5 by 5, sir. Clear as a bell.

Until now I had ventured nothing but snark 1 regarding the company of buffoons, dunces and oafs capering about the extreme edges of the 2012 election circus.

Yesterday, however, Attorney General Eric Holder quietly pointed out the flamboyantly pink elephant promenading about the center ring and changed the tenor of the carnival.

Unless there are significant changes in the current administration, I won’t be voting for President Obama next year. I will, in fact, actively work against the President’s reelection.

President Obama’s ongoing support of the 2008 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act has long been a thorn in the side of his supporters. And when the administration again defended the Act before the 2nd U.S. Appeals court, arguing the plaintiffs 2 had no standing as they could not prove harm (rejected by the court as surely as Baby Davis once got rejected by a rim), many of us were done – the man we voted into office had obviously been scared/bullied into supporting an overtly un-American law, justifying his stance with the same specious war on terrorism reasoning The Bush regime once proffered.

Well, Eric Holder put paid to that crap yesterday.

The DOJ, the FBI and DEA foiled a rather outrageous terrorist plot using nothing but standard investigative techniques, the normal judicial court system and same rule of law that (while imperfect) applies equally to everyone in this country, thereby nullifying each and every sanctimonious claim by every puffed up piece of shit in Congress demanding more and more power over our lives in order to “protect us.”

Hell, you’ll notice that even the Underwear Bomber was tried in open court. In fact, live tweets during the brief trial by any number of news organizations inexplicably failed to appreciably damage the republic.

Yet not only does the Obama administration insist of defending FISA, to the point of probably invoking the nuclear option – state secrets, but Congress is trying to outdo it.

The Big Money Club Senate is considering controversial detainee provisions in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would remove civilian courts and law enforcement from counterterrorism, loading the onus on the military.

Which has better sense, thank you very much, and doesn’t want the job.

Fortunately certain members of Congress realize they’re overreaching. When the U.S. House passed a different version of the NDAA earlier this year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid singled out three provisions with which he, Senate colleagues and (surprisingly) the White House are concerned: authorization of indefinite detention in Section 1031, the requirement for mandatory military custody of terrorism suspects in Section 1032, and the stringent restrictions on transfer of detainees in Section 1033.

Former FBI Director William S. Sessions; Abner Mikva, who served as chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C.; and John J. Gibbons who served as chief judge of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, explained in the Chicago Tribune –

 “Legislation now making its way through Congress would seek to over-militarize America’s counter-terrorism efforts, effectively making the U.S. military the judge, jury and jailer of terrorism suspects, to the exclusion of the FBI and local and state law enforcement agencies… Not only would such an effort ignore 200 years of legal precedent, it would fly in the face of common sense.”

Further:

“The bill in question, the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, would codify methods such as indefinite detention without charge and mandatory military detention, and make them applicable to virtually anyone picked up in anti-terrorism efforts – including U.S. citizens – anywhere in the world, including on U.S. soil… Stripping local law enforcement and the FBI of the ability to arrest and gather intelligence from terrorism suspects and limiting our trial options is counterintuitive and could pose a genuine threat to our national security. … Further restricting the tools at our disposal is not in the best interest of our national security.”

I think Daphne Eviatar sums up the bill best when she writes

“In addition, this defense authorization bill marks the first time since the McCarthy era that Congress has sought to create a system of military detention without charge or trial — including U.S. citizens arrested on U.S. soil.”

That Congress has outdone themselves in dangerous stupidity is no surprise – they’re in session, right?

But what is beyond disappointment is the Obama Administration’s meek silence on the issue, combined with their contiued defense of the 2008 FISA law. Neither stance credits  the President or our country.

Unless President Obama himself actively works to and manages to defeat this configuration of NDAA, I will be casting my vote elsewhere next fall.

British Columbia comes to mind.

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Show 2 footnotes

  1. Well and thoroughly deserved, I’d submit.
  2. Global Fund for Women, Global Rights, Human Rights Watch, International Criminal Defense Attorneys Association, The Nation magazine, PEN American Center, Service Employees International Union, et alis.

6 Replies to “5 by 5, sir. Clear as a bell.”

  1. Reid is an enemy to Freedom and the American People. He’s nothing more than a lackey for Obamas failed policies. I would be ashamed to admit that I was from Arizona if he were my Senator.

  2. What do the right-wing thugs in Washington take us for? This whole story smells of a C.I.A. put-up job. They used the F.B.I. and the D.E.A. to falsify evidence to make this story appear real. Now we’re going to hear a lot of right-wing idiots on Fox News (the Pravda of the Republican Party) holla for another useless and unnessary war. All just to get our minds off of the state of the national economy and continue feeding the military-industrial complex!!!

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