- December 31, 2011 will be remembered as a day of infamy.
More on it below. October 17, 2006 was an earlier one under Bush.
- In a White House ceremony, he signed the infamous Military
Commissions Act (MCA). It authorized torture as official policy.
- It also enacted sweeping unconstitutional powers to arrest,
interrogate, and prosecute alleged terrorist suspects and collaborators
(including US citizens), detain them (without evidence) indefinitely in
military prisons, and deny them habeas and other constitutional protections.
- It lets presidents call anyone anywhere an "unlawful
enemy combatant," order them arrested, detained and denied all rights.
- On the same day, Bush quietly signed the FY 2007 National
Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Included were hidden Sections 1076 and
333. Major media scoundrels ignored them.
- They amended the 1807 Insurrection Act and 1878 Posse
Comitatus Act. They prohibited using federal and National Guard troops
for law domestic enforcement except as constitutionally allowed or expressly
authorized by Congress in times of insurrection or other national emergency.
- Henceforth, the executive, by diktat, can claim emergency
powers, declare martial law, suspend the Constitution on "national
security" grounds, and deploy federal and/or National Guard troops
on US streets to suppress whatever's called disorder - including lawful
- At issue is abolishing fundamental First Amendment freedoms
without which all others are at risk. They include free expression, assembly,
religion, and right to petition government for redress. No longer.
- In 2009, Obama assured military commission continuity
by signing the FY 2010 Defense Authorization Act. Its hidden Section 1031
contained the 2009 Military Commissions Act (MCA). The phrase "unprivileged
enemy belligerent" replaced "unlawful enemy combatant."
- Language changed but not intent or lawlessness. Obama
exceeds Bush extremism. Guantanamo and other torture prisons remain open.
US citizens are treated as lawlessly as foreign nationals. Ahead things
- On December 31, he signed the FY 2012 National Defense
Authorization Act (NDAA). It gives presidents unchecked power to order
military force arrests and indefinite detentions of US citizens, based
solely on uncorroborated accusations of terrorist group associations.
- Constitutional, statute and international law protections
don't apply. America's military may snatch and grab anyone, throw them
in torture prisons, and hold them indefinitely without charge or trial,
based solely on suspicions, spurious allegations or none at all.
- Earlier by Executive Order, Obama authorized indefinite
detentions of anyone designated national security threats. Specifically
intended for Guantanamo detainees, it's now for everyone, including US
citizens at home or abroad.
- Moreover, CIA operatives and Special Forces death squads
got presidential authorization to kill targeted US citizens abroad. As
a result, they can be hunted down and murdered in cold blood for any reason
or none at all.
- As of December 31, anyone anywhere, including US citizens,
can be called national security threats and judged guilty by accusation.
Activists opposing America's imperium risk arrest, permanent detention
- So do social justice protesters. Military dungeons or
FEMA camps await them. Martial law may authorize it, claiming "catastrophic
emergency" powers. The original Senate bill excluded US citizens.
Obama demanded their inclusion.
- Inviolable rights no longer apply. Protesting imperial
lawlessness, social injustice, corporate crime, government corruption,
or political Washington run of, by and for rich elites can be criminalized.
So can free speech, assembly, religion, or anything challenging America's
right to kill, destroy and pillage with impunity.
- It's official. Tyranny arrived in America. The nation's
unsafe to live in. There's no place to hide. They're coming for anyone
- Lawlessness At Home and Abroad
- They also target independent states. At issue is making
them client ones. Tactics include threats, destabilization, violence, sanctions
and war if other methods fail.
- In 2011, Libya became NATO's latest charnel house. It
was ravaged and destroyed for profit. For months, Syria's been ruthlessly
targeted. Pressure's building for more. Anything ahead is possible, including
replicating the barbarism inflicted on Libya.
- Iran's next. Washington's pushing the envelope aggressively.
- Tactics include provocations, subversion, fake accusations,
isolation, covert or direct confrontation, cyberwar, and punishing sanctions,
coming perilously close to acts or war.
- In the past five years, four harsh rounds were imposed.
In mid-December, Congress enacted another. They're included in the FY 2012
NDAA. They're aimed at penalizing foreign financial institutions doing
business with Tehran's central bank. It's the main oil revenue conduit.
US corporations, including banks, already can't deal with Iran.
- Additional measures expanded sanctions on companies doing
oil related business, including investments, selling Iran refinery goods
and services, as well as providing Tehran with refined products worth $5
million or more annually.
- On December 31, Obama signed the new law. He has 180
days to implement it. He calls it the stiffest measure yet, saying:
- "Our intent is to implement this law in a timed
and phased approach so that we avoid repercussions to the oil market and
ensure that this damages Iran and not the rest of the world."
- He has discretionary power to grant waivers, provided
they're in America's national interest. Energy analysts fear enactment
means disruptively higher oil prices. Others worry that confrontation may
follow rogue bullying.
- Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said Iran's
naval forces can readily block the Strait of Hormuz in response to hostile
- He spoke a day after Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi
warned not a drop of oil would pass through the Strait if Iran's oil exports
are sanctioned. If so, expect energy prices to skyrocket until normal flows
resume. Also expect retaliation, perhaps including direct US-Iranian confrontation.
- Targeting Iran's nuclear program is a ruse. Tehran insists
it's peaceful. Nothing proves otherwise. The most recent March 2011 US
intelligence consensus agrees. It found no evidence of weapons development.
At issue is regime change. Reasons are invented as pretext.
- As a result, anything ahead is possible, including potentially
devastating general war with nuclear weapons targeting underground Iranian
- No matter the risk, Obama seems headed for the unthinkable.
Stay tuned. More on this will follow.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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