It remains the position of many conservatives and, I suspect, the Conservative Forum of Hawaii, that the NDIA merely codifies the ability of the US to defend against terrorism on American soil. That isn't true. What it actually does is move the responsibility for counterterrorism or SUSPECTED POTENTIAL TERRORISM, or even SUSPECTED SUPPORT OF POTENTIAL TERRORISTS away from the law enforcement community and hands it to the military, without oversight, and without any involvement of the due process provided to American citizens by the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
This bill was crafted by Republicans and signed into law by a Democrat. It appeared in an election year for several reasons. No one wants to be seen as 'weak on terrorism', so as long as the facade exists that this law somehow 'protects' us against the 100 or so illiterate al Qaeda fighters still wandering around in Afghanistan, it must be a good thing. But we have our military forces deployed in Afghanistan and if they cannot contain the threat – which they can't even find – because everyone in an occupied country is a potential fighter – it's difficult to explain how the forces being re-deployed from bases around the world back to American soil can contain a nebulous threat here by detaining people, including American citizens on American soil indefinitely without charging them with a crime.
The definitions used in this law are so ill-defined that a military officer could simply decide that anyone, anywhere, is supporting a terrorist organization by doing ANYTHING. For instance, shutting down the Port of Oakland because the Oakland Gestapo shot a Former Combat Marine who was not in any way a threat, or arrested a bunch of reporters who were not involved in the protests at all. At that point, the rights of citizenship simply go out the window and one person or thousands of persons can be 'disappeared' without any reason, without any rights, and without any recourse.
This is not some thought experiment which conservatives can use to accuse liberals of being socialists. This is an actual law, now in effect, written by conservative Republicans, which removes the rights of Americans to be protected under the Constitution, and removes our Constitutional guarantee to the ABSOLUTE right not to be attacked or occupied by the American military on American soil.
Because America has been legally defined as a 'BATTLEFIELD', the US military has begun to conduct joint urban warfare exercises with US police departments in an effort to integrate their joint strike capabilities IN AMERICA. No doubt all the fanatical conservatives and pansy liberals believe that's just dandy, and that the filthy hippies and socialists and liberals who are aligned with the Occupy movement – and the reporters which dare to report on these atrocities deserve to be 'disappeared'. But they cannot think clearly and cannot follow the reasoning. BECAUSE the President signed it into law, after he obtained the stipulation that HE had the right to order such detention – instead of simply vetoing it until that provision had been removed, he was covering his ass legally. He would do that ONLY, and I repeat, ONLY, if it has already happened AND the possibility exists that the facts will become known at sometime in the future. He just pardoned himself and, retroactively, Bush and Cheney. Why does no one 'get' it? This is already happening. Now. Today.
The militarization of law enforcement in America is not a good thing at all and it is a tiny step from shooting protesters in the streets of Oakland to 'disappearing' people who dare to disagree with…say…a County Council decision. By saying that class warfare is fine as long as it isn't against MY class, people are making a fundamental mistake. By saying that military can decide who can be detained – without ever having been in the military, people are agreeing that the government can be run on trust – like the banks – and that it can police itself without being concerned with the Constitution; which, as Dubya Bush famously said, is “Only a Goddamn piece of paper”.
This law will not lead to a smaller government, less taxes, more safety, or more freedom. It will lead, and already HAS lead to the US military assuming the role of civilian law enforcement, except without any civilian (read Constitutional) oversight. And the prevention of that very occurrence is the ENTIRE reason for the SECOND AMENDMENT. IT EXISTS SECOND TO PREVENT THE GOVERNMENT FROM FORGETTING THE FIRST AMENDMENT! It isn't there by mistake.
The Constitution, with the Bill of Rights, are the foundation of our republic. They codify all the rights we have – or HAD. They, and NOTHING ELSE are the basis and touchstone for EVERY ONE OF OUR LAWS. And they have just been repealed. Everyone in America now lives, legally and factually, on a declared BATTLEFIELD. Anyone who thinks the combatants are not American is insane.
The justice department will continue to use the TSA to cower citizens. It will continue to ignore excesses by police departments against Constitutional legal protests asking for redresses of grievances. In fact, those peaceful protests will be oppressed more and more brutally. Justice will continue with programs like Fast and Furious and, when they are caught, will plead the Fifth Amendment and be promoted. When they aren't caught, they will make a stronger and stronger public case against private firearm ownership until they start sending the military 'round to confiscate all the registered firearms.
Make no mistake. The only reason we have firearms is because the government is afraid to take them away all at once. They are chipping at it slowly but, as with everything else, they have not thought it through. You do not remove the firearms from people who live on a declared battlefield or you condemn them to certain death or slavery. By actually codifying in law that America is a 'battlefield' the government has MANDATED to every American that the police cannot protect you and the military might not be patrolling your neighborhood today; that a horde of terrorists, maybe dressed as policemen, may appear at any time; and that every American is now, OFFICIALLY, a member of the federal militia and has a duty to be armed and prepared to defend themselves at any time and place. You have just been drafted into the war on terrorism.
Make no mistake. The REPUBLICANS wrote this law and by doing so they insured that Obama, a thoroughly useless and ineffective President, will get four more years. Place your bets, folks. A thousand dollar minimum. Obama is now two-to-one. I hold the money, but you know where I live and that I pay my debts. I'll tell you up front that as of today it's a sucker bet and no one will take it.
Locally, if the crafters of the Consent of the Governed Act had actually believed they could get it passed when they proposed it with great fanfare in March of 2010, they would have taken my wager, offered in writing, that they couldn't even get it on the ballot in 2012 much less get it passed. I also mentioned that It would be Newt in 2012, not Sarah. Instead, I heard “Just wait until 2012! You'll see! ” Yeah. I do see. I see the future. That's why no one ever takes my wagers. And that's why some of my blog entries get 15,000 hits.