Jan 062012
 

 

On December 31st, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). A lot has been said and written about this “indefinite detention” act and whether it applies to Americans on American soil. I’m not going to add to that debate. I have read various opinions concerning this bill ranging from “due process is dead” to “no big deal, they’re just formalizing what the government has been doing since 9/11” and I find myself more on the side of the “due process is dead” crowd.

I have to admit, however,  that I didn’t see this coming. I have been seriously concerned about the increasingly tyrannical turn that the American government has taken since 9/11 and have written several posts about it. But this act, coupled with previous ones, and with  judicial rulings on limits (or not) to government surveillance techniques and several proposed new laws (for example, SPOA and PIPA), seem to have moved me squarely into the tin-foil hat, conspiracy nut crowd.

What I see coming together is a large expansion of government power into what could ultimately move toward a totalitarian regime. Consider some of the following:

The 9/11 attack and the passage of the Patriot Act lead to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. (Does it bother anyone else that the name “Homeland” sounds so much like “Fatherland” that other notorious regimes used to refer to their country?) The DHS gathered together many smaller agencies under one banner, allowing more effective control by a smaller group of people.

In addition to existing agencies, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was also created under DHS. Notice that TSA is not named the “Aviation Security Administration”. On its website, the TSA says that has “responsibility for security for all modes of transportation” (emphasis mine). After making commercial airplane travel a completely miserable experience, TSA VIPR (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response) teams have now moved on to other modes of transportation.The VIPR teams have expanded to trains (including at least one incident where passengers were searched after completing their journey and leaving the train) and buses. VIPR teams have also been conducting truck searches and, in  November of 2011, conducted a pilot program in Tennessee. This pilot program was not based on any specific threat but was conducted to provide “a visible deterrence and detection security presence across Tennessee.” Other states are following.

Consider also the case with another part of DHS, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the US Border Patrol. ICE has partnered with local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws, often resulting in what critics claim are instances of racial profiling. This cooperation has lead to a combining of federal and local law enforcement in a way not seen before.

The Border Patrol, on the other hand, has declared the border inspection zone with which they are concerned to include from the nation’s borders to 100 miles inland. In some cases, the Border Patrol will even expand that zone if the area in question is the “functional equivalent” of a border. Customs may also “confiscate and examine” any electronic devices a traveler may have when he or she crosses the border. There is no necessity for probable cause and they (Customs) can look for evidence of any possible crime. They can examine and copy the hard drive contents.

Something that few people took notice of was the John Warner Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007, signed by President Bush on October 17, 2006, which gives the president the power to employ the armed forces to restore public order in any state of the United States. This further weakens the Posse Comitatus Act (pass by Congress on June 16, 1878) which prohibits most members of the federal uniformed services from exercising state law enforcement powers that maintain “law and order” on non-federal property. It allows the president to, for example, use the National Guard from state A to work in state B, in law enforcement, regardless of the wishes of the respective state governors (to whom the National Guard ostensibly reports).

And now, since NDAA has declared the whole world a war zone, anyone can be declared an enemy combatant and held without charges or access to a lawyer indefinitely. (Until the war is over? When will the “War on Terror” be over? How long has the “War on Drugs” been going on?)

So here’s what I missed. With the Patriot Act, legalized unfettered government surveillance, the ability to stop, search and possibly arrest you without charges, control over travel (by whatever means), and, with SOPA and PIPA, control over the internet worthy of a country such as Iran or China, the government is perfectly positioned to stop any potential uprising by an angered populace. No Jeffersonian revolution for the US.

I sure hope I’m a hopelessly out-of-touch conspiracy nut, because I fear for our democracy.

EDIT: 01/08/2012—Added section on the Posse Comitatus Act and the legislation which made that act moot.

 Posted by at 5:45 pm

  9 Responses to “Game over man!”

  1. You’ve hit the nail on the head!

    Now, why would the government of a free citizenry want such control? I posit that it’s because of the looting of the economy. Now that people have had their pensions stolen by banksters (with the aid of policy makers), they’re gonna be pretty angry. Worse still, they’re angry and have a (dwindling) right to own arms.

    But, the shit will really hit the fan when, partly due to looting of the national coffers (and malfeasance on a global scale), the American economy tanks and food shortages start. This is what’s on the way and this is exactly what all of these steps have been for. Hungry people are a problem (look to Rome for examples). Hungry, armed people and a bigger problem. So, as long as you can keep everyone strapped down, you might have a chance to maintain your high and mighty lifestyle bought on the nickels of the masses.

    Training has been going on for soon to come food riots for a few years now…

    “Economic Wargame” scenarios have been going on at the Pentagon for some time now. “The Shadow Market” is a good book about this…

    This oligarchy thinks longterm. They plan for the end game.

    Unfortunately none of this has to do with aliens and tin hats. Too bad. That would be easier to dismiss as conspiracy theory!

  2. This is the slippery slope the US is on. I sent this blog post to a friend of mine who promptly sent me a link to an interview with Doug Casey.

    The first Q & A at that interview link is the most poignant. In Germany during the years of 1933-1945, the German people didn’t think anything catastrophic was happening. It’s because of the baby-steps it took to get to being in real trouble.

    It’s the classic case of a small bite here, a small bite there, and suddenly you find the whole cake is gone.

    Our cake has been thoroughly nibbled away. What will we do once we find it’s gone?

    • Off topic but very ineretsting template. Would you mind giving me name of template ?

      • It’s a WordPress Theme named Suffusion 3.9.6

      • People, wake up before it gets worse.The Government is ticaheng you to blindly do whatever they tell you. They’re not profiling strangers, they’re shaking down citizens. America, America, what have you done you have elected the very people that are setting us up to fall. BHO was groomed for this time, his puppet-master is George Soros, Pres. Obama’s czars are stripping the greatness from our country and you are cheering them on; YOU ARE THE TRAITORS!!!

  3. Dammit..!
    With the amount of issues around the world right now, through political problems towards the overall economy, I actually have no idea which one to be concerned far more. All of them are troubled myself out and about! Who in order to election intended for, how to secure my personal funds, am i going to maintain my own task, will there be war?

  4. Most of the responses on this web site dont make sense.

  5. This is already hpaneping people. You may have noticed secret checkpoints in various cities throughout the country this is part of the TSA’s pet project, codenamed Project VIPER. The TSA are working with local authorities in setting up random checkpoints. It has already spread outside the airports, as this video demonstrates.We MUST resist. The TSA cannot imprison all of us.

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