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Can Congress Steal Your Constitutional Freedoms?
Townhall.com ^ | December 1, 2011 | Judge Andrew Napolitano

Posted on 12/01/2011 6:19:22 AM PST by Kaslin

Can the president use the military to arrest anyone he wants, keep that person away from a judge and jury, and lock him up for as long as he wants? In the Senate's dark and terrifying vision of the Constitution, he can.

Congress is supposed to work in public. That requirement is in the Constitution. It is there because the folks who wrote the Constitution had suffered long and hard under the British Privy Council, a secret group that advised the king and ran his government. We know from the now-defunct supercommittee, and other times when Congress has locked its doors, that government loves secrecy and hates transparency. Transparency forces the government to answer to us. Secrecy lets it steal our liberty and our property behind our backs.

Last week, while our minds were on family and turkey and football, the Senate Armed Services Committee decided to meet in secret. So, behind closed doors, it drafted an amendment to a bill appropriating money for the Pentagon. The amendment would permit the president to use the military for law enforcement purposes in the United States. This, of course, would present a radical departure from any use to which the military has been put in the memory of any Americans now living.

The last time the federal government regularly used the military for domestic law enforcement was at the end of Reconstruction in the South, in 1876. In fact, the deal to end Reconstruction resulted in the enactment of federal laws forbidding the domestic use of American military for law enforcement purposes. This has been our law, our custom and our set of values to which every president has adhered for 135 years.

It is not for directing traffic that this legislation would authorize the president to use the military. Essentially, this legislation would enable the president to divert from the criminal justice system, and thus to divert from the protections of the Constitution, any person he pleases. And that person, under this terrifying bill, would have no recourse to a judge to require the president either to file charges against him or to set him free.

Can you imagine an America in which you could lose all liberty -- from the presumption of innocence to the right to counsel to fairness from the government to a jury trial -- simply because the president says you are dangerous?

Nothing terrified or animated the Founders more than that. The Founders, who wrote the Constitution, had just won a war against a king who had less power than this legislation will give to the president. But to protect their freedoms, they wrote in the Constitution the now iconic guarantee of due process. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution says, "No person shall be ... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." Note, the Founders used the word "person." Thus, the requirement of due process must be accorded to all human beings held by the government -- not just Americans, not just nice people, but all persons. When Lincoln tried to deny this during the Civil War, the Supreme Court rejected him and held that the Constitution guarantees its protections to everyone that the government restrains, no matter the crime, no matter the charge, no matter the evidence, no matter the danger.

If this legislation becomes law, it will be dangerous for anyone to be right when the government is wrong. It will be dangerous for all of us. Just consider what any president could get away with. Who would he make disappear first? Might it be his political opponents? Might it be you?


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: lindseygraham; mccain; possecomitatus
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1 posted on 12/01/2011 6:19:25 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: All

What Good Can a Handgun Do Against An Army?
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-backroom/2312894/posts


2 posted on 12/01/2011 6:23:03 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (You can't invade the US. There'd be a rifle behind every blade of grass.~Admiral Yamamoto)
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To: Kaslin

What important information is missing from this article?


3 posted on 12/01/2011 6:25:10 AM PST by 556x45
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To: Kaslin
The amendment would permit the president to use the military for law enforcement purposes in the United States. This, of course, would present a radical departure from any use to which the military has been put in the memory of any Americans now living.

Littlerock, Arkansas...1957

4 posted on 12/01/2011 6:26:16 AM PST by Roccus (POLITICIAN...............a four letter word spelled with ten letters.)
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To: Kaslin

More revisionist nonsense from the Federalists (so-called conservatives). The “founders” wrote and signed the Constitution without the 5th AMENDMENT. It was the antifederalists who got what little protection we have written into the Constitution, for what it’s worth.

The Constitution was written and passed to enlarge centralized power. It’s primary aim was to consolidate federal power at the expense of the states—and they succeeded.

“A national government ought to be able to support itself without the aid or interference of the State governments, ...therefore it was necessary to have full sovereignty. Even with corporate rights the States will be dangerous to the national government, and ought to be extinguished, new modified, or reduced to a smaller scale.”
— Alexander Hamilton

” I have well considered the subject, and am convinced that no amendment of the confederation can answer the purpose of a good government, so long as State sovereignties do, in any shape, exist.”
— Alexander Hamilton

“I apprehend the greatest danger is from the encroachment of the States on the national government”
—James Madison

“Conceiving that an individual independence of the States is utterly irreconcileable with their aggregate sovereignty, and that a consolidation of the whole into one simple republic would be as inexpedient as it is unattainable, I have sought for middle ground, which may at once support a due supremacy of the national authority, and not exclude the local authorities wherever they can be subordinately useful.”
—James Madison

“Under the proposed Govt. the powers of the States will be much farther reduced. According to the views of every member, the Genl. Govt. will have powers far beyond those exercised by the British Parliament, when the States were part of the British Empire.”
— James Madison, June 29, 1787


5 posted on 12/01/2011 6:26:22 AM PST by Huck (LIBERTY is the object.)
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To: Roccus

Waco Texas!!!!


6 posted on 12/01/2011 6:37:35 AM PST by Howie
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To: Kaslin
The last time the federal government regularly used the military for domestic law enforcement was at the end of Reconstruction in the South, in 1876.

The Bonus Army, From Wiki:

The Bonus Army was the popular name of an assemblage of some 43,000 marchers—17,000 World War I veterans, their families, and affiliated groups—who gathered in Washington, D.C., in the spring and summer of 1932 to demand immediate cash-payment redemption of their service certificates. Its organizers called it the Bonus Expeditionary Force to echo the name of World War I's American Expeditionary Force, while the media called it the Bonus March. It was led by Walter W. Waters, a former Army sergeant.

Many of the war veterans had been out of work since the beginning of the Great Depression. The World War Adjusted Compensation Act of 1924 had awarded them bonuses in the form of certificates they could not redeem until 1945. Each service certificate, issued to a qualified veteran soldier, bore a face value equal to the soldier's promised payment plus compound interest. The principal demand of the Bonus Army was the immediate cash payment of their certificates.

Retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler, one of the most popular military figures of the time, visited their camp to back the effort and encourage them. On July 28, U.S. Attorney General William D. Mitchell ordered the veterans removed from all government property. Washington police met with resistance, shots were fired and two veterans were wounded and later died. President Herbert Hoover then ordered the army to clear the veterans' campsite. Army Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur commanded the infantry and cavalry supported by six tanks. The Bonus Army marchers with their wives and children were driven out, and their shelters and belongings burned.

A second, smaller Bonus March in 1933 at the start of the Roosevelt Administration was defused with promises instead of military action. In 1936, Congress overrode President Franklin D. Roosevelt's veto to pay the veterans their bonus years early.

7 posted on 12/01/2011 6:38:17 AM PST by OrioleFan
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To: Roccus

Kent State - 1970


8 posted on 12/01/2011 6:40:35 AM PST by Thermalseeker (Wanna keep livin' with your momma? Vote for Obama. Tired of the pain? Vote CAIN!)
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To: 556x45

That’s an awfully open-ended question. I can’t guess what you have in mind.


9 posted on 12/01/2011 6:40:55 AM PST by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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To: coloradan

names, thats whats missing


10 posted on 12/01/2011 6:44:23 AM PST by 556x45
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To: Huck

Yes, but the cost to the federalists of getting the states to ratify the Constitution was the integration of the ‘Bill of Rights’. It was achieved using the amending formula.


11 posted on 12/01/2011 6:44:59 AM PST by BillM (.)
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To: Thermalseeker

Ohio National Guard, not US Army.


12 posted on 12/01/2011 6:46:34 AM PST by Roccus (POLITICIAN...............a four letter word spelled with ten letters.)
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To: Kaslin
Can the president use the military to arrest anyone he wants, keep that person away from a judge and jury, and lock him up for as long as he wants?

A bill introduced by John McCain, up for a vote Tuesday supposedly, will do just that. Have a look at Senate Bill 1867, referred to as the National Defense Authorization Act bill. It was drafted in secret by Senators Carl Levin (D-Michigan) and John McCain (R-Arizona) and was scheduled for a vote by the full Senate on Tuesday.

13 posted on 12/01/2011 6:47:06 AM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (Attacking Wall Street because you're jobless is like burning down Whole Foods because you're hungry.)
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To: Howie

Although Bradley’s were used, I’m not so sure US Army personnel were.


14 posted on 12/01/2011 6:51:23 AM PST by Roccus (POLITICIAN...............a four letter word spelled with ten letters.)
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To: OrioleFan

Shame on me. Though not in MY memory, I’m sure there are Americans alive who do remember.


15 posted on 12/01/2011 6:53:30 AM PST by Roccus (POLITICIAN...............a four letter word spelled with ten letters.)
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To: 556x45

“What important information is missing from this article?”

1. In general, information sufficient to make an intelligent evaluation.

2. The language of the proposed legislation.

3. That it reemphasizes Public Law 107-40 which was passed in 2001 in response to 911.

4. That maybe it’s just supposed to deal with belligerents engaged in hostilities against the United States, even if they are US Citizens, in accordance with the Law of War, and that if trials are necessary they may be conducted by the Military.

5. That belligerents captured during hostilities have frequently be kept indefinitely, that is till the end of hostilities.

6. That “they” could already hold people indefinitely without trial if they want to. (I’m not claiming they do, just that they could.)

7. Repeat 1 above.


16 posted on 12/01/2011 7:03:54 AM PST by KrisKrinkle (Blessed be those who know the depth and breadth of their ignorance. Cursed be those who don't.)
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To: Roccus

Bingo.

LLS


17 posted on 12/01/2011 7:04:04 AM PST by LibLieSlayer ("Americans are hungry to feel once again a sense of mission and greatness." Ronaldo Magnus)
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To: LibLieSlayer

But they both wore OD uniforms....;)


18 posted on 12/01/2011 7:12:02 AM PST by Roccus (POLITICIAN...............a four letter word spelled with ten letters.)
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To: Roccus

:-)

LLS


19 posted on 12/01/2011 7:34:38 AM PST by LibLieSlayer ("Americans are hungry to feel once again a sense of mission and greatness." Ronaldo Magnus)
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To: KrisKrinkle

Good post. I notice that many who are against this laws and others like it in the past never offer any alternative law or a fix for the law. They simply want to do away with these type of laws all together thus provide an easier path for terrorists to once again mass murder innocent American civilians.

If libertarian losers such as Ron Paul or Jude Napolitano had their way we would be making it as easy as possible for terrorists before and after they committed acts of terrorism.


20 posted on 12/01/2011 7:40:07 AM PST by TheBigIf
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To: Roccus

Delta Force was present. Because of that, I have no respect for DF at all.


21 posted on 12/01/2011 7:44:58 AM PST by BCR #226 (02/07 SOT www.extremefirepower.com...The BS stops when the hammer drops.)
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To: BillM
That's true. But it's idiotic to lump them all together and give them blanket credit. There were three basic groups,same as today. You had the big government federalists, the small government antifeds, and the mushy middle.

It was the mushy middle that agreed to sign on to the massive expansion of national power in exchange for a bill of rights. Any antifederalist worth his salt opposed the Constitution tooth and nail.

22 posted on 12/01/2011 7:53:40 AM PST by Huck (LIBERTY is the object.)
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To: Kaslin

The original purpose of Congress was to ensure their enforcement...


23 posted on 12/01/2011 7:56:39 AM PST by mo
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To: KrisKrinkle

You must be the FR hermit.


24 posted on 12/01/2011 8:06:57 AM PST by 556x45
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To: Roccus

Military garb, military weapons, military tactics. If someone opens up on you (unarmed) with a 7.62 FMJ M-16 does it really matter if they are Army or National Guard? If it walks like a duck......


25 posted on 12/01/2011 8:42:00 AM PST by Thermalseeker (Wanna keep livin' with your momma? Vote for Obama. Tired of the pain? Vote CAIN!)
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To: Huck

I don’t dispute that but the fact is that The Bill of Rights protected the states and the individuals. That is why every elected person must swear to support and defend the Constitution. The problem has been erosion. It is time to shore it up. We the People need to build a retaining wall and maintain it.


26 posted on 12/01/2011 8:48:01 AM PST by BillM (.)
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To: Thermalseeker

Yeah, you’re right. Why let a little truth enter the discussion.


27 posted on 12/01/2011 8:49:50 AM PST by Roccus (POLITICIAN...............a four letter word spelled with ten letters.)
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To: Roccus
LOL! Yeah, tell that to the guy with the M-16 when he's got it pointed at your head. Truth? HA! That's a good one! Man, have you ever got a lot to learn about totalitarianism....
28 posted on 12/01/2011 8:52:49 AM PST by Thermalseeker (Wanna keep livin' with your momma? Vote for Obama. Tired of the pain? Vote CAIN!)
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To: Thermalseeker

I was challenging the veracity of the judge’s statement. You challenged the veracity of mine. Now you say I don’t know about totalitarianism. Revisionist history is a tool of the despot and ignorance is its workshop....I leave you to wallow in it.


29 posted on 12/01/2011 8:57:29 AM PST by Roccus (POLITICIAN...............a four letter word spelled with ten letters.)
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To: LibLieSlayer

If you followed this thread after your #19 you’ll see my wisecrack wasn’t far off the mark.


30 posted on 12/01/2011 8:59:55 AM PST by Roccus (POLITICIAN...............a four letter word spelled with ten letters.)
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To: TheBigIf

Oh please. 911 was a result of govt incompetence, not the absence of more police state laws and bs.


31 posted on 12/01/2011 9:03:25 AM PST by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11)
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To: GlockThe Vote

So says you. I disagree.

The government incompetence that lead to 9/11 was written into the laws and lack thereof. The intentional wall setup by democrats (and willing republican accomplishes) that restricted the sharing of intelligence, laws that restricted investigations based upon phony civil rights concerns and a host of other Code Pink like actions taken by many leftists in government intended to help weaken the United States National Security.

You may want to blame the hard-working men and women of our intelligence community but the blame doesn’t lie there but instead lies at the hands of the legislators and the left-wing terrorist civil rights crowd like the Code Pink democrats and the Code Pink libertarians like Ron Paul and Judge Napolitano.


32 posted on 12/01/2011 9:14:41 AM PST by TheBigIf
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To: BillM
The Bill of Rights protected the states and the individuals

In practice it's been a mixed bag.

33 posted on 12/01/2011 9:14:49 AM PST by Huck (LIBERTY is the object.)
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To: TheBigIf

Really? You mean like the FBI not following up on the flight school owner warning them and giving info on the students?

You mean like the visa applications that were insanely flawed that should NEVER have been approved?


34 posted on 12/01/2011 9:21:02 AM PST by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11)
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To: GlockThe Vote

It was not that the FBI simply did not follow up but that provisions in the law (the famous Wall) prevented certain types of follow up from happening. You had an environment created by our legislators of demonizing law enforcement based upon bogus civil rights claims.

This bogus civil rights excuse for weakening United States National Security efforts is the same mentality that is being promoted in this thread.

‘oh the travesty of wanting to detain a terrorist without a trial’ has Code Pink leftists and Code Pink libertarians crying foul. They are like the ‘terrorist civil rights’ movement and they are the cause of 9/11 as well.


35 posted on 12/01/2011 9:44:22 AM PST by TheBigIf
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To: TheBigIf

Nonsense. The fbi never did its job due to incompetence not lack of laws.


36 posted on 12/01/2011 9:48:15 AM PST by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11)
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To: TheBigIf

There’s no fix for this law. It’s just plain a stupid totalitarian law that has no useful purpose, hell they aren’t even trying to give it a proper smoke screen like the wars on terror or drugs. They’re just making a grab for power. The “fix” is to shoot every no good SOB that voted for it, short of that I suppose we could try to vote them out, better be careful though, they might arrest their opponents.


37 posted on 12/01/2011 9:51:36 AM PST by discostu (How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't Even Smile Today)
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To: Roccus

The GAO says they (US Army and National Guard) were there and they spent at least a million dollars on the raid.

http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/bl090599.htm

It is my belief that the mockup built and used to train the ATF for the raid was built on Fort Hood property.

The infamous US News? picture of the crew “cleaning” the site after it was partially bull-dozed, using sifter-screens, looks like military to me. The one long, lanky dude in fatigues on the roof above the hole in the pantry roof looks suspiciously like Weasly Clark to me.

The FBI agent in charge of the final days was the same guy convicted of destroying evidence at the Randy Weaver siege site.

I wish it was not so, but our government has a long record of attacking citizens, dating back to the thirties and beyond! If they have ever been punished I sure haven’t heard of it!!


38 posted on 12/01/2011 9:51:40 AM PST by Howie
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To: GlockThe Vote

You are 100% wrong.

It was due to bad laws and a lack of the proper laws that lead to 9/11.

There are instances every single day of someone in the FBI or other areas of law enforcement not doing their job well but with the proper laws, whereas agencies work together, acts of terrorism are still stopped due to the proper legal framework that allows for due diligence in recognizing and stopping acts of terrorism.


39 posted on 12/01/2011 9:54:26 AM PST by TheBigIf
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To: discostu

The law doesn’t even apply to American citizens (from what I have heard) and it is just a bunch of tin-foil hat BS from the Paultard crowd that claims this is some great threat to everyone. It is no different than the lies and BS these Code Pinko losers spouted about the Patriot Act, the Iraq war, Gitmo, etc…

If you want to follow a bunch of Code Pink type losers who defended the terrorist supporting dictator, Saddam Hussein then let’s hear it. I personally am tired of the anti-American National Defense crowd that is against all and everything that we try to do to prevent further attacks here at home.


40 posted on 12/01/2011 9:58:27 AM PST by TheBigIf
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To: TheBigIf

That’s funny because every single story I’ve seen on it says quite clearly that it DOES apply to American citizens. All you need to be is a suspect of working with a terrorist group or a group that “supports” them.

http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h1540/text

(4) the President’s authority pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note) includes the authority to detain belligerents, including persons described in paragraph (3), until the termination of hostilities.

See that’s the big punchline, previous versions of this law explicitly excluded citizens. It doesn’t any more.

So basically all your name calling shows you to be wrong, because if the facts were on your side you would stick with them. you can be tired of it all you want. This law is bad. Period. Anybody that thinks otherwise is wrong.


41 posted on 12/01/2011 10:12:15 AM PST by discostu (How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't Even Smile Today)
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To: TheBigIf

What law stopped the FBI from following up on the tip from the school owner?

What law prevented the INS from declining the obviously falsified visa application from Atta and the others?


42 posted on 12/01/2011 10:30:24 AM PST by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11)
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To: TheBigIf

Had the Federal government limited itself to radical Muslims in their domestic war on terror, there would not be such disgust with these kind of unconstitutional actions in the name of the war on Muslim terror.

Alas, the government expanded the defination of domestic terrorist to include all the elite’s political enemies: pro lifers, pro second amendment activists and gun owners, constitutional activists, third party activists, Iraq vets, etc. They abused their power and our trust by targeted Americans because of political correctness. We can not give them any more extra-constitutional power over “terrorism” because we are now the classified terrorists.

Notice at the airports that security has nothing to do with the Muslim radicals and everything to do with sexually molesting and debasing ordinary non-Muslim Americans - the handicapped, the very young and the very old included?

This government is not trustworthy with extra constitutional power.


43 posted on 12/01/2011 10:40:17 AM PST by SaraJohnson
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To: OrioleFan
Do you recall the WACO and the Koresh debacle that resulted in Clinton and Janet Reno ordering the taking of their compound. Thus they proceeded in burning alive a religious group/ women and children, in their own building.

HORRID!!!

Do not think or believe our present government is adverse to power? The amazing part of this to me is JOHN MCCAIN crafted of this bill.... After his own torturous experience in Vietnam, it is difficult to imagine he would be for this UNCONSTITUTIONAL LEGISLATION. It never stops there ... it always grows and expands further.

God help us, God save America from the liberal socialists., in Jesus name, amen.

44 posted on 12/01/2011 10:44:15 AM PST by geologist (The only answer to the troubles of this life is Jesus. A decision we all must make.)
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To: OrioleFan; All
Do you recall the WACO and the Koresh debacle that resulted in Clinton and Janet Reno ordering the taking of their compound. Thus they proceeded in burning alive a religious group/ women and children, in their own building.

HORRID!!!

Do not think or believe our present government is adverse to power? The amazing part of this to me is JOHN MCCAIN crafted of this bill.... After his own torturous experience in Vietnam, it is difficult to imagine he would be for this UNCONSTITUTIONAL LEGISLATION. It never stops there ... it always grows and expands further.

God help us, God save America from the liberal socialists., in Jesus name, amen.

45 posted on 12/01/2011 10:45:39 AM PST by geologist (The only answer to the troubles of this life is Jesus. A decision we all must make.)
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To: Howie; Roccus
It is my belief that the mockup built and used to train the ATF for the raid was built on Fort Hood property.

That urban warfare training site has been on Ft Hood for many years. I remember it being there in the 80s. I know the M88A1 recovery vehicle and M2 Bradley Infantry fighting vehicle (tanks per the SRM) were national guard equipment. They were stored in work bays at N Ft Hood for years after the raid until the investigation was "completed".

46 posted on 12/01/2011 11:14:47 AM PST by Arrowhead1952 (Dear God, thanks for the rain, but please let it rain more in Texas. Amen.)
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To: discostu

I think you mean every piece of propaganda you have seen on it and not every story. The amount of misreporting on issues of National Security is staggering. Just as the all out propaganda by the news media about the President intercepting enemy communications coming across our border was lied about and reported as being American citizens are being spied upon without a warrant. It was a complete and utter lie but Paultards, leftists and even the MSM intentionally mislead about the issue when reporting on it.

This legislation is written for those involved in 9/11 and not to detain American citizens without a trial.

So you haven;t shown me to be wrong in anyway at all.


47 posted on 12/01/2011 11:50:24 AM PST by TheBigIf
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To: SaraJohnson

You couldn’t be more wrong. Leftists, Paultards and other libertarian types have been radically against any and all lergislation geared towards protecting this nation from another terrorist attack since day one. They have been against the Patriot Act, against GITMO, against the Iraq War, against intercepting enemy commmunications across our borders, against enhanced interrogation, against military tribunals, and the list goes on and on.

It is total BS to claim that you or anyothers against this law haven’t had an agenda of defending terrorist’s rights since day one.


48 posted on 12/01/2011 11:54:37 AM PST by TheBigIf
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To: TheBigIf

And just to add to my post above:

In every case (Patriot Act, Gitmo, Surveillance across our borders, enhanced interrogation, etc....) the same libertarian Paultards and Code Pink leftists aways falsely claim that the government is going to use this against American citizens.


49 posted on 12/01/2011 11:56:44 AM PST by TheBigIf
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To: TheBigIf

I gave you the link, if you can’t understand that now American citizens can be categorized as “belligerents” and detained with no process at all until the “termination of hostilities” it’s not my problem. The truth is there, you won’t see it, your problem.


50 posted on 12/01/2011 12:29:47 PM PST by discostu (How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't Even Smile Today)
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