This story was interesting. President Obama signed a law allowing “terrorists” to be indefinitely detained without trial, even US citizens. This was buried in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
President Obama claimed that he couldn’t veto the NDAA law, because the law also authorizes military spending and the previous allocation was about to expire. That’s a pathetic excuse.
This was an amusing doublethink moment. President Obama signed the law with a “signing statement”, saying he signed it reluctantly and he never will use this power. However, the clause was put in the law because President Obama asked for it!
After Bernard NotHaus was convicted, the US Attorney bragged about how NotHaus was a dangerous terrorist. This is very disturbing. Nonviolent resistance counts as “terrorism”. “Terrorists” can be detained indefinitely without trial. Therefore, even someone nonviolent can be detained indefinitely without trial.
There’s another amusing bit. Suppose the black vans come and you’re kidnapped. Your relatives file a “habeas corpus” petition. The State prosecutor says “We neither admit nor deny that he’s in custody. HAHAHA!! You can’t file a habeas corpus petition if you can’t prove he’s in custody!” A federal judge or the Supreme Court might accept that as a valid argument. Also, nothing prevents the prosecutor from lying and saying “He isn’t in custody.”, and later claiming a bureaucratic mix-up if his lie is caught.
This law formalizes what the President already claimed the authority to do. The President already claimed the power to assassinate anyone without trial.
There’s also the “frog in boiling pot of water” problem. This law is only slightly worse than the ones already passed. Most people don’t mind. They think “I’m not a terrorist. I have nothing to worry about.” They would say “FSK obviously deserved indefinite detention without trial. It’s his fault for his crazy free market beliefs.”
You can already be executed without trial. All a policeman has to do is say “I thought he had a gun!”, and now murder is legal. Some policemen carry a “spare gun” that they can plant on a victim, if necessary. (One example is Victor Steen. The policeman may have planted a gun on his body, after murdering Victor Steen. That made me wonder. Is it “Standard Operating Procedure” for police to carry a spare gun to plant on someone’s corpse?)
When a judge issued an arrest warrant for Randy Weaver, the police were given orders to shoot first and ask questions later. His wife and child were executed without trial. That assassination was organized by the State. Randy Weaver planned to attend his trial, but he was given a warrant with the wrong date, leading to the “shoot first” arrest/death warrant. Randy Weaver was set up, accused of selling an illegal sawed-off shotgun, which is something that shouldn’t be illegal, and the informant can always extra-saw the gun after Randy Weaver gave it to him. Randy Weaver was targeted because he refused to act as an informant and rat out fellow members of an anti-State movement. Under the new law, Randy Weaver can be declared a terrorist, and assassinated or detained without trial.
As another example, Julian Heicklen was arrested for handing out “jury nullification” pamphlets in front of courthouses. Under the new law, he can be declared a “terrorist” and indefinitely detained without trial. Under current law, prosecutors can already harass Julian Heicklent, accusing him of “jury tampering” or “external contempt of court” (nice bit of convoluted logic for that one). Under the new law, Julian Heicklen can be declared a “terrorist” and disappeared, avoiding any annoying negative publicity.
You can already be detained nearly indefinitely with trial. You can be denied bail and imprisoned until the trial is over. Even if acquitted, you aren’t reimbursed for the time spent as prisoner. The “right to a speedy trial” has been interpreted as “a delay of 1-2 years is OK”.
The conditions for pre-trial detention are worse than those for people already convicted, providing an incentive to plea bargain. Many defendants initially claim innocence and swear to fight the charges, but later plea bargain. After a year or more in pretrial detention, their resistance is broken and they accept a plea-bargain. Many defense lawyers think that their job is to negotiate a plea bargain, rather than go to trial.
Prosecutors can hold secret grand juries. That’s another way that the State eroded the right to a jury trial. For example, when Richard Simkanin had a public grand jury, he testified and convinced the grand jurors to not indict. Then, prosecutors held a secret grand jury, and he was indicted and detained until the sham trial and conviction.
A trial is also biased against defendants. The rules of a trial favor prosecutors over defendants. “Jury selection” weeds out jurors sympathetic to the defendant. The defendant isn’t reimbursed for the expense of a trial, even if acquitted. If there’s a hung jury, the prosecutor gets a mulligan and may try again.
The State “justice” system is already incredibly biased against defendants. Even with that severe corruption, State insiders are too greedy. They demand the ability to indefinitely detain anyone without trial. Are they no longer even pretending to respect “Rule Of Law”, replacing it with “Rule Of Whatever We Want To Do”?
It is pretty blatantly corrupt, that State leaders claim the power to detain anyone without trial. The State “justice” system already gives prosecutors the power to ruin almost anyone they choose. It’s too flagrant of a power grab, given the tremendous power that State criminals already have. Is this a sign that they are getting scared, knowing their scam is coming to an end? Is it a sign that they’re so secure in their corruption, that they don’t have to pretend to respect freedom anymore?
This law is extremely disturbing. Any “terrorist” can be detained indefinitely without trial. Nonviolent resistance counts as “terrorism”. If you criticize the State in any meaningful way, can you be indefinitely detained without trial?