At some point a sideshow to a story becomes so painfully obvious that it becomes the story, and this now should be: Why is the media taking such pains to knowingly and falsely claim that the new power of the military to detain and imprison people without charge or trial, for life, does not include US citizens?  We know what happened. The Bill of Rights has been overturned. And enough has been written on the deceptive language first warned of by Congressman Justin Amash, when he told The Grand Rapids Press that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was "carefully crafted to mislead the public," for newspaper editors to know better.

The AP reported this Wednesday when the House passed the final House-Senate Conference Committee version of the NDAA:

"Specifically, the bill would require that the military take custody of a suspect deemed to be a member of al-Qaida or its affiliates and who is involved in plotting or committing attacks on the United States. There is an exemption for U.S. citizens."

As has been pointed out repeatedly by civil libertarians, the cunning language is technically correct, because "require" is different than "allow," but although the bill does not "require" the executive branch to place American citizens in military detention without charge or trial for life, it does indeed "allow" it to do so.

Although Sections 1031 and 1032 were renumbered 1021 and 1022 in the Conference Committee (makes it harder to Google) the substance is still intact. The US military can bust down your door at any time, given the proper go ahead by the executive branch, take you away, never charge you with a crime, never give you a trial, and lock you up, torture you, or even kill you. There is a bit of new razzle-dazzle in the new Section 1021 language now stating:

"Nothing in this section shall 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."

The problem is that "existing law," as the traitor occupying the senate seat for the Great State of South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, reiterated, is the Fourth Circuit Appeals Court ruling in Padilla v. Rumsfeld, which temporarily upheld Bush's authority to hold American citizen Jose Padilla without charge or trial, as an "enemy combatant," even though he was arrested on US soil with the full rights of an American-born citizen. 

- Advertisement -

Judge Michael Luttig in that decision fully expected the question to go before the Supreme Court, before Bush pulled a fast one and said suddenly that Padilla could have a civilian trial after being held in isolation and tortured for 3 1/2 years. That made Luttig go ballistic. Now he was the last guy to have overturned the Bill of Rights.

In a Washington Post report "Judge Luttig Slams Bush Administration in Padilla Case" the Post (reposted in the Legal Reader) said:    

"The appeals court opinion reflected a tone of anger that is rare for a federal court addressing the United States government, particularly in a matter of presidential authority."

A Stanford Law School website notes:

"Luttig said the government's actions created the appearance 'that the government may be attempting to avoid' Supreme Court review in a matter of 'especial national importance.'"

So bottom line, yes, this still means you.

Stephen Lendman at points out a number of other articles that are part of the media disinformation campaign, in "Obama Approves Draconian Police State Law." A Washington Post editorial said that the final bill passed:

- Advertisement -

" longer contain[s] some of the most odious measures contained in earlier drafts. Those would have required military detention for both foreign nationals and U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism activities....The new approach is designed to limit military detention to foreign al-Qaeda operatives..."

Again, the new bill doesn't require the military detention of Americans, but absolutely allows it. The most "odious measures" are still in.

The Post also invoked the disingenuous "require" versus "allow" spin when it reported after the House approved of the Conference Committee compromise bill:

"The White House had threatened to veto an earlier version of the measure, arguing that it would have required the military, rather than civilian law enforcement, to detain terrorism suspects apprehended on American soil."

But Obama's problem wasn't military involvement in American arrests. It was that the law would have required it for "suspects" he had deemed "associated" with terrorism, rather than leaving it to the president's discretion.

What is becoming more worrisome than what Anonymous calls this "outright declaration of WAR against the American People," is the fact that the Congress, the president, and their media minions are working so hard to conceal it. If you need to overthrow the Constitution in order to fight terrorists, why not just say so? Why the guilty, criminal frame of mind? Why the contortions of language which make it seem that the bill does everything but what it actually does?

In a New York Times Op-Ed, two retired four-star marine generals (Charles Krulak and Joseph Hoar) write: