply1emptywheel on December 14, 2011 at 9:57 pm said:
@David Swanson: Yeah, but nothing in the AUMF changed in the conference at all.

I do believe their veto was over two things: 1) retaining unlimited power to capture or kill and 2) keeping FBI where it is.

The conference fixes made cosmetic but not legal fixes on the latter issue. The former remain precisely the same.

Reply2JohnLopresti on December 14, 2011 at 10:16 pm said:
It looked like the Feinstein wording added acceptable vagueness, avoiding, for the administration, further immediate necessity that the senate now enumerate onerous specifics some of which are new as various theaters of conflict emerged, and even political entity dissociated protagonists became part of the overall morphing definition of the ‘covered’ section. In essence, Senator Feinstein possibly seems to have added more incentive for courts to address ‘current law’ from multifarious vectors. Nationism has seemed to be a shifting attribute since the whole business began to appear in the courts in a substantial way during the 90s.

replies to emptywheel on Dec. 14 cont' next comment

CN said...

Replies cont' (coverage of Part I-V and replies to emptywheel's analysis -- in comments above - as to why Feinstein's version didn't really fix the NDAA before recent joint voting by both houses):

Reply3Daisee on December 14, 2011 at 11:23 pm said:
From Human Rights Watch –

“The bill would also bar the transfer of detainees currently held at Guantanamo into the US for any reason, including for trial. In addition, it would extend restrictions, imposed last year, on the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo to home or third countries – even those cleared for release by the administration.”

Can I assume Omar Khadr will not return to Canada to finish his sentence?

Reply4emptywheel on December 14, 2011 at 11:31 pm said:
@Daisee: Good question. I thought that was pretty set, but now that you mention it, it’s a discretionary thing and I can imagine either GOP raising a stink or the Admin caving.

one more comment next in this series...

CN said...

Actually two more comments on this series:

Reply5MadDog on December 14, 2011 at 11:42 pm said:
@emptywheel: This article from The Globe and Mail late last month was the most recent stuff I’ve read on Omar Khadr’s status:

“U.S. must ‘certify’ Canada before Khadr can return

Omar Khadr, the first Canadian convicted of murder, spying, and terrorism and held at Guantanamo Bay, needs another first before he can go home to serve out his sentence in a Canadian prison.

Canada must first be certified as a fit place to send a convicted terrorist, a nation not likely to permit him to attack the United States, and one that has control of its prisons.

That certification must be delivered to Congress signed by U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta with “the concurrence of” U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton. It’s new, but hardly trivial. It’s a part of the 2011 National Defence Authorization Act, the annual funding legislation for the entire U.S. military that, among other things, outlaws using U.S. taxpayer funds to airlift a Guantanamo detainee to the United States…”

CN said...

Well, maybe two more comments left here to the helpful article by

Reply6MadDog on December 14, 2011 at 11:49 pm said:

OT – Regardless of what one thinks of Bill Keller, formerly the executive editor of the NYT and now one of their Opinion page writers, I would still recommend this new 9 page piece that he has up tonight in the NYT Magazine section:

cont' next comment

CN said...

well maybe this is NEXT to last to the above comments on the emptywheel article? (be sure to let you friends - contacts know about

this oneheartforpeace Op Ed and copy of the emptywheel items since - as I said - it was sometimes blacking out...and this is such pertinent info found nowhere else quite as thorough.

The Pakistanis Have a Point

There is a lot of “inside baseball” stuff from both the Pakistani and US government, diplomatic, military and intelligence sides. Again whether you have to take Bill Keller with a grain of salt or not, it still makes for an interesting read.

Reply7joanneleon on December 15, 2011 at 12:12 am said:
From the AtlanticWire:

5. What happens now. It is going to be years before civil libertarians know for sure whether the new law is constitutionality valid. Some person out there is going to have to get arrested or apprehended on U.S. soil, be accused of being a terror suspect, and then treated in the manner contemplated by the new law. That person is going to have to challenge the terms of detention and confinement. All of this will take years. In the meantime, one or two or three more Defense Authorization bills are going to pass through the Congress, each of them giving lawmakers a chance to back away from these provisions — or add clarity to them. We are, after all this time, still much closer to the beginning than to the end of this dirty business.

Isn’t it going to be difficult for that detainee to challenge anything? Will we even know where such detainees are?

CN said...

END (series of comments from emptywheel with their replies)

Reply8joanneleon on December 15, 2011 at 12:14 am said:
I liked the last paragraph of the ACLU statement:

“The president should more carefully consider the consequences of allowing this bill to become law,” Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “If President Obama signs this bill, it will damage both his legacy and American’s reputation for upholding the rule of law. The last time Congress passed indefinite detention legislation was during the McCarthy era and President Truman had the courage to veto that bill. We hope that the president will consider the long view of history before codifying indefinite detention without charge or trial.”

Reply9Bustednuckles on December 15, 2011 at 12:39 am said:
They know where I’m at.

Reply10jo6pac on December 15, 2011 at 3:42 am said:
Who and we don’t have any idea what you’re talking about. This will be the standard anwser. Then again we that speak out will be given a life time of camping out somewhere in Amerika provided by the govt. The brown shirts are on loading dock #9 please have size, ID ready.
Everyting is on schedule, please move along.

Reply11scribe on December 15, 2011 at 6:14 am said:

So maybe Obama backed off his veto threat because the final bill didn’t specifically exempt protect Americans from indefinite detention.

Reply12emptywheel on December 15, 2011 at 8:01 am said:
@joanneleon: I think that misses two key points. First, that that is the status quo anyway. Anwar al-Awlaki’s family tried to challenge this but were unable to.

But I also think having this authority explicitly stated makes it harder (though by no means impossible) for the Administration to avoid court review using their favorite tactic, by declaring state secrets. So on that level, at least, it may get easier for detainees to challenge this.

Reply13emptywheel on December 15, 2011 at 8:02 am said:
@scribe: Think I fixed it.

Reply14Pingback: Thursday Reads: Defense Authorization Bill, Ron Wyden, the Filthy Rich, and Bird Crashes « Sky Dancing

15David Swanson on December 15, 2011 at 9:35 am said:
@emptywheel: Not true. They tweaked it to let the president have waiver power:

Reply16emptywheel on December 15, 2011 at 9:38 am said:
@David Swanson: Right. But that’s not part of the AUMF section.

The argument here is this: Obama said there were things about this bill he found unacceptable. The AUMF language was one of those things. He now says changes were made to the AUMF language that made it acceptable. But there were no real changes–except the inclusion of American citizens in it before his veto threat and DiFi’s language after his veto threat.

I’m not dealing with what made him withdraw his veto threat on the other sections at all.

Reply17Connie L. Nash on December 15, 2011 at 1:15 pm said:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

This is one of the best analysis on the NDAA and why it needs lots more than Feinstein ‘Fixing’…

Go and see my Op Ed today:

The NDAA: The Rule of Law and Cakes

Thanx for a great trustworthy site and such helpful comments as well from the best folk out there…like David Swanson

CN said...

Since The Atlantic was mentioned in the long piece above in parts, I want to say here that although some of the comments on that blog piece look helpful and maybe are worth a good skim -- The Atlantic keeps spoiling it's credibility by covers and copy - especially early on - which blames another nation we've asked to do our bidding with so many immoral involvements for things we ourselves continue to do or would like to do (drones killing civilians and provoking more militarism among the fringes - torture and kidnapping - etc.)

In fact, all you have to do is about an hour's worth of research - including on this site - to find easily enough how much US lying has been surrounding cases such as the "Raymond Davis" case not long ago.

And yet, this magazine has the gall to continue this blame game of another nation with the silly claim " lies..."

The cover story's cover photo seems to me asking for trouble in other obvious ways as well. How would we feel if our country of origin was so named by a nation we were trying to respect and encourage our family members to respect?

What about all the good -- salt of the earth - people of Pakistani birth living in our country and around the world?

Using stereotypes to attract attention is - I thought - an old, archaic method of commercialization which means the corruption of the media practicing the same. Thursday, December 15, is the 220th anniversary of the signing of the Bill of Rights, in response Occupy Houston will be joining the Houston Free Thinkers and other civil rights activists as part of a week-long series of national actions protesting the National Defense Authorization Act.

CN said... You may want to go here to sign petitions related to the NDAA ?

The "Quick Thoughts" in The Atlantic with Comments even better:

CN said...

Another worrisome/related item which may well be voted on tomorrow.

I may post more on this item on:
since this relates to the disruption of our media and internet interaction with foreign nationals - and is obviously unconstitutional as well as the NDAA.

CN said...

Here's the letter on SOPA as mentioned in the comment above.
For easy actions, simply go the the contact links above on this post...

Here's an article explaining the situation. Another URGENT Holy Day RUSH with little discussion among our citizens about the same.

Letter Opposing 'Onerous' Federal Anti-Piracy Bill
Friday, 16 December 2011 10:42 am American Society of News Editors Press Release

ASNE Issues Letter Opposing 'Onerous' Federal Anti-Piracy Bill

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which is likely to be voted on by the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow, would violate the constitutional rights of free speech and due process, and stifle innovation in the news business, ASNE says in a letter sent today to members of the committee (PDF attached). The bill is intended to provide U.S.-based copyright owners with the ability to combat online piracy, but it goes well beyond that and threatens domestic news organizations and other legitimate websites, ASNE tells the committee.

SOPA authorizes the Department of Justice to require U.S.-based websites to block access to foreign sites that facilitate copyright or trademark infringement. It also allows the government to take action against domestic websites that don't comply with the department’s orders. Finally, it allows any private copyright holder to simply allege that a website is engaged in "dedicated theft of property" to secure an order requiring payment and advertising networks to stop processing transactions for the infringing site.

According to ASNE counsel, the bill would force Internet service providers and search engines to be the new gatekeepers of online content, especially content emanating from outside the U.S.; and it would significantly restrict the growth of social media and websites incorporating user-generated content. In this respect, it is inconsistent with the approach of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which shields intermediaries from liability for infringing content posted by third parties. It also diverges from the DMCA, which is designed to combat online piracy through a narrow, infringement-by-infringement process, in its scope.

ASNE's letter makes it clear that the organization strongly opposes content piracy and supports the committee's efforts to eradicate it. But SOPA in its present form "allows individual copyright owners to effect the most onerous restriction on speech -- the prior restraint -- with little evidence and virtually no due process, utilizing vague and overbroad definitions in the process," says the letter, signed by ASNE President Ken Paulson.

"Navigating the balance between copyright and free speech demands precision, and in seeking to protect the interests of copyright holders, the First Amendment requires Congress to adopt the least restrictive intrusion on speech available," ASNE tells the committee. "SOPA fails this test."

SOPA is supported by organizations representing copyright holders, like the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America. Technology companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter oppose it. ASNE appears to be the first media organization to officially signal its opposition to the bill.

Attached Files


Sent by Newsagent Media Monitoring - Copyright Scoop Media Ltd.

CN said...

UPDATE April 2, 2012 Chris Hedges, Truthdig Hedges writes: "If the National Defense Authorization Act is not reversed.."