Posts Tagged ‘military detentions’

As the second non-Arab American ever indicted on the Patriot Act, I tell you straight up, it can happen to you.

They hit me with secret charges, secret evidence and secret grand jury testimony. They locked me up on Carswell Air Force Base without a Trial or guilty plea.  I was terrified when my demands for a hearing got denied. The military police refused to allow my Uncle, acting as my attorney, to enter Carswell Air Force Base, so I could plan my defense strategy. On the third try, U.S. Marshals were required to flank my Uncle/Attorney at the gates to the base with the Judge on stand by in his courtroom, in order to gain admission to see me.

It was unConstitutional as hell.

They did it to me, regardless of the fact that I love the values of our Country deeply. They did it to me, regardless of the fact that I was dedicated to protecting our society from violence and terrorism. They did it to me, regardless of the fact that I am a passionate activist and fully capable of fighting to defend myself.

I was the first. I will not be the last.  We’ve got to put our country back on track right now.

Or it’s over for all of us.

Dominique de Kevelioc de BailleulBefore It’s News
May 4, 2012

In a riveting interview on TruNews Radio, Wednesday, private investigator Doug Hagmann said high-level, reliable sources told him the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is preparing for “massive civil war” in America.

“We have problems . . . The federal government is preparing for civil uprising,” he added, “so every time you hear about troop movements, every time you hear about movements of military equipment, the militarization of the police, the buying of the ammunition, all of this is . . . they (DHS) are preparing for a massive uprising.”

Hagmann goes on to say that his sources tell him the concerns of the DHS stem from a collapse of the U.S. dollar and the hyperinflation a collapse in the value of the world’s primary reserve currency implies to a nation of 311 million Americans, who, for the significant portion of the population, is armed.

Uprisings in Greece is, indeed, a problem, but an uprising of armed Americans becomes a matter of serious national security, a point addressed in a recent report by the Pentagon and highlighted as a vulnerability and threat to the U.S. during war-game exercises at the Department of Defense last year, according to one of the DoD’s war-game participants, Jim Rickards, author of Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis.

Through his sources, Hagmann confirmed Rickards’ ongoing thesis of a fear of a U.S. dollar collapse at the hands of the Chinese (U.S. treasury bond holders of approximately $1 trillion) and, possibly, the Russians (threatening to launch a gold-backed ruble as an attractive alternative to the U.S. dollar) in retaliation for aggressive U.S. foreign policy initiatives against China’s and Russia’s strategic allies Iran and Syria.

“The one source that we have I’ve known since 1979,” Hagmann continued. “He started out as a patrol officer and currently he is now working for a federal agency under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security; he’s in a position to know what policies are being initiated, what policies are being planned at this point, and he’s telling us right now—look, what you’re seeing is just the tip of the iceberg. We are preparing, we, meaning the government, we are preparing for a massive civil war in this country.”

“There’s no hyperbole here,” he added, echoing Trends Research Institute’s Founder Gerald Celente’s forecast of last year. Celente expects a collapse of the U.S. dollar and riots in America some time this year.

Since Celente’s ‘Civil War’ prediction of last year, executive orders NDAA and National Defense Resources Preparedness were signed into law by President Obama, which are both politically damaging actions taken by a sitting president.

And most recently, requests made by the DHS for the procurement of 450 million rounds of hollow-point ammunition only fuels speculation of an upcoming tragic event expected on American soil.

These major events, as shocking to the American people as they are, have taken place during an election year.

Escalating preparatory activities by the executive branch and DHS throughout the last decade—from the Patriot Act, to countless executive orders drafted to suspend (or strip) American civil liberties “are just the beginning” of the nightmare to come, Hagmann said.

He added, “It’s going to get so much worse toward the election, and I’m not even sure we’re going to have an election in this country. It’s going to be that bad, and this, as well, is coming from my sources. But one source in particular said, ‘look, you don’t understand how bad it is.’ This stuff is real; these people, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), they are ready to fight the American people.”

TruNews Wiles asked Hagmann: who does the DHS expect to fight, in particular? Another North versus South, the Yankees against the Confederates? Hagmann stated the situation is far worse than a struggle between any two factions within the U.S.; it’s an anticipated nationwide emergency event centered on the nation’s currency.

“What they [DHS] are expecting, and again, this is according to my sources, what they’re expecting is the un-sustainability of the American dollar,” Hagmann said. “And we know for a fact that we can no longer service our debt. There’s going to be a period of hyperinflation . . . the dollar will be worthless . . . The economic collapse will be so severe, people won’t be ready for this.”

Source: Full TruNews interview, May 2, 2012.

AlterNet / By Steven Rosenfeld

Obama has expanded and fortified many of the Bush administration’s worst policies.

April 18, 2012 |

When Barack Obama took office, he was the civil liberties communities’ great hope. Obama, a former constitutional law professor, pledged to shutter the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and run a transparent and open government. But he has become a civil libertarian’s nightmare: a supposedly liberal president who instead has expanded and fortified many of the Bush administration’s worst policies, lending bipartisan support for a more intrusive and authoritarian federal government.

It started with the 9/11 attacks. Within a week, Congress, including many liberals, gave the White House blanket authority to wage a war on the terrorists. A month after that, Congress passed the USA Patriot Act, authorizing many anti-terrorism measure including expanded surveillance. By mid-November, the White House ordered creation of military tribunals to try terrorists who were not U.S. citizens.

Bush quickly expanded covert operations, creating a shadow arrest, interrogation and detention system based at Guantanamo that violated international law and evaded domestic oversight. While the Supreme Court eventually ruled that detainees have some rights, the precedent that the Constitution does not restrict how a president conducts an endless war against a stateless enemy was firmly planted. In response, groups like the American Civil Liberties Union proposed reforms the newly elected president could make. What few anticipated was how he would embrace, expand and institutionalize many of Bush’s war on terror excesses.

President Obama now has power that Bush never had. Foremost is he can (and has) order the killing of U.S. citizens abroad who are deemed terrorists. Like Bush, he has asked the Justice Department to draft secret memos authorizing his actions without going before a federal court or disclosing them. Obama has continued indefinite detentions at Gitmo, but also brought the policy ashore by signing the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, which authorizes the military to arrest and indefinitely detain anyone suspected of assisting terrorists, even citizens. That policy, codifying how the Bush treated Jose Padilla, a citizen who was arrested in a bomb plot after landing at a Chicago airport in 2002 and was transferred from civil to military custody, upends the 1878’s Posse Comitatus Act’s ban on domestic military deployment.

Meanwhile, more than a decade after the 9/11 attacks, Washington’s wartime posture has trickled down into many areas of domestic activity—even as some foreign policy experts say the world is a much safer place than it was 20 years ago, as measured by the growth in free-market economies and democratic governments. Domestic law enforcement has been militarized—as most visibly seen by the tactics used against the Occupy protests and also against suspected illegal immigrants, who are treated with brute force and have limited access to judicial review before being deported.

One of Bush’s biggest civil liberties breaches, spying on virtually all Americans via their telecommunications starting in 2003, also has been expanded. Congress authorized the effort in 2006. Two years later, it granted legal immunity to the telecom firms helping Bush—a bill Obama voted for. The National Security Agency is now building its largest data processing center ever, which’s James Bamforth reports will go beyond the public Internet to grab data but also reach password-protected networks. The federal government continues to require that computer makers and big Web sites provide access for domestic surveillance purposes. More crucially, the NSA is increasingly relying on private firms to mine data, because, unlike the government, it does not need a search warrant. The Constitution only limits the government searches and seizures.

The government’s endless wartime footing is also seen in its war on whistleblowers. Obama has continued cases brought by Bush, such as going after the “leaker” in the warrantless wiretapping story broken by the New York Times in 2005, as well as the WikiLeaks case, prosecution of Bradley Manning, and others for allegedly mishandling classified materials related to the war on terrorism. Its suppression of war-related information given to journalists extends overseas, where the State Department this month has blocked a visa for a Pakistani critic from speaking in the U.S. The White House also recently pressured Yemen’s leader to jail the reporter who exposed U.S. drone strikes. Meanwhile, the administration has stonewalled Freedom of Information Act requests, particularly the Justice Department, which has issued the secret wartime memos.

How bad is it? Anthony Romero, the ACLU executive director, exclaimed in June 2010 that Obama “disgusted” him. Meanwhile, the most hawkish Bush administration officials have defended and praised Obama.

Last summer, liberal lawyer-journalist Glenn Greenwald tallied a list of Bush warrior endorsements. Jack Goldsmith, the former DOJ officials who approved the torture and domestic spying efforts, wrote in The New Republic in May 2009 that Obama actually was waging a more effective war on terror than Bush.

“The new administration has copied most of the Bush program, has expended some of it, and has narrowed only a bit,” Goldsmith wrote. “Almost all of the Obama changes have been at the level of packaging, argumentation, symbol and rhetoric.” Bush’s final CIA director, General Michael Hayden—whose confirmation Obama opposed as a senator—told CNN there was a “powerful continuity between the 43rd and 44th presidents.” And in early 2011 Vice-President Dick Cheney told NBC News, “He’s learned that what we did was far more appropriate than he ever gave us credit for while he was a candidate.”


Alexander Cockburn, 23 December 2011, Nation of Change

Too bad Kim Jong-il kicked the bucket last weekend. If the divine hand that laid low the North Korean leader had held off for a week or so, Kim would have been sustained by the news that President Obama had signed into law a bill that puts the United States not immeasurably far from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in contempt of constitutional protections for its citizens or constitutional restraints upon criminal behavior sanctioned by the state.

At least the DPRK doesn’t trumpet its status as the least-best sanctuary of liberty. American politicians, starting with the president, do little else.

A couple of months ago, came a mile-marker in America’s steady slide downhill towards the status of a Banana Republic with Obama’s assertion that he has the right as president to secretly order the assassination, without trial, of a U.S. citizen he deems to be working with terrorists. This followed his 2009 betrayal of his pledge to end the indefinite imprisonment without charges or trial of prisoners in Guantanamo.

After months of declaring that he would veto such legislation, Obama has now crumbled and will soon sign a monstrosity called the Levin/McCain detention bill, named for its two senatorial sponsors, Carl Levin and John McCain. It’s snuggled into the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.

The detention bill mandates — don’t glide too easily past that word — that all accused terrorists be indefinitely imprisoned by the military rather than in the civilian court system; this includes U.S. citizens within the borders of the United States.

All onslaughts on potential sedition like to cast as wide a net as possible, so the detention act authorizes use of military force against anyone who “substantially supports” al-Qaida, the Taliban or “associated forces.” Of course, “associated forces” can mean anything. The bill’s language mentions, “associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or who has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.”

That’s language that can be bent, at will, by any prosecutor. Protest too vigorously the assassination of U.S. citizen Anwar al Awlaki by American forces in Yemen in October and one day it’s not fanciful to expect the thump of the military jackboot on your front step, or on that of any anti-war organizer, or any journalist whom some zealous military intelligence officer deems to be giving objective support to the forces of evil and darkness.

Since 1878, here in the U.S., the Posse Comitatus Act has limited the powers of local governments and law enforcement agencies from using federal military personnel to enforce the laws of the land. The detention bill renders the Posse Comitatus Act a dead letter.
Governments, particularly those engaged in a Great War on Terror, like to make long lists of troublesome people to be sent to internment camps or dungeons in case of national emergency. Back in Reagan’s time, in the 1980s, Lt. Col. Oliver North, working out of the White House, was caught preparing just such a list. Reagan speedily distanced himself from North. Obama, the former lecturer on the U.S. Constitution, is brazenly signing this authorization for military internment camps.

There’s been quite a commotion over the detention bill.

Civil liberties groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union have raised a stink. The New York Times denounced it editorially as “a complete political cave-in.” Mindful that the votes of liberals can be useful, even vital in presidential elections, pro-Obama supporters of the bill claim that it doesn’t codify “indefinite detention.” But indeed it does. The bill explicitly authorizes “detention under the law of war until the end of hostilities.”

Will the bill hurt Obama? Probably not too much, if at all. Contrary to widespread belief, liberals are never very energetic in protecting constitutional rights. That’s more the province of libertarians and other wackos actually prepared to draw lines in the sand for matters of principle.


By Susan Lindauer

Some things are unforgivable in a democracy. A bill moving through Congress, authorizing the military to imprison American citizens indefinitely, without a trial or hearing, ranks right at the top of that list.

I know—I lived through it on the Patriot Act. When Congress decided to squelch the truth about the CIA’s advance warnings about 9/11 and the existence of a comprehensive peace option with Iraq, as the CIA’s chief Asset covering Iraq, I became an overnight threat. To protect their cover-up scheme, I got locked in federal prison inside Carswell Air Force Base, while the Justice Department battled to detain me “indefinitely” up to 10 years, without a hearing or guilty plea. Worst yet, they demanded the right to forcibly drug me with Haldol, Ativan and Prozac, in a violent effort to chemically lobotomize the truth about 9/11 and Iraqi Pre-War Intelligence.

Critically, because my legal case was controlled by civilian Courts, my Defense had a forum to fight back. The Judge was an independent arbiter to hear my grievances. And that made all the difference. If this law on military detentions had been active, my situation would have been hopeless. The Patriot Act was bad enough. Mercifully, Chief Justice Michael B. Mukasey is a preeminent legal scholar who recognized the greater impact of my case. Even so, he faced a terrible choice —declaring me “incompetent to stand trial,” so my case could be killed—or creating dangerous legal precedents tied to secret charges, secret evidence, secret grand jury testimony and indefinite detention—from the Patriot Act’s arsenal of weapons against truth tellers—that would impact all defendants in the U.S. Courts.

It was a hideous choice—The judicial farce was more ugly because it stamped me a “religious maniac” for believing in God—a ludicrous argument. It lined up beautifully, however, with Congress’ desire to bastardize the “incompetence” of Assets engaged in Pre-War Intelligence. Anything to escape responsibility for their own poor decision making.

To this day, it scorches my heart with rage and betrayal. It was unforgivable on so many levels.

And it had nothing to do with fighting terrorism. This was about fighting truth—and protecting powerful leaders in Washington determined to glorify themselves with phony patriotism and media fireworks in the War on Terrorism—a fantasy if there was one.

Those of us with the facts at our fingertips, who could expose leadership fraud and deceptions, had to be destroyed. I had three strikes against me. First off, I had personal knowledge of the CIA’s advance warnings about 9/11, and how Republican leaders thwarted efforts to preempt the attack. Secondly, I had direct knowledge of Iraq’s contributions to the 9/11 investigation, and how Republican leaders rejected financial documents on early Al Qaeda figures like Ramzi Youssef and Sheikh Abdul Rahmon of Egypt and Sheikh al Zawahiri —who replaced Osama bin Laden as Al Qaeda’s leader. That would have shut down the financial pipeline for terrorism, if Washington cared about results. Finally, my team had successfully negotiated a peace framework with Baghdad that would have achieved all objectives in Iraq without firing a shot.

Oh I was a threat to the Washington elite, no doubt. Without the Patriot Act, the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq would have failed. Given normal due process, I would have shouted truth from the rooftops and exposed them all.

Let’s not mince words. Members of Congress who support laws like the Patriot Act and Military Detentions fear the American people deeply. They hate what America stands for. Above all they fear exposure of their mediocrity as our leaders. They are desperate to hide their leadership failures. And so they commit Treason against us— savaging the liberties enshrined in our Constitution to safeguard their access to power, weakening our ability to challenge them openly, building a society of fear. They ply us with buzzwords—like “anti-terrorism” and “national security.” But they are the greatest threat facing our nation today. They are traitors among us.

Terrorism is a buzz-word to quiet outrage over this shredding of the Constitution. Most Americans don’t understand that the Patriot Act has expanded the scope of terrorism to cover any free political speech that challenges Institutions of Authority. Acts of violence are not necessary. The possibility that free speech could weaken public trust in leadership qualifies as the New Sedition. Any political speech that provokes the People to think and question authority can be squashed as a threat to political control.

I was no Traitor. My whole life was dedicated to non-violence—and my specialty was anti-terrorism from 1993 to 2003. My bona fides were the best anywhere. I gave advance warning about the 9/11 attack, the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen, and the 1993 World Trade Center attack. When the FBI cracked open my computer, they found proof that my team had run one of the very first investigations of Osama bin Laden in 1998, before the Dar es Salaam/Nairobi bombings. I started negotiations for the Lockerbie Trial with Libya, and preliminary talks on resuming weapons inspections in Iraq.

My life was anti-violence. I was a very real threat, however. I was guilty of possessing inconvenient knowledge powerful enough to persuade voters to throw a lot of deceptive politicians out of Congress.

Military detentions would push America farther into the abyss. First, it eliminates the need for charges against political defendants altogether. And secondly, it transfers decisions about a defendant’s fate away from the oversight of a civilian Judge to a military Sentry and base commander. It’s a complete negation of the Courts.

At a practical level, there are consequences that Americans would never dream possible:

• There’s no requirement for Military Officers to acknowledge that a prison exists inside a military base. Nor can Military officers be compelled to identify individuals who might be detained on the base.

• There’s no guarantee an attorney would be assigned to the accused. Indeed, the Sentry and Commanding Officer would have full authority, individually, to decide whether attorney visits shall be allowed at all. Access to an attorney would be a matter of military discretion, including frequency and duration. The Military Commander or sentry could decide to prohibit an attorney from entering the base altogether, without specifying a reason.

This must be underscored. Civilian Judges provide a fail-safe for defendants under military auspices. Under the proposed law, that protection would be removed. The Commanding Officer of the military base would assume full authority of the Court. The accused inmate would have nowhere to protest any aspect of the detention, or to move towards resolution.

• Since the military alone decides who enters the base, the Sentry would have the power to reject visits by Family or Journalists, if they so choose.

• In straight violation of the 8th Amendment of the Constitution, accused civilians would be denied the right to petition for bail

• Military prisoners might have limited rights to send letters or make phone calls to family or attorneys, at the discretion of the Commanding Officer. The military would have the right to keep a defendant totally incommunicado from the world.

• An accused person would have no automatic rights to recreation outside of the cell. Prisoners could be locked in a 10 X 12 room 24-7, and denied the rights to exercise for one hour in a prison yard. That would be “indefinite,” too.

• Like Bradley Manning, they could be forced to sleep almost naked with the lights on, under 24 hour surveillance, even in the absence of suicide threats.

Don’t bother arguing about it. One of the high points of my legal drama occurred when my fantastic and beloved Uncle Ted Lindauer—a family member— who happened to have 40 years of senior legal experience— jumped into my legal fray in a Herculean effort to restore my freedom.

Three Times Tenacious Uncle Ted Drove 700 Miles (1,000 kms) in Each Direction—from southern Illinois to Fort Worth, Texas. He carried proper identification and proof of his legal standing. He was registered on my visitor’s list, and prison authorities understood that he was functioning as Co-Counsel for my Defense.

On the first and second visits, Ted Lindauer arrived on the weekend during normal visiting hours. Nevertheless, the Sentry swore up and down that there was no prison inside Carswell Air Force Base, and I was not an inmate—

Horrified, Ted Lindauer requested to speak with the Commanding Officer on duty.

Confronted with letters mailed from the prison and Court documents signed by Judge Mukasey, nevertheless, the Sentry and Commanding Officer refused to back down. Both stubbornly denied that I was housed anywhere on their military base.

On the second visit, the Sentry and Commanding Officer had a new excuse. Yeah, there was a prison on Carswell Air Force Base. But there were no visiting hours on weekends. Other prison families stood close by. One after the other, the sentry granted them access to the base to visit their relatives detained at the prison. Yet when Ted Lindauer, a 70 year old man with silver hair, stepped forward, the sentry guard refused.

Ted was furious. He warned the Sentry that my family knows some Generals, too! He insisted on the sanctity of my rights to attorney access, and promised to file a complaint with Judge Mukasey to compel the military to allow this attorney visit to occur.

Ted swore that he would return with U.S. Marshals. And by God, he was coming onto that base.

Thankfully, there was a civilian Judge to back him up. Judge Mukasey raised hell. On the third visit, he did indeed order U.S. Marshals to flank Ted Lindauer at the front gates of Carswell Air Force Base.
Judge Mukasey waited in his Chambers in New York ready to give the order. Only when U.S. Marshals stood before them, ready to forcibly enter the base, did Carswell back down. They stopped pretending there was no prison, that I was not an inmate, and granted my Uncle—a family member and attorney— access to his client.

It’s a cautionary tale. The military is not equipped to handle this type of responsibility. It flies against all of their structure. And it illustrates poignantly why a Civilian Judge is critical to protecting a defendant’s rights when the military has physical jurisdiction.

All of this was occurring at a critical juncture. At that moment, citing the Patriot Act, the Justice Department was arguing that I should be detained “indefinitely” up to 10 years—with no right to a trial or hearing. More horribly still, the Justice Department was demanding the right to forcibly drug me with Haldol—a rhinoceros tranquilizer—until I could be “cured” of knowing the real facts about Iraq and 9/11 and serious leadership failures in the War on Terrorism.

Witness had already told the FBI about my work as an Asset—and my team’s all important advance warnings about 9/11. The Feds understood very precisely what they were hiding—and who would be the losers in Washington, if my story was told.

Because I was denied the right to a hearing, I was blocked from providing that validation to the Court— or the American public—something Republicans on Capitol Hill feared desperately. Without a hearing, the Feds had free rein to savage my reputation with fantastic embellishments, portraying me as a religious maniac. (I freely confess that I have rock solid faith in God. However, the Justice Department played fast and loose with descriptions of my spirituality).

By the end of it, all of my Constitutional rights had been savagely violated— My 1st Amendment rights to freedom of speech and religion; my 4th Amendment protections against illegal searches of my home; my 5th Amendment rights not to be forcibly interrogated by surrogates for the prosecution; my 6th Amendment rights to a speedy trial by a jury of my peers, with the rights to face my accusers and rebut accusations in a public Court of law. The Justice Department even violated my 8th Amendment protections against threats of torture, (forcibly drugging definitely qualifies).

To this day, I cannot believe such abuse could be possible in the United States. I’m a fighter, and I could not stop them. All the Constitutional protections that should have saved me were stripped away. It horrifies me.

No American really understands the preciousness of Liberty until more powerful individuals in the government fight to take away those rights. Then in a blinding flash, you are awed by the magnificence of the Founding Fathers’ vision. What they gave us was extraordinary. It must be protected from tyrants like those in Congress today. They are tyrants who fear and despise us. There is no ambiguity. They are against us.

President Obama must veto this bill or confess his hypocrisy as a champion of liberty. And members of Congress who support military detentions or the Patriot Act must be targeted for defeat in 2012.

They are the greatest threats facing this country today.

They are traitors to freedom. They are Enemies of the Constitution. And they deserve to be branded Enemies of the State.


Susan Lindauer is the author of Extreme Prejudice: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq.