America: Land of the Police State, Home of the Domestic Extremist

We used to be the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

Now? More like land of the police state, and home of the domestic extremist. That’s what happens when enough people don’t care, or are bamboozled.

In a free society:

  • Police agencies respond only to evidence of planned and actual criminal activity.
  • Police officers keep the peace; they do not investigate citizens and activities unless there is some reason to investigate.
  • Police do not investigate citizens’ attitudes toward the central government, only their action.
  • Citizen dissent is lawful and police agencies do not investigate citizens’ attitudes toward the criminal justice apparatus.

None of that applies anymore. Now, in the United States, the government may:

  • Kill American citizens abroad, or here on US soil, without a trial or judicial review. A secret closed-door meeting is enough to end someone’s life. (Source)
  • Intercept and store 1.7 billion of your emails, phone calls and text messages each day, without a warrant. Enough information to fill 138 million books every 24 hours. (Source)
  • Charge you with a felony for peacefully protesting. (Source)
  • Imprison you for life, without access to a trial or attorney, and can use the US Military to do so. (Source)

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National Defense Resources Preparedness (NDRP) Signed

And the hits just keep on coming folks…

On March 6th, President Obama signed an Executive Order for “National Defense” that basically states that the US can seize any person or resource at any time. “All your stuff are belong to us!” they say.

To be fair, EO 8248, the original “National Defense Resources Preparedness” order was first issued in 1939. The latest edition is similar to EO 12919, signed by President Clinton in June 1994. But this one includes some key changes…

For example, in Section 201(b) the words “under both emergency and non-emergency conditions” have been added.

So now the federal government can take control of all food, all energy, all health resources, all transportation resources and “all other materials, services, and facilities” in the country even if the United States is not experiencing emergency conditions.

Keep in mind that the US has been operating under a constant state of national emergency since September 14th, 2001.

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Congress Is Now Irrelevant

http://www.moviespad.com/photos/leon-panetta-images-d6613.jpg

Ok, so I’ll admit, the title is a bit misleading. Technically, Congress has been irrelevant for quite some time. 535 little busy bodies out to line their own pockets and those of their corporate buddies. Ok, so not all of them are evil.

On the 7th of March, testifying before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta both stated that President Obama needed only an international legal basis to go to war, and Congress would be an afterthought.

Wait, what?

Yea, that’s right. In complete defiance of Article I, section 8 of the Constitution which provides that only Congress may declare war, this administration says it doesn’t need congress.

After 9/11, Congress by and large ceded power to the Executive branch to execute a loosely defined “war on terror.” Essentially, they marginalized themselves. And Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) had the nerve to act surprised when the Administration asserts its emperor-like powers.

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Congress Continues to Ignore 1st Amendment, Limits Rights

Here is the complete text of the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution (emphasis mine):

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

So, how then will our congress critters explain H.R. 347, the “Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011” bill? To be fair, this is not a new law. It amends 18 USC § 1752 “restricted buildings and grounds,” that has existed in various forms since 1971. The most significant amendments to the law occurred in 2006.

But there are a few changes that make one’s eyebrow raise.

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Administration Woefully Ignorant of Due Process

Incompetence. It seems like the current administration just can’t amass enough of it lately.

Eric Holder, Attorney General, stated earlier this week that the President has legal authority to authorize the killing of US citizens. Umm… say what?

“The administration is asserting the authority to kill any American whom the president declares to be an enemy of the state,” said Jameel Jaffer, a national security attorney with the ACLU. “That’s a breathtaking assertion.”

For the record, the only other administration that said anything even remotely similar was President Abraham Lincoln’s during the civil war. And even then, he said it should be under combat situations only.

Generally, due process guarantees the following (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Right to a fair and public trial conducted in a competent manner
  • Right to be present at the trial
  • Right to an impartial jury
  • Right to be heard in one’s own defense
  • Laws must be written so that a reasonable person can understand what is criminal behavior

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TSA Nude Body Scanners Proven Worthless

A blog post on the website TSA Out of our Pants! has just made the infamous nude body scanners (known by their technical name “backscatter scanner”) obsolete.

That’s right. $1 Billion (that’s Billion, with a B) worth of scanners are now useful only as paperweights. Actually, that’s not entirely true. They are useless even as paperweights, since they are so enormously large.

The video on the above blog post (which I will embed at the end of this post as well) demonstrates how to get something through the body scanners you’ll find at every airport throughout the US. Just so there’s no confusion, I do not advocate attempting to do this for nefarious purposes. I only report on this, as did the original poster, to spread awareness.

You’ll recall it was not that long ago (Christmas day, 2009) that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly attempted to blow up a Detroit-bound jetliner. It was after this that the TSA announced they would be implementing these nude scanners across the board. Never mind that there is a decent amount of evidence that raises a lot of suspicions about this entire episode, or that these nude body scanners likely would not have caught the underwear bomber to begin with.

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