US Congress voted on and passed an oppressive form of legislation that could allow the US Army to be deployed against US citizens depending on the whim of an administration.
A controversial and potentially grievous act has been secretly proposed, voted on, and approved by the US Senate. According to the National Defense Authorization Act, a segment of that legislation S.1867 authored by John McCain and Carl Levin is disconcerting. For the first time in US history an authorization has been sought to unleash the US Army upon the civilian population of the zone interior of the United States. Not by an act of emergency, but by the simple whim of the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense should they so determine that Al Qaeda or Taliban operatives are active among US Citizens and will thus be apprehended, detained indefinitely, and held without legal representation.
In items 1031 and 1032 of S.1867 it states that this new application of military authority within the domestic realm of America will only be applied to those illegal alien, noncitizen residents, and those who are complicit with elements of terrorist organizations that have undertaken acts of aggression against the US and its allies since the 911 tragedy in 2001.
Deadly Potential Fascism
So, where’s the controversy? Let’s examine more closely. Just weeks before another measure preceded S.1867 which was S.1253. This previous version drafted before sought the same military authorization as S.1867, but did not exclude American citizens expressly from the implications of a US Army beset upon the civilian populace under the aegis of suppressing terrorism within our very own borders. As well, unlike S.1867 which reiterated that the new authorization would not in anyway, shape, or form affect the rights of American citizens or previous laws that were already in place, S. 1253 failed to make such exceptions clear.
In a letter from the ACLU addressed to Chairman Leahy and Senator Grassley, concerns that many innocent American citizens could be detained indefinitely under the provisions of S.1253, amendments were made and S.1867 was drafted.
An Unsavory History
Does this really make NDAA S.1867 less sinister? Just think of what the implications of the Patriot Act were. Our emails, phone calls, and electronically traced whereabouts are monitored by the NSA and various other intelligence agencies. The Orwellian “Big Brother” police state is now complete though it has been implemented with subtlety.
Now S.1867 authorizes militarization of the domestic territorial region of America; the states themselves! Are there any precedents for the defiance of the long standing Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 which precluded the use of the US Army in any instances of civilian domestic unrest that required government level involvement? Yes. On several occasions throughout US history by executive order of the President of the United States, the US Army has indeed acted against American citizens. Too numerous to mention, I will limit my examples to 2 specific events in which the US Army was ordered to march on its own people.