President Obama has made it clear that it is okay to kill Americans without a judge or jury and congress passed a law, NDAA, which allows people to be arrested and imprisoned indefinitely without legal representation.
This is the tip of a spear. It has opened a wound in the constitutional protections of Americans that will deepen, become infected and will continue to expand its manifestation through local police and in other nations.
We don't know; Killing
We don't know how many Americans have been killed based on Obama's orders. We don't know if Obama has delegated the authority to kill independently to other people or organizations. Are there people in the CIA who are now authorized to kill? Are there private organizations, like the company that used to be called Blackwater, which have been authorized to kill?
We don't know: Disappeared
The Obama administration and it's Eric Holder led Justice Department fought to keep the NDAA mightily. Some have speculated that they fought that hard because they've already been engaging in the actions the NDAA
permits. The people in congress who supported the parts of the NDAA which authorizes the indefinite detention of American citizens, on American soil, claimed, according to Wikipedia
, that "Authorization for Use of Military Force
(AUMF) already grants presidential authority for indefinite detention."
Who knows how many people are already rotting in secret prisons?
If the president and USA does it...
The thing is, when the USA does something, it sets the precedent for other nations to do the same thing, and worse. Same thing goes inside the US. We have a burgeoning police state and when the president does something he sets the precedent and lowers the bar for other authoritarians-- especially the police.
And yes, we are seeing many, many extrajudicial killings, often associated with the use of the free retired military equipment that Obama has mandated to be given to police departments. The police put on, carry and ride their soldier gear , engage in a SWAT action and someone ends up getting killed, too often, an innocent person who happened to be at the wrong address the swat team violently attacked.
And yes, we are seeing many imprisonments. There are many places where people are being arrested on bogus or illegitimate charges, then given fines they can't afford and then put in jail-- debtors prisons that are privatedly operated. And the probation and processing is also privatized, forcing the victims of this bogus justice system to pay for their parole officers.
When a brutal fascist authoritarian law is put out there, by legislation or executive decree, the ripples it produces can be massive. The president may order the killing of two or three Americans and hundreds or thousands of others. He may authorize agencies to secretly detain a person or a few people indefinitely. But then the slippery slope leads to people being detained without the president even knowing-- for reasons of "plausible deniability." When the president can do it, every petty, two-bit judge, sherriff, town cop, magistrate and courthouse clerk starts thinking it's okay to push the limits.
And in other nations, it can be even worse. The USA, under the last 50 years of presidents have eroded the integrity and protections of the constitution. That's why the US constition, which used to be the one that was most copied by other nations, is no longer the one that's copied. Now the constitutions of Canada, South Africa and other nations are copied. What nations copy from the US now is its brutality, it's violations of basic values of justice and freedom. It is getting worse. It will continue to get worse unless we do something about it.
Sure, you can blame corporations and the legislators they buy. You can blame the mainstream media that protect the broken system. But it is the people of the USA who are putting up with this. It is the people of the US who are passively accepting the erosion of the precious rights of America. I haven't even spoken about the erosion of privacy and the erosion of decent jobs caused by globalization, automation and outsourcing. The American people are living under the false assumption that they are in control of their democracy. It doesn't work that way anymore. A lot of things don't work like they used to.
Rob Kall is executive editor, publisher and website architect of OpEdNews.com, Host of the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show (WNJC 1360 AM), and publisher of Storycon.org, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor . He is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com
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Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.
With his experience as architect and founder of a technorati top 100 blog, he is also a new media / social media consultant and trainer for corporations, non-profits, entrepreneurs and authors.
Rob is a frequent Speaker on the bottom-up revolution, politics, The art, science and power of story, heroes and the hero's journey and Positive Psychology. He is a campaign consultant specializing in tapping the power of stories for issue positioning, stump speeches and debates, and optimizing tapping the power of new media. Watch me speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.
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