This could be the darkest day in American history. The Senate and the House of Representatives have agreed on the wording and passed the National Defense Authorization Act.
This $662 billion appropriation bill also includes the most draconian provision in U.S. legislative history. The president has agreed not to veto the bill and may sign it immediately. The provision allows the president to determine who is a potential terrorist (not defined), includes American citizens on U.S. soil, and they can be detained by the military indefinitely without trial or charge.
On so many levels this is outrageous, shocking and simply unbelievable. I am embarrassed to see the day that the Bill of Rights under the U.S. Constitution is discarded under the guise of fear and authoritarian rule. The very idea of allowing the military to be involved with domestic law enforcement and to detain citizens indefinitely is reminiscent of Nazi Germany.
One of the basic foundations of our democracy is the right to a trial by our peers. To do away with habeas corpus and institute what amounts to a bill of attainder is more than criminal; it is the end to democracy as we know it. I don’t believe I am overreacting, and it is only a matter of time before free speech is declared a threat to national security.
The road to destruction is paved with good intentions. Merry Christmas to all!
Cory Gardner, anti-environment
To the delight of American industrialists and their friends in the GOP, freshman U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner (CO-District 4) appears determined to erode as much of the regulatory authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as he is able.
The EPA was born during the term of Richard Nixon, based on a 1970 memorandum of the President’s Advisory Council on Executive Organization, “Federal Organization for Environmental Protection.” If the GOP was aware of the need for federal regulations on polluting industries in 1970, how much more are those regulations necessary in our resource-depleting and waste-generating consumerist culture of 2011?
The memorandum recognized that “The economic progress which we have come to expect, or even demand, has almost invariably been at some cost to the environment.” It states that “Some means must be found by which our economic and social aspirations are balanced against the finite capacity of the environment to absorb society’s wastes.”
Before Mr. Gardner goes too far in his personal tirade against the EPA, I suggest that he, and the GOP leadership, should learn what was recognized in 1970 regarding the “finite capacity of the environment to absorb society’s wastes.” His zeal against environmental regulations is not only misguided and misinformed, it is downright dangerous.