From artist Rene Gabri:
The reports of this bill which has been inserted in the National Defense Authorization Act, S. 1867 have been circulating for the last days, including an ACLU alert asking individuals to contact Senators to block the bill. The timing of this bill, which coincides with the efforts to destroy and remove the encampments and pre-empt the growth of the occupy movements, is hardly coincidental. I agree that the Naomi Wolf piece in the Guardian goes too far in its presumption and reasoning of how and why these encampments are being targeted. But even the Alternet piece debunking Naomi Wolf’s claims, does outline what is known and it is, to say the least, alarming.
Moreover, these attacks on the encampments using a military grade coordination, as well as this bill do attempt to introduce new measures of fear, connecting the pre-emptive measures and build-up of a decade of ‘war on terror’ to this new epoch of emancipatory struggles. The darker side of this whole discussion is that the hope for combatting this bill is now placed in the hands of Obama, which is a very disempowering for this burgeoning movement. It once again calls attention to the disproportion of power and the challenge of a movement which would attempt to ignore/confront the law and the anarchy (anomie) and violence that underwrites it. And the connection of that law to property, which is, to say the least, a key node of these struggles for a common.
Here are the knowns culled from the Alternet piece, below that the links, and further below, the article about the bill. Lastly, the most absurd part is that somehow all of this is considered alarming, only for the reason that it subjects American citizens to what is already assumed (in that logic) acceptable for all non-US citizens.
“1. Five major occupations were evicted in different cities in a span of less than a week. Although they didn’t follow the same pattern, there were similarities in the tactics employed by these different municipalities.
2. A police membership organization called the Police Executive Research Forum, PERF, organized two conference calls between local law enforcement officials to share information on OWS, including, presumably, how best to evict them.
3. The US Conference of Mayors organized two conference calls between various city officials to discuss the same issues.
4. Rick Ellis published a piece on Examiner.com which quoted an anonymous source in the Justice Department who said that DHS and the FBI were sharing information and advice with local law enforcement agencies. But the source stated quite clearly that “while local police agencies had received tactical and planning advice from national agencies, the ultimate decision on how each jurisdiction handles the Occupy protests ultimately rests with local law enforcement.” He has since published an update stressing that federal officials played “no active role” in any of the crackdowns.
5. Chris Hayes reported that a lobbying firm had offered a plan to the American Bankers Association to vilify and marginalize the Occupy Movement. The ABA insisted that it hadn’t acted on the proposal.
6. DHS vehicles were reportedly spotted near at least one eviction.
Among the “advice” reportedly disseminated by DHS was that cities should demonize their occupations by highlighting health and safety violations, and evict them without warning in the dead of night.”
The related articles:
Matthew Rothschild: McCain says American Citizens Can Be Sent to Guantanamo
U.S. citizens beware: A bill being debated on the Senate floor this week is likely to pass, and if it becomes law, you could be sent to Guantanamo Bay.
Sen. Mark Udall introduced an amendment to modify this section, and his amendment was voted down on Tuesday.
Sen. Rand Paul has introduced an amendment to delete this section entirely, and on Tuesday, he had the following exchange with Sen. John McCain, who is co-sponsoring the bill.
Sen. Paul: “My question would be under the provisions would it be possible that an American citizen then could be declared an enemy combatant and sent to Guantanamo Bay and detained indefinitely.”
Sen. McCain: “I think that as long as that individual, no matter who they are, if they pose a threat to the security of the United States of America, should not be allowed to continue that threat.”
Christopher Anders, senior legislative counsel of the ACLU, explains the problem.
“The exclusion on Section 1032 only applies to 1032. It doesn’t apply to 1031,” he says. “And that only makes it worse, because any judge is going to say, ‘Of course, members of Congress meant for American citizens to be detained because if they didn’t, they would have put in the exception they put in one section later.’”
Here’s what Sen. Graham said in the Senate on Nov. 17:
“1031, the statement of authority to detain, does apply to American citizens and it designates the world as the battlefield, including the homeland.”
Rep. Ron Paul calls this bill “one of the most anti-liberty pieces of legislation of our lifetime.” He says it’s “destructive of our Constitution.” His son Sen. Rand Paul says, “There is one thing and one thing only protecting innocent Americans from being detained at will at the hands of a too-powerful state – our constitution, and the checks we put on government power. Should we err today and remove some of the most important checks on state power in the name of fighting terrorism, well, then the terrorists have won.”