With minimal media debate, at a time when Americans were celebrating the New Year with their loved ones, the “National Defense Authorization Act ” H.R. 1540 was signed into law by President Barack Obama. The actual signing took place in Hawaii on the 31st of December.
According to Obama’s “signing statement”, the threat of Al Qaeda to the Security of the Homeland constitutes a justification for repealing fundamental rights and freedoms, with a stroke of the pen. The relevant provisions pertaining to civil rights were carefully esconded in a short section of a 500+ page document.
The controversial signing statement (see transcript below) is a smokescreen. Obama says he disagrees with the NDAA but he signs it into law.
“[I have] serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists.”
Obama implements “Police State USA”, while acknowledging that certain provisions of the NDAA (contained in Subtitle D–Counterterrorism) are unacceptable. If such is the case, he could have either vetoed the NDAA (H.R. 1540) or sent it back to Congress with his objections.
The fact of the matter is that both the Executive and the US Congress are complicit in the drafting of Subtitle D. In this regard, Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) revealed that it was the White House which had asked the Senate Armed Services Committee “to remove language from the bill that would have prohibited U.S. citizens’ military detention without due process”
Obama justifies the signing of the NDAA as a means to combating terrorism, as part of a “counter-terrorism” agenda. But in substance, any American opposed to the policies of the US government can –under the provisions of the NDAA– be labelled a “suspected terrorist” and arrested under military detention. Already in 2004, Homeland Security defined several categories of potential “conspirators” or “suspected terrorists” including “foreign [Islamic] terrorists”, “domestic radical groups”, [antiwar and civil rights groups], “disgruntled employees” [labor and union activists] and “state sponsored adversaries” [“rogue states”, “unstable nations”]. The unspoken objective in an era of war and social crisis is to repress all forms of domestic protest and dissent.
The “National Defense Authorization Act ” (H.R. 1540) is Obama’s New Year’s “Gift” to the American People:
“Moreover, I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation. My Administration will interpret section 1021 in a manner that ensures that any detention it authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other applicable law.” (emphasis added)
Barack Obama is a lawyer (a graduate from Harvard Law School). He knows fair well that his signing statement –which parrots his commitment to democracy– is purely cosmetic. It has no force of law.
His administration “will not authorize” what? The implementation of a Law endorsed by the Executive and signed by the President of the United States?
Section 1021 is crystal clear. The Executive cannot refuse to implement it. The signing statement does not in any way invalidate or modify the actual signing by President Obama of NDAA (H.R. 1540) into law. It does not have any bearing on the implementation/ enforcement of the Law.
“Democratic Dictatorship” in America
The “National Defense Authorization Act ” (H.R. 1540) repeals the US Constitution. While the facade of democracy prevails, supported by media propaganda, the American republic is fractured. The tendency is towards the establishment of a totalitarian State, a military government dressed in civilian clothes.
The passage of NDAA is intimately related to Washington’s global military agenda. The military pursuit of Worldwide hegemony also requires the “Militarization of the Homeland”, namely the demise of the American Republic.
In substance, the signing statement is intended to mislead Americans and provide a “democratic face” to the President as well as to the unfolding post-911 Military Police State apparatus.
The “most important traditions and values” in derogation of The Bill of Rights and the US Constitution have indeed been repealed, effective on New Year’s Day, January 1st 2012.
The NDAA authorises the arbitrary and indefinite military detention of American citizens.
The Lessons of History
This New Year’s Eve December 31, 2011 signing of the NDAA will indelibly go down as a landmark in American history. Barack Obama will down in history as “the president who killed Constitutional democracy” in the United States. .
If we are to put this in a comparative historical context, the relevant provisions of the NDAA HR 1540 are, in many regards, comparable to those contained in the “Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State”, commonly known as the “Reichstag Fire Decree” (Reichstagsbrandverordnung) enacted in Germany under the Weimar Republic on 27 February 1933 by President (Field Marshal) Paul von Hindenburg.
Implemented in the immediate wake of the Reichstag Fire (which served as a pretext), this February 1933 decree was used to repeal civil liberties including the right of Habeas Corpus.
Article 1 of the February 1933 “Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State” suspended civil liberties under the pretext of “protecting” democracy: “Thus, restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press, on the right of association and assembly, and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic, and telephonic communications, and warrants for house-searches, orders for confiscations, as well as restrictions on property rights are permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.” (Art. 1, emphasis added)
Constitutional democracy was nullified in Germany through the signing of a presidential decree.
The Reichstag Fire decree was followed in March 1933 by “The Enabling Act” ( Ermächtigungsgesetz) which allowed (or enabled) the Nazi government of Chancellor Adolf Hitler to invoke de facto dictatorial powers. These two decrees enabled the Nazi regime to introduce legislation which was in overt contradiction with the 1919 Weimar Constitution.
The following year, upon the death of president Hindenburg in 1934, Hitler “declared the office of President vacant” and took over as Fuerer, the combined function’s of Chancellor and Head of State.
The signing of NDAA (HR 1540) into law is tantamount to the militarization of law enforcement, the repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act and the Inauguration in 2012 of Police State USA.
As in Weimar Germany, fundamental rights and freedoms are repealed under the pretext that democracy is threatened and must be protected.
The NDAA is “Obama’s New Year’s Gift” to the American People. …
Michel Chossudovsky, Montreal, Canada, January, 1st 2012
Today, January 1st, 2012, our thoughts are with the American people.
[Posted January 1 2012. Minor editing January 2, 2012]