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http://vimeo.com/33715315 Last Saturday, a contingent of Occupy LA posted up at the busy tourist intersection of Hollywood & Highland to inform passersby of what may be the most significant eradication of an individual's constitutional rights in my lifetime.
As of this writing, John McCain's "little ray of sunshine", also known as the National Defense Authorization Act, has passed the House 283-136, bearing sufficient enough revisions for the Obama Administration's "senior advisers" to withdraw a veto threat. There are conflicting claims that the controversial statute permitting the indefinite detention of US citizens was removed, but NPR and the Washington Post have reported the statute's language has simply been made vaguer rather than eliminated outright. From the Post:
The provision includes a Senate-passed compromise that says nothing in the legislation may be “construed 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.”
Sounds promising, right? Except that the AUMF, passed shortly after 9/11, already grants the US Military the authority to indefinitely detain US citizens accused of terrorism. So by not affecting "existing law", they're simply codifying what has already been on the books, and been defended by the Bush and Obama administrations, for ten years. At the same time, the 2012 NDAA goes out of its way to include the United States as a battlefield in the War on Terror, effectively increasing the likelihood that this provision could be abused in the event of civil disorder (*cough* Occupy *cough*) or an economic collapse (lookin' at you, European sovereign debt crisis!)
None of this has escaped the attention of us Occupiers, who are already being labeled by certain Fox News pundits and police departments as "radical terrorists". Keep your eyes open for Obama's signature once this monstrosity comes out of committee, and don't bother turning on CNN to hear about it - cause, uh, y'know, Newt Gingrich!
- David Romanski