The Levin/McCain Bill

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The Levin/McCain Bill

Post by elgrau » Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:00 pm

Whiskey & Gunpowder -- The Daily Missive of Laissez Faire Books

•Readers are still debating whether Americans will really be targeted by the U.S. government
•They're still looking into the language of that odious bill that's making its way to the president's desk
•We say the point is moot, the damage done and the law a mere formality
•Keep reading to stay a step ahead of the state as it chips away at your liberty
Gary Gibson, Orlando, Florida...

We've been openly weeping in these pages about the outrageous bill making its way through the legislative bowels of our imperial state.

Some Whiskey Shooters, however, wrote in, immediately, to tell us that while Washington, D.C., remains generally despicable, this time, we had them all wrong. The bill, they said, contained exemptions for American citizens and legal residents that meant that they couldn't just be rounded up by the military on suspicions of terrorism.

We thought we'd addressed all this in the weekend edition...but we received this disappointed missive the day before that edition hit your inboxes:

"Dear Mr. Gibson,

"I had sent the subject newsletter to several of my friends without checking the facts because I had the belief that Whiskey & Gunpowder would verify the facts before publishing to their email distribution list.

"One of those friends replied, after reading the text of the Senate bill, that Whiskey & Gunpowder had misstated. I emailed you yesterday an excerpt from that email, correcting what Whiskey & Gunpowder had published -- no response. Nor was there any mention in the last edition of Whiskey & Gunpowder about the misrepresentation.

"Needless to say, I am disappointed, as previously I had taken what Whiskey & Gunpowder printed to be already verified. I will be more careful now...

"I am blind copying the folks to whom I had sent your newsletter."

We spent the entire issue addressing it on Saturday. We hope you caught it. But don't just take our word for it. No less a reputable source than the Old Gray Lady of journalism unwittingly lends us her support.

While their editorial suggestions for more government meddling often leave us cold, we can't take issue with The New York Times when it comes to actually reporting facts in their articles. They're pretty good about that.

And in a New York Times article on the bill last Monday, we find this (emphasis and underscore ours):

"The most-disputed provision would require the government to place into military custody any suspected member of al-Qaida or one of its allies connected to a plot against the United States or its allies. The provision would exempt American citizens, but would otherwise extend to arrests on United States soil. The executive branch could issue a waiver and keep such a prisoner in the civilian system.

"A related provision would create a federal statute saying the government has the legal authority to keep people suspected of terrorism in military custody, indefinitely and without trial. It contains no exception for American citizens."

Glenn Greenwald at puts the fine point on it when he explains:

"The Levin/McCain bill would require that all accused terrorists be held in military detention and not be charged in a civilian court -- including those apprehended on U.S. soil -- with two caveats:

"1. It exempts U.S. citizens and legal residents from this mandate, for whom military detention would still be optional (i.e., in the discretion of the executive branch)...

"2. It allows the executive branch to issue a waiver if it wants to charge an accused terrorist in the civilian system."

Military detention is still an option for the heretofore exempted U.S. citizens and legal residents, at the discretion of the executive branch. The president can put a U.S. person in jail or have them killed at his discretion.

Does this seem outrageous? O good patron, where have you been? Bush II put the due-process-free detention of American persons into practice. Obama has upped the ante by slaughtering an American person whose due-process-free execution was palatable to jingoists.

Does anyone even remember Jose Padilla anymore? You know, the guy that Bush had locked up for over three years without an actual charge? And then of course, there's that Muslim cleric -- and U.S. citizen -- who was turned into a combination of small bloody chunks and fine red mist on the President Obama's say-so...with nary a drop of due process in sight.

Not that we think these points about what the bill does say or doesn't say, or whom it exempts and under what conditions, really matter that much in the end. Oh, our nickers get twisted when we first read about this stinky nonsense, but as we said in the last edition of Whiskey...

"We have to ask ourselves: Do the battles in Congress really matter? They seem more and more like theatre the longer we watch. The opposition to increasing state control are like the flailing of a man who's leaped off a skyscraper. Energetic, even mildly comical in a gallows sort of way, but ultimately, having no effect on the guaranteed end.

"Frankly, we don't think it matters what this or any other bill says. Not really, not in the end. The state writes the laws. Then it interprets the laws. When needed, it rewrites the laws to suit...the state!"

And if you think you have a case, that the state is violating some portion of the law that is supposed to protect you, then good luck convincing them of that!

This stuff is all academic. At least until it's someone you know...or perhaps you yourself...that gets rounded up after engaging in some newly criminalized activity. Whether it be pursuing your own pleasure by burning prohibited fauna...or trying to protect your wealth by shorting the central-bank scrip by exchanging it for could easily fall under the broad definition of enemy of the state.

The way things are going, this should be obvious. It should also be obvious that you really shouldn't count on your status as U.S. person to matter one whit when the state deems you a troublemaker.

We'd have thought that this legislation couldn't make things much worse. But in today's feature article, Gary Barnett explains how it does exactly that.

Whiskey & Gunpowder
by Gary D. Barnett
December 5, 2011
Lewistown, Montana, U.S.A.

Blind Obedience to the State: The Sheep Are Now Ready for the Slaughter

A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors and schoolteachers…The greatest triumphs of propaganda have been accomplished not by doing something, but by refraining from doing. Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth.
~ Aldous Huxley

Men are born with free will, so why do they behave as slaves? Most in this country believe that the politicians are civil or "public" servants, while the common man is king. Most believe, because they cast a ballot to choose their "leaders," that they are free, but the politicians among us are really the masters of a population of slaves. To paraphrase Charles de Gaulle, the politician simply poses as a servant in order to become the master.

In America today, the many are ruled by the few. The many allow this tyranny voluntarily, and with open arms. The only men who can be reduced to servitude are those who choose to do so. For men who cling to liberty with passion can never be ruled, and will never allow their freedom to be taken from them. These are men of truth and character, and sadly, they are the extreme minority. These men of integrity are now directly in the cross hairs of this oligarchy called America, and without them, the rest of society is doomed to a life of serfdom.

To obey the restrictive rules crafted by the politicians, and without resistance, is to guarantee the destruction of liberty. It is not only a fatal form of apathy, but it is also the basis for the destruction of our soul. Politicians after all, are the lowest form of man, and do not deserve respect when their aim is to rule over and control the rest of us. For what are we if we simply do as others in power demand, without the courage to stand up for what is right? What are we if we bow our heads in fear when our fellow man is being trampled? What are we when we allow all that we have earned to be taken from us by force and say or do nothing to stop it? What have we become when the worth of a man is judged by his allegiance to the state?

It is time for these questions to be answered honestly, because those who are willing to fight against tyranny are now being targeted for extinction. The nefarious Senate of this land just passed Senate Bill 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. If accurately titled, it would be called instead the Sedition Act of 2012. Most of those opposed to this horrible legislation are concentrating on just two sections, those being Sections 1031 and 1032. While Section 1031 allows for any American to be captured, held indefinitely without charge or trial, tortured or worse, the rest is not much better, and the entire bill should be scrapped immediately!

It is instructive to understand that the U.S. government and its military have been for the past 10 years capturing and incarcerating foreigners and Americans, and without benefit of due process. The president now "claims" the power to assassinate any on Earth he chooses to, including American citizens, and without charge or trial. But this new legislation will, in my opinion, not only massively expand these so-called powers, but also bring them under the guise of legality. This is more dangerous than most realize, because it will help keep the sheep at bay when mass roundups of American citizens become the norm. This is due to the nonsensical popular belief that just because the ruling class makes a law, it must be followed, even if it is bad law.

And now Fusion Center documents have labeled any who investigate the Oklahoma City bombing as terrorists. Pair this with the passage of S. 1867, and the terrifying picture becomes clear. The government now holds the position that any who question what goes on in this country, or even any who question the government story line, are practicing terrorism. This cannot be doubted, especially considering the Fusion Center story and the passage by the senate of S. 1867.

What this means in real terms is that all dissenters, all truth tellers, all protesters and all who question "authority" can in the eyes of government be captured and imprisoned indefinitely, and without benefit of trial. All of us who question what this government does and what its motives are, can now be hauled away to concentration camps, and even tortured or murdered, all under the umbrella of the "law"!

As for me, I question every single thing this government says and does, and I investigate most every government action. Because of this despicable legislation, what will become of the truth tellers? What will become of honest libertarians? What will become of those of us who are unafraid to expose lies and corruption? What will become of all of us?

The scope of this legislation is far reaching, and without limit. The literal barbarity of this is obvious to any right-thinking person, and the probable consequences of speaking one's mind in the future could be deadly.

The most dangerous sound now could be the sound of silence, for if we do not speak out and rebel against this travesty, we will be doomed to a life of servitude. When we finally refuse to serve no more, then we will at once be free. No man should serve another by force, and no man deserves to be free if he does.
It is incredible how as soon as a people become subject, it promptly falls into such complete forgetfulness of its freedom that it can hardly be roused to the point of regaining it, obeying so easily and willingly, that one is led to say that this people has not so much lost its liberty as won its enslavement.
-- Etienne de la Boetie


Gary D. Barnett
President, Barnett Financial Services Inc.
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