Posts Tagged ‘preventive detention’

The politics of the permanent emergency state

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 12:04 pm by

Cynics notwithstanding, there are and have always been a panoply of differences between liberal-progressive presidents and their right-wing conservative counterparts. When it comes to economics and social issues those differences are substantive, and often profound.

But David Unger, a New York Times editorial writer, finds in a new book that every modern US president, from FDR to Ronald Reagan, Ike to Clinton, JFK to George Bush and Richard Nixon to Barack Obama, with nary an exception, has shared one quality: the reflexive invoking of a vaguely defined permanent emergency state to justify the suspension of civil liberties.

In the book titled appropriately The Emergency State (reviewed by Bruce Ramsey in the Seattle Times), Unger provides the most comprehensive history yet of the shadowy American Emergency State.


News Digest 1/19/12

Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 5:00 pm by

News Digest 1/17/12

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 5:00 pm by

Constitution in Crisis :: BORDC’s January Newsletter

Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 12:15 pm by

NDAA authorizes military detention without trial: Where do we go from here?


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News Digest 1/13/12

Friday, January 13, 2012 at 5:00 pm by

News Digest 1/12/12

Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 5:00 pm by

Cities across the country participate in day of action on Guantánamo anniversary

Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 2:27 pm by

Yesterday, January 11, 2012, marked 10 years since President George W. Bush opened the Guantánamo Bay detention center. A coalition of civil rights groups declared the anniversary a day of action, and cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Dallas, and Miami participated.

In Washington, DC, more than 700 people marched from the White House to the Supreme Court, many wearing orange jumpsuits and black hoods reminiscent of the prison’s uniforms.

In San Francisco, a line of similarly dressed protestors stretched out in front of that city’s federal building, with signs reading “No Guantanamo, No Torture, No Excuses,” and “The America I believe in would close Guantánamo Bay now!”

And in Dallas, protestors met at Rosa Parks Plaza, standing alongside a monument bearing a quote by Martin Luther King Jr.

News Digest 1/4/12

Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm by

Shahid Buttar explains the NDAA

Friday, December 23, 2011 at 11:21 am by

Last week, Congress overwhelmingly passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and sent it to President Obama’s desk. However, as readers of this blog well know, the NDAA isn’t as cut and dried as it seems. Hidden beneath funding for the military is a provision that could allow the indefinite detention of American citizens.

Introduced by Senators Carl Levin and John McCain, the NDAA could be used to indefinitely detain Americans accused of a “belligerent act”—a definition so vague it could easily be applied to nearly any activist expressing dissent against the government.

This bill “could be the nail in the coffin of democracy,” as Bill of Rights Defense Committee Executive Director Shahid Buttar stated in a recent interview with KPFA’s Flashpoints radio.

Shahid ButtarShahid has made a number of appearances on radio and television programs in recent weeks to explain the jeopardy this bill creates for the Constitution and the American people.

“Lots of people who have never been involved in any terrorism get accused of involvement of terror offenses all the time, particularly First Amendment activists on both sides of the political aisle,” Buttar said in an interview with conservative radio host Shad Olson.

Olson and Buttar agreed that this was a bipartisan issue that concerns “anyone who calls themselves an American,” whether they be a Tea Partier or an Occupier.

“If military detention is optional,” he said to Uprising Radio, “your right to trial is not much of a right. It can be taken by executive discretion. ”

Looking at laws similar to the NDAA that have passed in other countries, Buttar told Flashpoints, “these are the kind of legal authorities that enable police states in other countries all over the world, many of which were democracies before they took on those laws.”

Buttar also pointed out the similarities between the NDAA and the PATRIOT Act, passed ten years ago this past September.

This is very similar to the PATRIOT Act in the form of a very deeply abusive act passing Congress in the figurative dead of night. But this is much, much worse than the PATRIOT Act. The PATRIOT Act only entailed the ability to spy on people. This bill gives the government the ability to lock people up and throw away the key. It is the fundamental erosion of some very deep-seated rights and liberties.

Americans need to worry about not only their freedoms, but also their safety as the secretary of defense, FBI director, and the director of national intelligence all oppose the provisions, citing a limitation on investigations and misplacement of power in the military.

“It not only offends civil rights but it really takes a hatchet to our nation’s counterterrorism efforts because the FBI then loses any opportunity to use its investigative powers,” Buttar explained on Flashpoints.

“The Department of Defense doesn’t know how to proceed in domestic investigation; that’s not what it does,” he continued. “We need to let soldiers be soldiers and police be police.”

President Obama has until December 26 to veto the NDAA or sign it into law. Join our grassroots effort to demand a veto by letting the president know We the People are against the NDAA.

To hear Shahid explain the threat the NDAA poses to our rights, check out the recent radio appearances in BORDC’s press archive.

News Digest 12/22/11

Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 5:00 pm by