Monday, January 9, 2012
In December, both houses of Congress passed the defense reauthorization bill that killed the concept of habeas corpus – legislation that authorized the president to use the U.S. military to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens without charge or trial.
This week, over the objections of Joint Chiefs of Staff, the National Guard’s top officer became the fifth member of that body that advises the president on national security matters.
So, for all intents and purposes, the “national security force” Obama mused about in 2008 is in place. It’s just not civilian. It’s military. The U.S. military has been authorized by Congress and Obama to arrest and detain indefinitely without charge or trial any U.S. citizen on suspicion of being a terrorist. The only one who can override the order is Obama himself.
“There is no compelling military need for this change,” said Army General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, during his congressional testimony on the bill.
All six four-star generals testified in a Nov. 10 hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee that the idea of including the National Guard honcho as a member of the Joint Chiefs would create needless confusion and reduce the authority of the other military representatives.
Even Obama’s own defense secretary, Leon Panetta, opposed the measure. He told reporters that membership on the Joint Chiefs should “be reserved for those who have direct command and direct budgets that deal with the military.”
Obama has, with the approval of Republicans in Congress, achieved his major goal of militarizing domestic civilian life in the U.S. The U.S. military has been authorized by Congress and Obama to arrest and detain indefinitely without charge or trial any U.S. citizen on suspicion of being a terrorist. The only one who can override the order is Obama himself. And now the National Guard has been deputized as a posse for Obama’s “non-civilian national security force.”