Trending Towards Dictatorship

Liberty Under AttackTake a quick read of the articles linked below. But if you’d prefer, I’ve quoted the relevant passages as well.

President Obama Signed the National Defense Authorization Act – Now What? – Forbes, January 2, 2012

The National Defense Authorization Act greatly expands the power and scope of the federal government to fight the War on Terror, including codifying into law the indefinite detention of terrorism suspects without trial. Under the new law the US military has the power to carry out domestic anti-terrorism operations on US soil.

“The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it,” the president said in a statement. “I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists.”

Holder: US Can Legally Kill Americans In Terror Groups –, March 5, 2012

The Fifth Amendment provides that no one can be “deprived of life” without due process of law. But that due process, [Attorney General] Holder said, doesn’t necessarily come from a court.

“Due process and judicial process are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process,” the attorney general said.

“Few things are as dangerous to American liberty as the proposition that the government should be able to kill citizens anywhere in the world on the basis of legal standards and evidence that are never submitted to a court, either before or after the fact,” said Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project.

Obama Administration Shreds Constitution, Says it Can Wage War Unconditionally  –, March 9, 2012

Sen. Jeff Sessions: “Do you think that you can act without Congress to initiate a no-fly zone in Syria, without Congressional approval?”

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta: “Again, our goal would be to seek international permission and we would come to the Congress and inform you and determine how best to approach this. Whether or not we would want to get permission from the Congress, I think those are issues we would have to discuss as we decide what to do here.”

Obama Signs Anti-Protest Trespass Bill –, March 10, 2012

Only days after clearing Congress, US President Barack Obama signed his name to H.R. 347 on Thursday, officially making it a federal offense to cause a disturbance at certain political events — essentially criminalizing protest in the States.

Under H.R. 347, which has more commonly been labeled the Trespass Bill by Congress, knowingly entering a restricted area that is under the jurisdiction of Secret Service protection can garner an arrest. The law is actually only a slight change to earlier legislation that made it an offense to knowingly and willfully commit such a crime. Under the Trespass Bill’s latest language chance, however, someone could end up in law enforcement custody for entering an area that they don’t realize is Secret Service protected and “engages in disorderly or disruptive conduct” or “impede[s] or disrupt[s] the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions.”

Now, let’s get one thing clear from the start. I’m not an Obama-basher. I have no personal issue with Obama. I see him simply as simply another in a long line of big government politicians. If anything, these articles support the fact that big-government politicians on both sides of the aisle and in all branches of government are complicit in this series of events that are undermining our freedoms. Obama just happens to be the big-government president du jour.

With that out of the way, let’s see the trend here:

1) Under the NDAA the government can detain terrorism “suspects” without trial. Even Obama felt it necessary to say that he has serious reservations with the law. However, it seems his reservations weren’t serious enough to carry out his Constitutional responsibility to veto the bill and he signed it anyway.

2) The Attorney General claims that the executive branch can act as judge, jury, and executioner, redefining what “due process” has meant for the last 223 years.

3) The Secretary of Defense claims that the executive branch can commit our troops to war without getting permission from congress, as required by the Constitution, and can rather seek “international permission”.

4) HR 347 basically makes it illegal to protest in any area the government deems illegal to do so, in obvious contempt of the First Amendment of the Constitution, which states “Congress shall make no law … prohibiting the … right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

If it isn’t clear already, let me spell it out. In less than 3 months, the government has passed laws or given explanations for actions that appear to completely usurp the checks and balances written into the Constitution. In essence, the executive branch is saying, “we can do whatever we feel like and don’t try to argue.” I’m not sure about you, but that sounds more like a dictatorship and less like a republic to me. However, most people will say that these trespasses aren’t all that big of a deal because the government needs to do these things to fight the “war” on terror. But the fallacy of this line of thinking is almost too obvious.

The whole reason for the checks and balances is to protect the people from government abuses. It doesn’t matter if the current excuse is terrorism. By allowing the executive branch to define or redefine the interpretations of law AND carry out the enforcement of those interprettions, it leaves the door wide open for the government to use any excuse to have complete control over any person they wish. And if they can have complete power over any individual, they can have complete control over groups of people. And if they can control groups of people, well, it’s not too far-fetched to imagine they can manipulate the entire country.

As it stands, if we choose to ignore the unconstitutionality of these laws and actions, the executive branch can at this time define anyone as a terror suspect and detain them indefinitely without a trial. Or it can simply kill them with justifications that they can keep completely secret. And it can send our troops out to kill and be killed at its own whims or the wishes of foreign governments – all without the approval of the congress and the people. And if you don’t like any of this, you better make sure you aren’t protesting anywhere near “government business” or you could be arrested … perhaps indefinitely … or simply just assassinated after executive “due process”.