You are hereCivil Rights

Civil Rights

Occupied Territory

From HERE:

We're all terrorists now-- a discussion, with David Swanson, of the NDAA (National Defense Appropriations Act)--signed into law on New Year's Eve... It certifies President Barack Obama's secret powers of torture, indefinite detention without trial and the ability to wage perpetual war everywhere--including our own country!

Say goodbye to the Constitution, it's now merely a historical document. The country is still ours though--time to take it back.

NDAA and SOPA on Connect the Dots

Monday morning at 7 PT on Lila Garrett’s CONNECT THE DOTS we’ll review the old year  and prioritize the new with:
 DAVID SWANSON covering the  NDAA (Nat’l. Defense Authorization Act) which has been signed into law.  It gives the President absolute power over anyone he accuses of terrorism, including Americans.  No formal charge is mandated, and there is no right to trial. There goes the two premises on which our justice system is based… presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial.  And while our democracy struggles to survive this assault…..
DAVID SEGAL Exec Director of “Demand Progress”  covers SOPA (
Stop Online Piracy Act HR 3261) an Internet piracy bill presumably to protect copyright for the entertainment business.  But it has the potential to severely censor the Internet. It needs mass phone calls to Congress to be stopped.  
GAR ALPEROWITZ discusses his new book, AMERICA BEYOND CAPITALISM.   Where are we headed in 2012?  Monday morning at 7 on CONNECT THE DOTS.

Lila Garrett (Host of CONNECT THE DOTS)
KPFK 90.7 FM in LA;  98.7 Santa Barbara: 93.7 San Diego
Airs Mondays from 7AM to 8AM.
To pod cast or download the broadcast just use this link:
Each show is on line for three months.

Let Me Be Clear

Let me be clear.

Obama has always claimed the power to wage war on anyone anywhere, to search, seize, imprison, rendition, torture, or murder anyone.  He has in fact openly murdered US citizens, among many other human beings.

Obama asked Congress to legislate the power for U.S. presidents to imprison anyone without any trial or any legal-looking process whatsoever, and to not make an exception for U.S. citizens.

Obama came close to getting what he wanted. 

He got the power to imprison without trial.

Audio: Lila Garrett and David Swanson on the National Defense Authorization Act

Here's audio of Lila Garrett's KPFK show "Connect the Dots" on the NDAA and Section 1031 thereof: LISTEN.


Rep. Robert Hurt Just Sent Me a Letter

When a group of us citizens visited Rep. Hurt's Charlottesville office on Thursday, his staff said there was a press release on his website already explaining his vote against the National Defense Authorization Act. There wasn't.

I thanked Hurt on his FaceBook page, and he deleted the thank you.

It is likely no press release was sent to the press because there has been no story printed or reported anywhere, to my knowledge, outside of my commentary on Coy Barefoot's radio show.

Sure, for the first time in modern memory, a Fifth District Congress Member has voted against a "Defense" bill, and he's done so because it savages the Bill of Rights. But those facts do not override the supreme Commandment of Journalism, namely: Thou Shalt Not Report on Government Until Goverment Tells You What to Report in a Handy Press Release.

On the other hand, Hurt's DC office told me on the phone, and his staff in Charlottesville told me in person, that he voted No because of his opposition to the measure allowing eternal imprisonment without trial. And now he has said the same in a letter I just received:

"After studying the controversial provisions and after hearing from many in the Fifth District, I concluded that the detainee provisions in the bill did not provide clear and unambiguous protection of the constitutional rights of American citizens. For this reason, I opposed the bill on final passage."

The bill easily passed. It is unlikely Hurt received much flak from the Republican Party for this vote. But he would if he were to publicly demand a veto. He would if he were to introduce legislation similar to Senator Feinstein's excluding US legal residents from the newly codified abuses. And he certainly would if he were to expand that remedy to protect the rights of the other 95% of humanity.

But why would Hurt take any further steps when nobody even knows he took this one?

Set Your Doomsday Clock to 11:51

The National Defense Authorization Act is not a leap from democracy to tyranny, but it is another major step on a steady and accelerating decade-long march toward a police state. The doomsday clock of our republic just got noticeably closer to midnight, and the fact that almost nobody knows it, simply moves that fatal minute-hand a bit further still.

Protest Life-Imprisonment Without Charge or Trial: Thursday, December 15, Noon, Robert Hurt's Charlottesville Office

The National Defense Authorization Act, if it becomes law, will allow the U.S. president and military to lock you or anyone else up indefinitely without charge or trial. President Obama had threatened to veto, because he wanted even more power than that. He wanted the power to imprison or murder anyone with or without the military. The conference committee has modified the bill to accomodate him. Now the bill goes to a final vote in the House and Senate, and then to the President for a signature, a veto, or -- as long as we're trashing the Constitution anyway -- a possible law-altering signing statement.

This bill is a direct assault on the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth amendments. That's the majority of our Bill of Rights. Thursday, December 15th is Bill of Rights Day. Here's how we can celebrate:

Be at Congressman Hurt's office at noon to demand that he vote "No" (or to protest if he has already voted "Yes" by then).

This is part of a national effort and there is more information available at

Rep. Robert Hurt's Office

686 Berkmar Circle

Charlottesville, VA 22901

Phone: 434-973-9631 Fax: 434-973-9635

Phone for DC office: 202-225-4711

Imprisoning of Japanese Americans and the New Defense Authorization Act

I'm editing a book in which one of the contributors writes:

In 1971, Congress passed the Anti-Detention Act, 18 U.S.C. § 4001(a), which states that "no person shall be imprisoned or otherwise detained by the United States except pursuant to an Act of Congress." Fred Koramatsu, who had brought the unsuccessful case before the Supreme Court, was eventually awarded the Medal of Honor. Congress apologized and provided for limited reparations for this heinous act.

Presumably this would be trashed by the bill now before the conference committee and soon headed to the President for a signature or veto. 

The criminal abuse of Japanese Americans for which Congress had to apologize and pay reparations, and for which there is a misleadingly pro-war looking memorial hidden between the U.S. Capitol and Union Station, will now be sanctioned by the current Congress/President. 

Can you feel the pride?

Are you fired up?

The more things CHANGE . . .