Thursday, 29 December 2011

The NDAA: Great Losses, Small Gains

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The old chestnut has it that there is seldom any great loss without some small gain.

We’ve lost the incalculably precious, ancient right to habeas corpus with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012; the bill has passed both houses of Congress and awaits only Obama's signature to become law. If he endorses the bill as promised, he’ll legalize a wholly unconstitutional horror: The President may declare anyone a “terrorist” without presenting a scintilla of evidence. Nor is his victim any longer entitled to a trial.

We’ll also lose our republic-turned-democracy. The NDAA pushes it into the final stages of tyranny, a military dictatorship, by empowering the U.S. armed forces to arrest and “detain indefinitely” those denounced as terrorists. In effect, Our Rulers have declared war on us.

But here’s the gain: We’ll soon be rid of Congress as well as that corrupt occupant of the White House! The cretins and cowards who so blithely signed away our liberty will in reality be among the NDAA’s first casualties. Military dictators usually don’t tolerate civilian leadership for long.

Among the many scenarios: Obama declares Congressional Republicans “terrorists,” and the military imprisons them, for opposing his nationalization of medical insurance. He then moves on to Democrats; as any historian can verify, the totalitarian State feeds on its own. Politicians in favor one moment are wearing stripes or facing the firing squad the next as “purges” supersede elections.

Here’s an even likelier scenario. The commanders of the military's various branches whom the NDAA has newly empowered realize what so many taxpayers and martial men before them have: Politicians are at best a nuisance and at worst a dire threat. Ergo, they capture the District of Criminals and either openly execute Obama or announce that he has committed suicide. The wusses in Congress who couldn’t withstand socialism’s siren call turn to jelly as they confront the warriors they have unleashed on the world for the first time. Most of them flee; the handful who refuse to believe their gravy train has ended — ironically, via their own legislation — cower in their offices. The troops have as much fun with them as they did the helpless prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

Once the generals have eliminated the politicians, they’ll start on one another. After all, tyrants by definition don’t share power.

Alas, the victor will then send his forces after us.

Which brings us to the second small gain our overwhelming losses have yielded. More Americans are waking up to the State’s fatal dangers. With the NDAA, politicians have graphically proved their utter contempt for the Constitution, liberty, and us — and their constituents have noticed. Citizens are finally beginning to recognize government for their worst enemy rather than their benevolent Big Brother. And they are arming themselves.

Therein lies the crucial difference between America and the other regimes that have plunged into this abyss: Residents of the latter could not forcefully defend themselves. But Americans can.

The question is whether they will.

Their record so far is not encouraging. A police-state already thrives at American airports, with some of its goons openly bragging that they “can do whatever [they] want.” With or without that warning, the TSA has de facto suspended much of the Bill of Rights: passengers may not joke about the B-word, though the First Amendment forbids Congress (the only legislative body the Constitution recognizes, even if we re-name the legislators “bureaucrats” and their laws “regulations”) from “abridging the freedom of speech”; travelers must submit to minute inspection of their persons and property without the warrant “supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized” that the Fourth Amendment requires.

Yet passengers continue queuing up despite a decade of such despotism. Even when the unconstitutional searches descended into outright sexual assault last year, most Americans continued flying. Worse, many parents forced their children to submit to the TSA’s pedophilia. Here and there, a few aimed a camera at the crime, as if families so negligent of their children’s welfare could somehow redeem themselves by sharing the outrage on YouTube.

Meanwhile, the same fools who believe government when it claims that sexual molestation protects aviation will probably swallow its smears of dissidents as “terrorists.” But surviving the impending apocalypse requires that we stick together against those in power. We must see them as they are — as liars and sociopaths — and reject their opinions on everything. Indeed, what they denounce, we should value; what they deem good, we must despise.

Or, in Thomas Jefferson’s words, “when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce [a people] under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government.”

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