President Obama signs H.R. 347, "Anti-Trespass" bill
March 11, 2012 10:44 PM   Subscribe

Thursday, President Barack Obama signed the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011.

Under this bill, it is a prosecutable offense to knowingly, and without lawful authority, enter “(1) the White House or its grounds or the Vice President’s official residence or its grounds, (2) a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting, or (3) a building or grounds so restricted due to a special event of national significance." This legislation has been changed from previous versions to omit the adverb "willfully", which is causing concern that it will be used against protesters.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you (196 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
In China, they are blocking access to external websites since there is a big National People's Congress meeting this year. Perhaps we should shut down the internet for the 2012 election cycle too?
posted by b1tr0t at 10:52 PM on March 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Quick! To the officially-designated free-speech zone, where we can protest this abrogation of our constitutional rights with placards no more than 36" square while speaking in conversational tones!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:58 PM on March 11, 2012 [72 favorites]


But I didn't KNOW it was the white house. I thought it was Uncle Phil's house from ''Fresh Prince".

Yo homes, bel-air!
posted by karathrace at 10:58 PM on March 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


You're only making protest culture look way more absurd than it should. Which is sure as fuck saying something. This, of course, alludes to you.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:59 PM on March 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


i'm not sure what you mean. this is just a thing that happened i felt like mentioning. what's absurd here?
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 11:01 PM on March 11, 2012


What if the Vice President became officially homeless? Then they would have to arrest everyone, everywhere.
posted by XMLicious at 11:02 PM on March 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


From the title of the act I thought it was going to have more to do with landscaping and maybe a fresh coat of paint.
posted by ODiV at 11:03 PM on March 11, 2012 [25 favorites]


When Protest Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Protest.
begins production of bumper sticker
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:04 PM on March 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


What if the Vice President became officially homeless? Then they would have to arrest everyone, everywhere.

You just won the absurd contest!
posted by karathrace at 11:04 PM on March 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Congress shall make no law respecting the right of the people peaceably to assemble as long as it’s daylight and they don’t lie down or sleep or go anywhere near somebody with Secret Service protection or have a library or "really mean it" or if we say it's an event of national significance (which I mean isn't every part of America significant to America every day?); or to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, which, just to make it clear, we are totally and completely going to ignore unless you’ve got a really big pile of "speech" you might want to share.
posted by davidjmcgee at 11:06 PM on March 11, 2012 [40 favorites]


You're only making protest culture look way more absurd than it should.

I read the linked article once, and your comment several times, and frankly, I also have no idea what you mean either, except that you're angry about something.

If you didn't read the article, the takeaway is that I can be protesting in good faith, make a best effort to make sure that I'm following the law, and can still be jailed because some person protected by the Secret Service was in the area, perhaps even secretly.

From the title of the act I thought it was going to have more to do with landscaping...

Come now, this is 2012. We had the PATRIOT Act, which suspended half the bill of rights; we had the Clean Air Act, which allowed chemical companies to self-regulate their pollution; we had the Healthy Forest Act, which allowed lumber companies to take trees from public lands; and we had the No Child Left Behind Act, which cemented the destruction of American education.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:06 PM on March 11, 2012 [26 favorites]


"Marcy Kaptur" is the "Fluoride" in the "water" -- don't you get it, "sheeple"?
posted by joe lisboa at 11:07 PM on March 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


You're only making protest culture look way more absurd than it should. Which is sure as fuck saying something. This, of course, alludes to you.

I don't understand this comment at all, and the pointed use of the OPs username brings it into weird personal-attack category.

And as far as the news itself (which is a wee tiny bit old already, but still worthy of posting, IMO, since no one else had until now), it came as no surprise, certainly, after Obama's abrupt about-face and signing of the NDAA on New Year's Eve. Big, big disappointment the man has become, with these two actions.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:08 PM on March 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Marcy Kaptur" is the "Fluoride" in the "water" -- don't you get it, "sheeple"?

Time for bed, joe, you're not making any sense at all...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:08 PM on March 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Before Lincoln was assassinated, couldn't you walk into the White House any time you wanted? I remember reading somewhere that it was considered to be literally the property of the people.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:09 PM on March 11, 2012


Time for bed, joe, you're not making any sense at all...

Not-being-condesecnding: you're doing it wrong.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:11 PM on March 11, 2012


OOPS - re-reading the text, I was wrong - you can't be prosecuted unless you know that said person of interest is inside.

I still think it's completely misguided, but I was wrong about that detail.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:12 PM on March 11, 2012


I suspect this is mostly just an attempt to oust "Caroline U" as mayor of The White House on foursquare.
posted by rh at 11:12 PM on March 11, 2012 [12 favorites]


So what if I am just crashing a WH party? Does that pose an issue under this new bill thing? And if I double dip at the chip dip bowl at said social gathering, how many years am I looking at?

Probably none because we, the party crashers, would be dressed so much nicer as opposed to those non-bathing zealots of free speech. Makes for a better news clip anyway.
posted by lampshade at 11:12 PM on March 11, 2012


OOPS - re-reading the text, I was wrong

Thanks for owning up to it.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:12 PM on March 11, 2012


And as far as the news itself (which is a wee tiny bit old already, but still worthy of posting, IMO, since no one else had until now), it came as no surprise, certainly, after Obama's abrupt about-face and signing of the NDAA on New Year's Eve.

Bottom line: The President has–rightly in my view–read this law virtually out of existence
posted by empath at 11:13 PM on March 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


i actually kind of wonder at the idea that "protest culture" "should" look absurd at all
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 11:13 PM on March 11, 2012


Bonus points to the first pedant to point out I misspelled "condescending."

Oops, I guess that's me.

posted by joe lisboa at 11:13 PM on March 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Marcy Kaptur" is the "Fluoride" in the "water" -- don't you get it, "sheeple"?

This isn't making sense to even me.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:14 PM on March 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Before Lincoln was assassinated, couldn't you walk into the White House any time you wanted? I remember reading somewhere that it was considered to be literally the property of the people.

Did you know Andrew Jackson opened up the White House for his inauguration?

Yeah, they totally ruined it for everyone in the future.
posted by karathrace at 11:14 PM on March 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


i actually kind of wonder at the idea that "protest culture" "should" look absurd at all

Well then, stop fucking it up for the rest of us.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:14 PM on March 11, 2012


Before Lincoln was assassinated, couldn't you walk into the White House any time you wanted? I remember reading somewhere that it was considered to be literally the property of the people.


Andrew Jackson had a kegger that was open to the public there that got out of control.
posted by empath at 11:14 PM on March 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


you can't be prosecuted unless you know that said person of interest is inside.

And I so look forward to the State proving such. Other than by just saying it is so.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:16 PM on March 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jinx, empath.
posted by karathrace at 11:16 PM on March 11, 2012


@joe lisboa

i shall direct you to my previous comment
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 11:17 PM on March 11, 2012


Am I missing how this all ties to protesting? Is that just how they pitched it and got it passed or are there actual things in the bill relating directly to protesting? I haven't read the bill itself (obviously), but all of the parts of it quoted in these articles just mentions being there, period. No protesting necessary.

There is also the possibility that it's late and I did in fact miss some obvious bit.
posted by ODiV at 11:19 PM on March 11, 2012


Apparently the quote as presented comes from the Salon article and not the bill, and the paraphrasing is kind of clunky IMO.

Aren't there 2 issues with the bill?

The first being: "... or within such proximity to, any restricted building or grounds when, or so that, such conduct, in fact, impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions;" which seems ripe for interpretation by the courts, since "disruption" is rather subjective...

And the second, where "... in conjunction with an event designated ..." where I suppose the authority to decide this designation is delegated to the executive branch in some way. Again, this seems ripe for a court hearing where some states might just take issue with someone deciding where people can and cannot gather within their borders.

All it will take is for the ACLU, et al, to take up the banner as soon as the first person goes in under this act, right? Or do we assume that this act, as passed, will remain as-is?
posted by timfinnie at 11:21 PM on March 11, 2012


[Joe, attacking other members and fighty derailing right out of the gate... take the night off. ]
posted by taz (staff) at 11:22 PM on March 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


What if the Vice President became officially homeless? Then they would have to arrest everyone, everywhere.

Only the homeless, but Obama don't need no act for that.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:28 PM on March 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh okay, I apparently missed the disruption bit. Thanks timfinnie.
posted by ODiV at 11:29 PM on March 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


HR 347.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:29 PM on March 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Can't wait for the "Ignorance is Strength Act of 2013" to pass, making it a crime to use your TV-B-Gone to shut off any television playing Fox News.
posted by Catblack at 11:34 PM on March 11, 2012


All it will take is for the ACLU, et al, to take up the banner as soon as the first person goes in under this act, right?

And what will happen is, once someone will actually fight the State will carry the case up to just before trial and drop the case that way no one has "standing" to challenge.

Rinse, lather, repeat.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:39 PM on March 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I really don't understand what this changes. Seriously, anyone?
posted by Felex at 11:53 PM on March 11, 2012


Can't wait for the "Ignorance is Strength Act of 2013" to pass, making it a crime to use your TV-B-Gone to shut off any television playing Fox News.
I'm pretty sure the TV-B-Gone is already a FCC violation. Part of the FCC's job is to ensure RF devices don't interfere with each other.
posted by b1tr0t at 12:09 AM on March 12, 2012


Felex,

So far as I know, this is the first time the Executive branch of the US Gov't has been given the sole power of determining exactly where and when people are not allowed to "enter or remain" based on nothing but say-so (without invoking other powers, like in times of war or what-have-you). *that I don't know all the what-have-you is ironically the problem I see here* (can someone tell me how to fool with the font size here?)

I fully anticipate someone will prove me wrong, because I don't know all of the laws.
posted by timfinnie at 12:11 AM on March 12, 2012


I really don't understand what this changes. Seriously, anyone?

I was going to say essentially what timfinnie said just above. I'd also add that this bit...

"a building or grounds so restricted due to a special event of national significance."

... seems especially ominous. This could theoretically mean anywhere and everywhere. And who decides what an "event of national significance" is?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:17 AM on March 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


I remember reading somewhere that it was considered to be literally the property of the people.

Sounds like socialism to me.

Our current system, where access is granted to those who pay, is much more American.
posted by formless at 12:17 AM on March 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


And what will happen is, once someone will actually fight the State will carry the case up to just before trial and drop the case that way no one has "standing" to challenge.

Or, for the first case they see through, they'll find a person who has a background so tarnished, no respectable person would stand up for them.
posted by formless at 12:20 AM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


If it is trespassing for the public to be on public property, then what is public property? Who is the public? Or am I going at this news the wrong way. Is this a continuation of the ban on all possible applications of the word "harassment"? Are we, and have we been, in the process of banning "political harassment"? Even reasoned debate is harassment if the topic is a touchy one. I'm not sure. There are many ways to read this turn of events. I am not even sure it is a turn. I am not shocked it happened. The Federal government has made it abundantly clear that they believe every means is justifiable, every end just.

We are at a point where government thinks it is people. Autonomy, Liberty, Equality, these are fine and well for individual citizens, but the government can not enjoy these pleasures. Once it does, what do we have? How can a government be free, private, autonomous, and still provide these same rights? An autonomous government infringes on personal autonomy. A free government safeguards no liberties. A government granted the same rights as a person is no equal to the people. Just as with corporations, but so infinitely more. A government equal in rights and justices as an individual is their superior, for they define what is right and just.

I feel this trend will not stop until we recognize that there is a necessary exception to the liberal code of values. That exception is government. Government must be enslaved, denied all rights, all privilege, all trust. Until then, that exception will be us. We'll be the ones trespassing.
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:21 AM on March 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


> And what will happen is, once someone will actually fight the State will carry the case up to just before trial and drop the case that way no one has "standing" to challenge.

Maybe I don't understand all the fine points of "standing" but I don't believe that a plaintiff loses standing when the defendant chooses to discontinue a challenge. Perhaps you can explain?
posted by timfinnie at 12:29 AM on March 12, 2012


Government must be enslaved, denied all rights, all privilege, all trust

Its almost like you have been listening to Michael Badnarik.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:32 AM on March 12, 2012


> Government must be enslaved, denied all rights, all privilege, all trust

If this is to me, I must confess to not see the connection. If you think I am in debate with you, I confess that I cannot see it. Having read your posts here (metafilter, not this thread only), I can't think that you would support the powers granted by this bill to the Presidency. If this is a case of performing the duty of the Devil's Advocate, please state the claims you wish to make more clearly.
posted by timfinnie at 12:43 AM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure the TV-B-Gone is already a FCC violation. Part of the FCC's job is to ensure RF devices don't interfere with each other.

No, read the FCC label on anything nearby - devices are required to accept interference safely, and can only emit signals or noise up to certain limits in certain bands of frequencies. TV-B-Gone complies with all of that, just like any other IR TV remote, which is all it is.
posted by -harlequin- at 12:47 AM on March 12, 2012


So glad I'm a Rational Anarchist. This doesn't affect me. The rest of you carry on.
posted by Splunge at 12:57 AM on March 12, 2012


I feel this trend will not stop until we recognize that there is a necessary exception to the liberal code of values.

I wonder if you could take a moment to tell me what the 'liberal code of values' is. Your prior paragraphs seem to equate the rights of a person with rights of a government. I'm not really following that. Who's made this equivalence?
posted by pompomtom at 1:03 AM on March 12, 2012


This doesn't affect me.

At least until they change how public and private boundaries are demarcated, and then you end up with the rest of the Rational Anarchists in a cell (or worse). But, hey, it can't happen here.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:21 AM on March 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Maybe I don't understand all the fine points of "standing" but I don't believe that a plaintiff loses standing when the defendant chooses to discontinue a challenge. Perhaps you can explain?

As I read it, the plaintiff in that scenario would be the state, not the protester. By "fight", (s)he means that most protesters who are mischievously charged under this law will have to settle because they lack the resources to fight it and the consequences of losing in court will be Bad (and knowing this is what protesters will have to do would be the motivation for abusing the law), but eventually, a protester (defendant) will chose to defend themselves against the plaintiff's charges (ie fight the state), and the plaintiff will drop those charges before a precedent can be set that could weaken future abuse of the law.
posted by -harlequin- at 1:30 AM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure the TV-B-Gone is already a FCC violation. Part of the FCC's job is to ensure RF devices don't interfere with each other.

I'm pretty sure remote controls are perfectly legal.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:53 AM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


"So your brother's bound and gagged because he entered a restricted area during a special event of national significance.
Won't you please come to Charlotte just to sing
In a land that's known as Freedom
How can such a thing be fair
Won't you please come to Charlotte for the help that we can bring"

Dope and No Change.

So do I vote for Obama and get all this police state shit, 8% unemployment, and 5 bucks a gallon for gas, or do I vote for Romney and get all of this police state shit and at least a remote chance that something in the economy might improve?

Choices, choices,...
posted by three blind mice at 1:54 AM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


at least a remote chance that something in the economy might improve

citation needed
posted by flaterik at 2:14 AM on March 12, 2012 [15 favorites]


He said he'd start paying taxes on his fortune instead of finagling his way out of doing so for once*.


*not actually true.
posted by longbaugh at 2:22 AM on March 12, 2012


I think I'm going to stop by Obama's house so that we can talk about this.

Maybe I should call first
posted by double block and bleed at 4:58 AM on March 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


A government for some people by some people?
posted by blue_beetle at 5:12 AM on March 12, 2012


Well if you just stay at home and shut the fuck up and watch what your fucking masters tell you to watch, you goddamn citizen, well this won't be a problem. Jesus, you whiney people. AMERICA! CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN! YES WE CAN! If you don't vote for Barack Obama someone might come along and take all your freedoms!
posted by fuq at 5:20 AM on March 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


It seems like this "yeah, it's a spit in the face to your sense of what a free country is supposed to be, but really no worse than it was already" defense is one that is being called a lot more frequently in the second half of the game.
posted by Trurl at 5:37 AM on March 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


So do I vote for Obama and get all this police state shit, 8% unemployment, and 5 bucks a gallon for gas

What do current gas prices have to do with Obama?
posted by the other side at 6:02 AM on March 12, 2012


rough ashlar: ""Marcy Kaptur" is the "Fluoride" in the "water" -- don't you get it, "sheeple"?

This isn't making sense to even me
"

There are some conspiracy theories about the vote count in the Toledo area concerning the Kaptur vs. Kucinich race.
Now you know! Please continue with your conversation.
posted by charred husk at 6:10 AM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you don't vote for Barack Obama someone might come along and take all your freedoms!

That's right. And the more I think about it, the more this insane carnival sideshow they call the Republican presidential primary campaign, full to bursting with idiots, bizarro plastic gazillionaires and crusader wackos, is really just a finely constructed little scenario, an absurdist play created to insure that the man who has (in two recent strokes of the pen) ushered in a new era of civil liberties restrictions will breeze back into office for a 2nd term.

And... the more I believe the folks who say that a group of men took Mr. Obama into a screening room at some point and showed him a shooter's-viewpoint film of the JFK assassination and said "Any questions, Mr. President?" I mean, how else can you explain how a man of Obama's principles could've signed off on the NDAA and HR 347? They are abominations, they are the beginning of the end for *freedom* in the United States.

The real powers-that-be in the US don't need some lunatic railing against homosexuals and abortion in the Oval Office. They need someone who appears to be a bastion of fairness, of democracy, of common sense. But who will, when the screws get turned, put the signature where they want it. Barack Obama has shown himself to be that man.

Hey, OWS started talking about the money. And that's where the shit gets real. It's gotten fucking real, real fucking quick.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:19 AM on March 12, 2012 [16 favorites]


Isn't that how it's done? You field a bunch of bozos that split the bozo vote and one "pragmatic" guy who does what you want.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:20 AM on March 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


some conspiracy theories about the vote count in the Toledo area

Ahhh ok.

Its a great thing then that in the land of the free the and the home of the hope-y, votes have never been stolen or manipulated due to the purity of spirit the citizens have.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:22 AM on March 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I mean, how else can you explain how a man of Obama's principles could've signed off on the NDAA and HR 347? They are abominations, they are the beginning of the end for *freedom* in the United States.

Maybe you should be looking at the unanimous (or near-so) and veto-proof majorities in both chambers of Congress that sent these on in the first place. Sure, he could have not signed them, but they would have been approved without him anyway, with the added bonus that he can be called an enemy to the troops.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:30 AM on March 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


a man of Obama's principles

Cite please.
posted by Trurl at 6:31 AM on March 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


So do I vote for Obama and get all this police state shit, 8% unemployment, and 5 bucks a gallon for gas, or do I vote for Romney and get all of this police state shit and at least a remote chance that something in the economy might improve?

Please tell me you don't actually believe this. There's zero evidence of this, even--especially--when the various GOP economic plans are scored, of which Romney's is only slightly better than Ron Paul's. They all retain the Bush tax cuts for the top 20%, the "best" of which is actually Santorum's, and even then those brackets are getting a huge tax cut on top of that.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:35 AM on March 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's actions like this which make me wish Obama had been forced to face a single, qualified primary challenge in all 50 states. That would have given me the chance to actually express my displeasure with the way he's been doing things without having to cross out of my party. As it stands, I have no clear way to voice my frustrations, and I'm stuck voting again for him as the least worst choice.
posted by hippybear at 6:40 AM on March 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


So do I vote for Obama and get all this police state shit, 8% unemployment, and 5 bucks a gallon for gas...

Do you imagine that a booming economy, and the increased demand for energy that goes with it, will somehow cause oil prices to fall?
posted by Western Infidels at 6:41 AM on March 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Maybe you should be looking at the unanimous (or near-so) and veto-proof majorities in both chambers of Congress that sent these on in the first place.

Now who in the House of Representatives voted against the bill?

Justin Amash [R, MI-3], Paul Broun [R, GA-10], Rep. Keith Ellison
posted by rough ashlar at 6:44 AM on March 12, 2012


with the added bonus that he can be called an enemy to the troops.

A man who hadn't abandoned his principles would be proud to call himself an enemy of those particular troops. I guess that seems overly idealistic, but when it comes to issues of basic freedoms, I expect idealism from the president.

Cite please.

The best cite I can offer right off hand would simply be the gut feeling I had about Obama during the campaign and the first couple of years in office. The things he said, some of the things he did. I don't believe he was dishonest, or opportunist. I don't believe he was some sort of closet hater of civil liberties, just waiting for the chance, once elected, to happily lend his approval to repressive laws against the citizenry. But I do think he, as the president, is an instrument of greater powers, and that he's thrown in his lot (quite likely under threat of death) with the elite who actually run the show. He's doing his job, he's doing what he's told. But I do believe (and go ahead, call me naive) that before he was awarded the presidency he was in fact a noble crusader for truth, justice and the American Way. It's just that the American Way ain't exactly what he thought it was.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:51 AM on March 12, 2012


Now who in the House of Representatives voted against the bill?

Even Kucinich voted for this, make of that what you will. Before his electoral defeat, even.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:51 AM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


A man who hadn't abandoned his principles would be proud to call himself an enemy of those particular troops.

Do you not know what the NDAA is? It's the annual bill funding the military. The detention part was added onto it (just as the anti-contraception Blunt Amendment was added onto a transportation bill) precisely so that not signing it would deprive the troops of pay and material support.

A man who hadn't abandoned his principles would be proud to call himself an enemy of those particular troops. I guess that seems overly idealistic, but when it comes to issues of basic freedoms, I expect idealism from the president.

I don't think it's been that way for over a century, but then again I've been in or around politics for the better part of 30 years, so most of my idealism was gone even before I went to college.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:55 AM on March 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Even Kucinich voted for this, make of that what you will.

What I make of it is powerful, powerful pressure. Like the kind rarely seen. The kind that would make virtually every single senator and congressperson from both sides say "aye". That's gotta be some strong-ass shit, right there.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:56 AM on March 12, 2012


Do you not know what the NDAA is?

Yeah, I know what it is. And I also know that at first Obama said he wasn't gonna sign it. He was very firm about that. Then he... signed it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:58 AM on March 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Justin Amash [R, MI-3], Paul Broun [R, GA-10], Rep. Keith Ellison

Okay. Does this illustrate a point?

Not snarky. Just don't see much connection.
posted by 2N2222 at 7:10 AM on March 12, 2012


is one that is being called a lot more frequently in the second half of the game.

Does this mean it's no longer halftime in America?
posted by chavenet at 7:12 AM on March 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


The best cite I can offer...

Bush's supporters were convinced of his fundamental decency. You understood that their partisan loyalty made them willfully blind to reality.

The remainder of the solution is left as an exercise for the student.
posted by Trurl at 7:15 AM on March 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


And I also know that at first Obama said he wasn't gonna sign it. He was very firm about that. Then he... signed it.

After there were changes made that made those provisions meaningless, as he clarified in his signing statement and policy directive afterwards.
posted by empath at 7:16 AM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's right. And the more I think about it, the more this insane carnival sideshow they call the Republican presidential primary campaign, full to bursting with idiots, bizarro plastic gazillionaires and crusader wackos, is really just a finely constructed little scenario, an absurdist play created to insure that the man who has (in two recent strokes of the pen) ushered in a new era of civil liberties restrictions will breeze back into office for a 2nd term.

This is just a bizarre interpretation of recent events that bears no relation to reality.
posted by empath at 7:17 AM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks so much for cluing us all in on what "reality" is empath. I'm sure we all bow to your deeper understanding of US politics and culture.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:24 AM on March 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


as he clarified in his signing statement

"That's not part of his power, but this is part of the whole theory of George Bush that he can make laws as he goes along. I disagree with that. I taught the Constitution for 10 years. I believe in the Constitution and I will obey the Constitution of the United States. We're not going to use signing statements as a way of doing an end-run around Congress," - Obama, 2008.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:26 AM on March 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


After there were changes made that made those provisions meaningless

Uh-huh. I could never quite figure out just what those changes were. And what "provisions" became "meaningless", exactly? Would you be so kind as to fill us in on that?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:26 AM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rather than blaming Obama, perhaps it's worth pointing out that it was passed 338-3 by the House of Representatives, and that any veto would've almost certainly have been overturned.

In any event, it's not that big a deal, really... and you can tell it's not that big a deal when even the ACLU says that despite people claiming that this criminalizes protests, criminalizes the Occupy movement, etc., "the truth is more mundane".
posted by markkraft at 7:35 AM on March 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Uh-huh. I could never quite figure out just what those changes were. And what "provisions" became "meaningless", exactly? Would you be so kind as to fill us in on that?

Yes, as I repeated ad-nauseum in the original threads about it:

“Nothing in this section is intended to limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.” section 1031 NDAA 2012 page 360
“The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.” section 1032 NDAA 2012 page 362

Neither section changed anything. The official position of the administration was that they did nothing, and that there was no point for them to be even included in the bill.
posted by empath at 7:36 AM on March 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, markkkraft, heck, as long as we're cherry-picking quotes from that ACLU article, allow me:

...the issues raised are still of major significance for the First Amendment.

...troublingly, the Department of Homeland Security has significant discretion in designating what qualifies as one of these special events

posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:40 AM on March 12, 2012


In light of the massive overreaction to this, a few notes:

1.) This really doesn't much change any existing law. It slightly lowers the standard for being charged with trespass or related offenses in the given situations (since you no longer need to be cognizant of the fact that you are committing the crime, but only cognizant of the fact that you are in a restricted space). That's it.

2.) From what I am told by people I would expect to know, this bill was mostly Secret Service-driven. And they wanted it because they were starting to get loopholers trying to get out of restricted area offenses - and we're not talking Occupiers or anything prosaic like that. Remember, Barack Obama receives more threats than any other President in history. It's not even close. The SS doesn't discharge numbers, but I've read in several places from anonymous sources that Obama's threat count equals multiple of his predecessors combined. The Secret Service are nervous and therefore want to make sure that nobody who might be a reasonable threat to the President can get away on a technicality. Hence, this bill.

It's actions like this which make me wish Obama had been forced to face a single, qualified primary challenge in all 50 states.

Because that sure worked out well for liberals when they did it to Jimmy Carter, didn't it?
posted by mightygodking at 7:42 AM on March 12, 2012 [10 favorites]


There are some conspiracy theories about the vote count in the Toledo area concerning the Kaptur vs. Kucinich race.
Now you know! Please continue with your conversation.


What I thought was weird about it (and I just heard it in passing) was how the redistricting essentially did Kucinich in. They didn't even have to jack the ballot boxes.
posted by Trochanter at 7:43 AM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


So do I vote for Obama and get all this police state shit, 8% unemployment, and 5 bucks a gallon for gas, or do I vote for Romney and get all of this police state shit and at least a remote chance that something in the economy might improve?

Romney's business history is of bankrupting companies while laying off workers, looting their bank accounts and fleecing investors. I'm sure he'd bring the same techniques to managing the US government.
posted by empath at 7:49 AM on March 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Good lord. Even the ACLU thinks this law is basically meaningless. Those of you who are wringing your hands about how all your civil liberties have been taken away from you with a stroke of the pen might like to note that this bill is a fairly insignificant amendment to a law that was passed in 1971. So if you think that the substance of the law takes away all your civil liberties, then you haven't had them since 1971--before, that is, most of you were born.

You know, this kind of fact-free hysteria really isn't costless. I mean, it's fun to pretend that you're out there on the front lines fighting against eeeeevil forces that are destroying your most basic civil liberties (heck, everyone, left and right, loves to believe that), but when it's so utterly divorced from reality (witness this bizarro-world thread) it's just contributing to the utter breakdown of any hope of a rational political discourse. Everything--up to and including trivial amendments to long standing laws--becomes a fight over THE FATE OF THE NATION, NAY HUMANITY ITSELF!!! The outcome is utterly dysfunctional politics.
posted by yoink at 7:51 AM on March 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


I could never quite figure out just what those changes were.

Might I suggest you try a little harder, then?
posted by yoink at 7:53 AM on March 12, 2012


Those of you who are wringing your hands about how all your civil liberties have been taken away from you with a stroke of the pen

It's worth noting that congress can't just take away your constitutional rights with a bad law. That's why we have a Supreme Court.
posted by empath at 7:58 AM on March 12, 2012


That's why we have a Supreme Court.

Yes! Taking away your constitutional rights is Antonin Scalia's job!
posted by mightygodking at 8:10 AM on March 12, 2012 [8 favorites]


Might I suggest you try a little harder, then?

From the ACLU: On December 31, 2011, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), codifying indefinite military detention without charge or trial into law for the first time in American history. The NDAA’s dangerous detention provisions would authorize the president — and all future presidents — to order the military to pick up and indefinitely imprison people captured anywhere in the world, far from any battlefield.

Is there something I'm missing, or is the ACLU just wrong when they say this?

Or this:

The American Civil Liberties Union has stated that "While President Obama issued a signing statement saying he had 'serious reservations' about the provisions, the statement only applies to how his administration would use the authorities granted by the NDAA." The ACLU also maintains that "the breadth of the NDAA’s detention authority violates international law because it is not limited to people captured in the context of an actual armed conflict as required by the laws of war."
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:11 AM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


lupus_yonderboy: ...can still be jailed because some person protected by the Secret Service was in the area, perhaps even secretly.

It has to be "knowingly", so assuming you weren't in on the secret, it would seem that you could not be jailed under those circumstances.
posted by Bovine Love at 8:19 AM on March 12, 2012


The American Civil Liberties Union has stated that "While President Obama issued a signing statement saying he had 'serious reservations' about the provisions, the statement only applies to how his administration would use the authorities granted by the NDAA." The ACLU also maintains that "the breadth of the NDAA’s detention authority violates international law because it is not limited to people captured in the context of an actual armed conflict as required by the laws of war.

I guess it depends on whether you consider the war against Al Queada as an armed conflict or not. If the military wasn't allowed to do things like that, bin Ladin would still be alive right now. Do you think the FBI was going to be able to do that? Or maybe we send the local Pakistani sheriff around for a look-see?
posted by empath at 8:23 AM on March 12, 2012


If Obama were really interested in suppressing the free speech rights of protesters, do you think he would have tolerated this?

Bush literally had a couple of fellow Republicans arrested--not just ejected but arrested--for wearing anti-Bush t-shirts to a public event in West Virginia. Obama let Tea Party protesters show up outside his town hall events brandishing rifles and did nothing to prevent it. They didn't even get arrested.

The differences in practice are striking enough to me. This is a president who's had more death threats made against him than every president to-date combined. His restraint when it comes to expanding his authority solely for the purpose of protecting himself has been admirable.

We'll just have to disagree on this one, I suspect.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:23 AM on March 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


That's why we have a Supreme Court.

Now go ahead - show how someone charged under this law gets to the Supreme Court.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:36 AM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


bin Ladin would still be alive right now.

Somehow a man with bad kidneys living in a cave would still be alive 10+ years later?

Pull the other one, it plays Yankee Doodle Dandy.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:37 AM on March 12, 2012


Now go ahead - show how someone charged under this law gets to the Supreme Court.

Ask Hamdi.
posted by empath at 8:45 AM on March 12, 2012


Yes! Taking away your constitutional rights is Antonin Scalia's job!

At this point, it's all but assured that at least Justice Ginsberg will retire in the next 4 years, and that Breyer and/or Kennedy may do so as well, giving us a possible 2 liberal and 1 swing Justices being replaced in the next term or two. It's also pretty much a given that we'll be seeing DOMA/Lawrence/Loving, Roe, and a number of civil rights and voter rights laws come up before the SC. Now, I dare anyone who claims that it wouldn't be so bad under a President Romney to prove how he won't appoint people who will rule gay marriage, abortion (and a lot of contraception like Plan B, for that matter), further civil liberties, and Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act as illegal. I'm not talking about fundraisers from twenty years ago, I'm talking about concrete executive actions and/or influence over judicial and legislative actions, and statements made in the last 5 years.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:07 AM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think this law will actually have much of an impact on anything. Cities and states (like Toronto or Chicago) are the ones who make up most of the rules for protests

Just look at all the laws they are trying to pass for G8. I wonder why they bother having the G8/G20 in free countries. They should just hold the G8 in Moscow and the G20 in Beijing or Riyadh every year and stop they give a crap about democracy.
posted by delmoi at 9:09 AM on March 12, 2012


From the ACLU: On December 31, 2011, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), codifying indefinite military detention without charge or trial into law for the first time in American history. The NDAA’s dangerous detention provisions would authorize the president — and all future presidents — to order the military to pick up and indefinitely imprison people captured anywhere in the world, far from any battlefield.

Is there something I'm missing, or is the ACLU just wrong when they say this?


Of course the ACLU doesn't like this section of the bill. I don't like this section of the bill. President Obama doesn't like it (as he made clear in his signing statement). But that's not because the bill actually changes anything--at all--with respect to Presidential powers or the constitutional limits of those powers. The provisions of that bill have been so watered down that they make absolutely zero practical difference. They amount to nothing more than Congress voicing a policy preference ("Hey, Mr. President, we'd prefer it if you systematically dealt with people you arrest in the course of the 'War on Terror' via military tribunals rather than the civilian courts"). I disagree (strongly) with that policy preference and I hope that this year's NDAA will expunge those sections of the bill (and a number of powerful senators are working to that end). But if that happens neither you nor I will be any "freer" than we were the day before--nor will the President have any more or less power to detain anyone--citizen or foreigner--than he had the day before. The bill does not create a "power to detain"--it merely instructs the President to exercise a power which it assumes he already has.

As to whether or not he has that power, that question is as yet undetermined. The most recent relevant case I can think of is Jose Padilla--a US citizen arrested for terrorism on US soil. The last federal court to rule on Padilla's case ruled that his detention (for several years) as an "enemy combatant" without any charges filed against him was legal. Until a case of that kind gets ruled on by the Supreme Court the question of the limits of the President's powers in these cases will be an open one.
posted by yoink at 9:24 AM on March 12, 2012


From the ACLU: On December 31, 2011, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), codifying indefinite military detention without charge or trial into law for the first time in American history. The NDAA’s dangerous detention provisions would authorize the president — and all future presidents — to order the military to pick up and indefinitely imprison people captured anywhere in the world, far from any battlefield.

Is there something I'm missing, or is the ACLU just wrong when they say this?

Or this:

The American Civil Liberties Union has stated that "While President Obama issued a signing statement saying he had 'serious reservations' about the provisions, the statement only applies to how his administration would use the authorities granted by the NDAA." The ACLU also maintains that "the breadth of the NDAA’s detention authority violates international law because it is not limited to people captured in the context of an actual armed conflict as required by the laws of war."


The ACLU is playing this up to get votes. The NDAA states that it does not affect domestic detention matters at all and that current law holds. Unless somebody repeals the 4th Amendment and Padilla is overturned, then we are fine.

And Obama has immediately turned around and adopted guidelines to protect any US citizen anywhere from military detention. He's essentially completed an end run around these procedures. The ability to do the end run is what he traded for in the bill, which did not exist. Before the 2012 NDAA, military detention was required Now he can waive it whenever he chooses, for reasons of national security. Which will likely be every single time.

As for the bill at hand all it does is say that if you know its a restricted area around the President of the United States and you enter it you can be prosecuted.

All in favor of a law not allowing a person to go on the White House grounds without permission, raise your hand.

there is no right to protest in complete defiance of a content-neutral law reasonably setting conditions on the right to protest. So Fred Phelps can't protest inside your living room, or Obama's or anyone else's.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:55 AM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


The best cite I can offer...

Bush's supporters were convinced of his fundamental decency. You understood that their partisan loyalty made them willfully blind to reality.

The remainder of the solution is left as an exercise for the student.


Seriously, show me where this prevents Occupy from doing anything they should be allowed to do. If you believe it is right for Fred Phelps to run on to the White House grounds (Not Lafayette Park) and just open up a protest I have to disagree with you.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:58 AM on March 12, 2012


The ACLU is playing this up to get votes.

Yes, I sure wish that darn ACLU would stop getting elected every year and let some other civil liberties group run things for a change.

Okay, but seriously: Who do you think will be getting the votes influenced by the ACLU here?
posted by dubold at 10:21 AM on March 12, 2012 [8 favorites]


[a primary challenge] sure worked out well for liberals when they did it to Jimmy Carter, didn't it?
Did you know that people who are wearing parachutes are far more likely to die from falling out of a plane than people who aren't?
posted by roystgnr at 10:27 AM on March 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Okay, but seriously: Who do you think will be getting the votes influenced by the ACLU here?

It's not just votes against, but not voting. And, of course, both nays and no-votes have a very deleterious effect on downballot voting on not just the federal level, but the state and local level as well. And since most of the GOP nastiness (in particular anti-choice legislation) comes from the state and local elections that the ACLU can't or won't devote attention to, it has wider-ranging effects.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:41 AM on March 12, 2012


The ACLU is playing this up to get votes.

Yes, I sure wish that darn ACLU would stop getting elected every year and let some other civil liberties group run things for a change.

Okay, but seriously: Who do you think will be getting the votes influenced by the ACLU here?


They wanted to get votes in Congress against the bill. They wanted to motivate supporters to call legislators who would then be convinced to vote against the bill. Very few legislators were.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:47 AM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, I sure wish that darn ACLU would stop getting elected every year and let some other civil liberties group run things for a change.

The ACLU is actively campaigning to get Congress to remove these provisions from the Bill when the NDAA comes up again this year--and they're making some good headway. I don't blame them--it would be better to not have Congress trying to force the President to use military tribunals rather than the civilian justice system. But that doesn't mean that this bill has in any way whatsoever diminished anybody's civil liberties or that it's a reason to vote against Obama in November.
posted by yoink at 10:55 AM on March 12, 2012


And since most of the GOP nastiness (in particular anti-choice legislation) comes from the state and local elections that the ACLU can't or won't devote attention to, it has wider-ranging effects.

The ACLU has chapters in every state I've lived in in the last 10 years (CA, MI, WA) that were very active in engaging members on local issues and elections.

Right now, the ACLU WA page has information on Governor Gregoire's signing of the marriage equality bill in Washington state, safe and just policing (related to the Justice Department investigation of Seattle Police Department racial issues), and drug policy (marijuana legalization efforts in WA). A couple pages in (Issues -> Reproductive Rights or Issues -> Women's Rights) there are articles about current state bills on regulating pregnancy centers and sexual education in public schools.

I'm willing to bet ACLU voters are much more active in local politics than the normal population.
posted by formless at 11:14 AM on March 12, 2012


He's essentially completed an end run around these procedures. The ability to do the end run is what he traded for in the bill, which did not exist. Before the 2012 NDAA, military detention was required Now he can waive it whenever he chooses, for reasons of national security. Which will likely be every single time.

Well then we'd all better hope he stays in office forever and ever so no one else will use the superpowers for E.V.I.L.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:36 AM on March 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you believe it is right for Fred Phelps to run on to the White House grounds (Not Lafayette Park) and just open up a protest

I think he should have that right. And the security guards, on seeing a running man have the right to shoot him dead.

I believe that would be a win-win no?
posted by rough ashlar at 11:39 AM on March 12, 2012


We'd all better hope he stays in office forever

It's interesting. When Bush was going hog wild with his executive power grabs, a few people tried challenging Republicans to think about how they would like it when Hillary inherited those powers. But the Republicans refused to think about it.

And now, when Democrats are challenged to think about the next Republican president inheriting the even greater executive power that Obama will bequeath him, the Democrats refuse to think about it too. And this despite their readiness to scare unenthusiastic voters with the imagined horrors of a Republican presidential victory.

I think it can only be explained thus. To acknowledge that the Republican bogeyperson of choice couldn't be trusted with that power is too uncomfortably close to acknoweldging that people in general - and politicians in particular - can't be trusted with that power.

And if people can't be trusted with that power, the fact that their Leader is busily trying to seize it would make him... not that nice after all.

Since that idea is unendurable to them, they must pretend not to have heard the question.
posted by Trurl at 12:02 PM on March 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


What parts of "annual authorization bill" and "essentially completed an end run around these procedures," to say nothing of the whole bill-becoming-law process, is so hard to understand? Please don't lie about mine and other people's motivations.

And for the record, very few of the horrors of a GOP victory are "imaginary." There's already a lot of horrors already on the books across the country, and a lot more in the pipeline with pretty much 100% chance of becoming law, thanks to state GOP efforts.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:15 PM on March 12, 2012


"So do I vote for Obama and get all this police state shit, 8% unemployment, and 5 bucks a gallon for gas, or do I vote for Romney and get all of this police state shit and at least a remote chance that something in the economy might improve?"

Did Obama give you "all this police state shit"? No, he did not.

The legislator primarily responsible for bringing this to you is Rep. Thomas Rooney (R-Fla.) in the House of Representatives.

Current law prohibits unlawful entries upon any restricted building or ground where the President, Vice President, or other protectee is temporarily visiting.

However, there is no Federal law that expressly prohibits unlawful entry to the White House and its grounds or the Vice President's residence and its grounds. The United States Secret Service must therefore rely upon a provision in the District of Columbia Code, which addresses only minor misdemeanor infractions when someone attempts to or successfully climbs the White House fence or, worse, breaches the White House, itself.

H.R. 347 remedies this problem. It specifically includes the White House, the Vice President's residence, and their respective grounds in the definition of restricted buildings and grounds. The bill also clarifies that the penalties in section 1752 of title 18 apply to those who knowingly enter or remain in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so. Current law does not include this important element.

That said, is this law really necessary, even though it was popularly supported? No.

Perhaps a big part of the problem is that the system itself incentivizes passing new laws, so that we can see that our legislators are actually doing something...?!
posted by markkraft at 12:24 PM on March 12, 2012


And now, when Democrats are challenged to think about the next Republican president inheriting the even greater executive power that Obama will bequeath him

What greater powers? The NDAA added nothing. This just makes a federal crime something that was already a local DC crime previously.

You guys are inventing phantoms.

Bush wasn't theoretically torturing people, he was literally ordering people to be tortured, sometimes until death. It wasn't something that could have happened, it was something that did, happen.

Bush didn't just theoretically arrest an american citizen as an unlawful combatant and attempt to try him in military court, he actually did it.

Talk to me when Obama actually does something. As far as I can tell the worst he's done has been to possibly illegally kill a terrorist with a drone strike.
posted by empath at 12:37 PM on March 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was just about to write exactly what empath wrote above. Obama has not expanded the powers of the presidency at all. Certainly not through this legislation or through the NDAA. The NDAA very specifically says that it is not creating new powers--it is instructing the President to use powers he already has in a certain way. It is, if anything, an attempt to constrain the independence of the Executive, not to bolster it.

Why are good, well meaning people wasting so much of their effort fighting utterly imaginary bogey men under this Presidency?
posted by yoink at 12:42 PM on March 12, 2012


In the American common law definition of trespass, there is no requirement that trespass be "knowing." This is literally Torts I material.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:43 PM on March 12, 2012


If you believe it is right for Fred Phelps to run on to the White House grounds (Not Lafayette Park) and just open up a protest

I think he should have that right. And the security guards, on seeing a running man have the right to shoot him dead.

I believe that would be a win-win no?


No. First, fleeing is generally not enough to generate the use of deadly force. The Secret Service Uniformed Division cannot shoot anyone unless they are threatening a protectee or threatening the officer or another with imminent use of deadly physical force. Fred Phelps should not die letting us all know what his views are. Instead, he should be rationally limited, where necessary, by reasonable, content-neutral law and regulation in his use of free speech.

Fred Phelps should not be killed.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:49 PM on March 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


is instructing the President to use powers he already has in a certain way. It is, if anything, an attempt to constrain the independence of the Executive, not to bolster it.

Why are good, well meaning people wasting so much of their effort fighting utterly imaginary bogey men under this Presidency?


It did give a new power to the President. The power not to detain militarily. That was the law before this. Now he can write his own standards. Which he did. And which give him nearly unlimited powers not to use military detention, powers which he did not have before.

As for the second part, I think people invest in being against something. When that something changes, they pretend like it hasn't, so as not to destroy that investment.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:52 PM on March 12, 2012


>In the American common law definition of trespass, there is no requirement that trespass be "knowing."

But this isn't trespass law, and this law does have a knowingly clause to it.
posted by Bovine Love at 12:53 PM on March 12, 2012


But this isn't trespass law, and this law does have a knowingly clause to it.

Sorry, I had misread the initial post. My apologies.

Still, I submit that this is essentially a variation on trespass law, except for the special circumstances of the President and his travelling caravan of security. As for the "willfully" adverb, that certainly ain't in regular trespass law. The "knowing" requirement here almost certainly refers to the alleged trespasser knowing that his/her actions would put him/her on the property in question, and not necessarily that the trespasser actually knew that s/he was behaving in an off-limits manner. This once again puts it square with plain old common law trespass.

There are many things to be upset by in the world, let alone in the US, let alone under the aegis of President Obama. This law is not ranking in my top 5,000 things to be concerned about.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:02 PM on March 12, 2012


As far as I can tell the worst he's done has been to possibly illegally kill a terrorist with a drone strike.

Even if we posit your definition of "terrorist" as "anyone the President calls a terrorist", illegally killing people is also known as "murder".

If that's not sufficiently objectionable to you, I guess there's nothing left to say.
posted by Trurl at 1:04 PM on March 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Even if we posit your definition of "terrorist" as "anyone the President calls a terrorist", illegally killing people is also known as "murder".

If that's not sufficiently objectionable to you, I guess there's nothing left to say.


Every president since George Washington has done shit like that. You can get hung up on legal or illegal all you want, but he killed a terrorist who was actively and openly plotting to kill Americans and recruiting others to help. But he did it out in the open, and the American people get to do decide how they feel about it in 8 months or so.
posted by empath at 1:50 PM on March 12, 2012


a terrorist who was actively and openly plotting to kill Americans and recruiting others to help

Please point to some evidence that he was ever convicted of, or even charged with, the above.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 1:52 PM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Please point to some evidence that he was ever convicted of, or even charged with, the above.

You don't have to convict soldiers individually in a war before shooting at them. The US is in a declared state of war with Al Queada -- approved by congress. He was an avowed and active member of al Quaeda. End of the story as far as I'm concerned.
posted by empath at 2:03 PM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you feel otherwise, ask your congressman to impeach him and try him for murder. It'll be interesting to see how far that goes.
posted by empath at 2:03 PM on March 12, 2012


What battlefield was he on?
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 2:10 PM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yemen.
posted by empath at 2:27 PM on March 12, 2012


Yemen.

What battlefield in Yemen was he on?
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 2:31 PM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would rather see terrorism cases handled entirely by civil authorities, but I'm also not going to shed a tear for somebody who publicly admitted to plotting against the US and publicly claimed to be a member of a group that declared itself our sworn enemy in which we are engaged in a declared war with.
posted by wierdo at 2:32 PM on March 12, 2012


Oh, I don't miss al-Awlaki either. I just miss the rule of law.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 2:34 PM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Congress authorized exactly what the president did against Al Quaeda members. He joined Al Quaeda. The results were predictable. If someone wants to take it up with the supreme court, they're welcome to. The ACLU didn't even bother.
posted by empath at 2:37 PM on March 12, 2012


The ACLU didn't even bother.

His father not having standing to sue doesn't make his killing legal.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 2:42 PM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Since when has it been against the law of war to destroy your enemy's ability to make war?
posted by wierdo at 2:47 PM on March 12, 2012


His father not having standing to sue doesn't make his killing legal.

How do you define what's legal?
posted by empath at 3:02 PM on March 12, 2012


You can get hung up on legal or illegal all you want

Not subscribing to the "just a goddamned piece of paper" school of thought, I do choose to get hung up on the illegality of murder.

That other people have also committed murder, have been difficult to prosecute for it, or even enjoyed popularity when the victim belonged to a sufficiently reviled minority are not extenuating circusmtances under the statutes.
posted by Trurl at 3:06 PM on March 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


How do you define what's legal?

Not depriving someone of life without due process of law.

Killing, with premeditation and without intent to capture alive, someone who is not engaged in active combat, is not on a battlefield, and who is a U.S. citizen who has not been charged with or convicted of any crime, sets a pretty bad precedent.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 3:15 PM on March 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


No. First, fleeing is generally not enough to generate the use of deadly force.

Huh. How does one go from 'to run on to' to fleeing?
posted by rough ashlar at 4:20 PM on March 12, 2012


How do you define what's legal?


Not depriving someone of life without due process of law.

There was a process, the AUMF. If you join an army at war with the US, you're fairly likely to get killed by the US military, whether or not you're a citizen. You don't need to have an individual trial for every single soldier in the army. That has never been the law.
posted by empath at 5:50 PM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


You can get hung up on legal or illegal all you want

Not subscribing to the "just a goddamned piece of paper" school of thought, I do choose to get hung up on the illegality of murder.

That other people have also committed murder, have been difficult to prosecute for it, or even enjoyed popularity when the victim belonged to a sufficiently reviled minority are not extenuating circusmtances under the statutes.



Exactly what statutes? And what parts of the Constitution are applicable extraterritorialy? Which cases support your position. Mere hand waiving that it "applies everywhere" does not count. Enlighten us.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:28 PM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


And now, when Democrats are challenged to think about the next Republican president inheriting the even greater executive power that Obama will bequeath him, the Democrats refuse to think about it too. And this despite their readiness to scare unenthusiastic voters with the imagined horrors of a Republican presidential victory.

For my part, I believe I am very much thinking about this, and I'll admit it scares me. But none of these issues ultimately can be fixed permanently by the office of the president: The best Obama can do by himself in most cases is to issue signing statements and executive orders. He's done that. Can and will another president potentially reverse them? Sure. That's why these are problems congress really needs to be pushed to address seriously.

Agitating for Obama to make deep systemic changes that only congress can make plays right into the favorite tactic of the Right to use Democratic presidents as lightning rods for criticisms that should really be applied much more generally to the broader Washington establishment (and specifically, to congress). The day President Obama vetoes a bill to fund closing Guantanamo or the like without a damn good reason (because, say, despite the inexorable logic of the deed, the Republican house for once failed to tack on an amendment to the final bill requiring puppy-torturing to offset any deficit in human misery that passage of the bill might incidentally create), then that day I'll consider him the primary bad guy. Until then, I'm going to continue to place the bulk of the responsibility for these failures on the body most responsible for creating the laws that I continue to hate, and I'll continue to be grateful to have the one guy in office I'm pretty sure would never veto a change in the right direction without a good reason.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:08 PM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, we could always just drag the administration out into the streets and begin the executions, but then they say that I'm the radical, I'm the dangerous one. I don't know. Politics is so difficult to discuss at birthday parties.
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:13 PM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mere hand waiving that it "applies everywhere" does not count. Enlighten us.

I'm extremely sympathetic to the idea that the rights enumerated the constitution and the bill of rights are universal rights and in no way dependent on being an american--the constitution and bill of rights are merely a means of protecting rights we already have by virtue of being human. I still think it's possible to waive those protections through your actions. The US can only enforce the constitution where the US government has jurisdiction. If you purposefully leave that jurisdiction, and go to a place like Yemen, which is nearly lawless, then you can't expect to live under the umbrella of that protection. The constitution is a social contract, and all parties involved have to uphold their end of the bargain. If he wanted a trial, he could have had one. All he had to do was turn leave the battlefield and turn himself in. He didn't even have to turn himself over to the US. He could have surrendered to any government on earth, had he chosen. Does anyone really believe he would not have had a trial had he done so?

He knew full well what the consequences were. He had plenty of time to prevent his death.
posted by empath at 8:28 PM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Let's imagine a more prosaic scenario.

A man calls 911, says there's a guy running around with an automatic rifle threatening to shoot people.

The police respond. It turns out, there actually is a guy running around with a gun threatening to shoot people. He's standing on the top of a building, pointing the gun at people on the street, saying that eventually, he's going to pull the trigger.

Do you really need to have a trial before you let a sniper shoot the guy?
posted by empath at 8:33 PM on March 12, 2012


I'm extremely sympathetic to the idea that the rights enumerated the constitution and the bill of rights are universal rights and in no way dependent on being an american--the constitution and bill of rights are merely a means of protecting rights we already have by virtue of being human. I still think it's possible to waive those protections through your actions.

From a legal standpoint, not all Constitutional rights apply in the United States, let alone abroad. Did you know the Fourteenth Amendment does not apply in the District of Columbia? The search and seizure requirements of the Fourth Amendment do not apply to non-resident aliens in a foreign country. The FBI can search a non-resident alien's property overseas without a warrant and use that evidence against them in a court of law.

Other interesting facts: Balzac v. Porto Rico, 258 U. S. 298 (1922) (Fifth Amendment right to jury trial inapplicable in Puerto Rico); Ocampo v. United States, 234 U. S. 91 (1914) (Sixth Amendment grand jury provision inapplicable in Philippines); Dorr v. United States, 195 U. S. 138 (1904) (jury trial provision inapplicable in Philippines); Hawaii v. Mankichi, 190 U. S. 197 (1903) (provisions on indictment by grand jury and jury trial inapplicable in Hawaii); Downes v. Bidwell, 182 U. S. 244 (1901) (revenue clauses of Constitution inapplicable to Puerto Rico).

Aliens arrested on foreign soil have no Fifth Amendment rights either. Only a plurality of justices held in Reid v. Covert that the government must guarantee the Bill of Rights to its own citzens abroad.

Just assuming the Constitution applies in every circumstance doesn't cut it.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:56 PM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


But he did it out in the open, and the American people get to do decide how they feel about it in 8 months or so.

Lol. That's not a defense of his actions, that's a blatant admission that neither the government nor the people trust the mechanism of due process enough to allow it to be put in motion.

In a stronger and more self-assured democracy, President Obama might be brought forth in front of a judge.

But we don't trust the system any more, so we kill people before we allow the system a crack at dealing with them fairly.

How this failure of democracy will play out over more than 8 months — for all Americans, Islamic terrorists or not — remains to be seen.

Buy the ticket, take the ride.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:16 PM on March 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


The life of the law has not been logic; it has been whatever at least five out of nine political appointees say it is at any given point.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 10:47 PM on March 12, 2012


[Maybe everyone who wants to fight about the "terrorist/murder-or-not?" thing again can do that among yourselves somewhere else, and those who want to discuss the trepass bill can do it here. ]
posted by taz (staff) at 1:36 AM on March 13, 2012


"As far as I can tell the worst he's done has been to possibly illegally kill a terrorist with a drone strike."

Let's make it clear: by the definition of those who think the drone strikes can't be legally justified, the armed jaunt into Pakistan to kill OBL -- located just down the road from our "partner in the war against terrorism"'s military base -- was considerably worse. An act of war, basically.

Certainly, by their standards, the way we got the intel on OBL in the first place -- from detainees at Guantanamo -- was off-the-table.

Had we been Boy Scouts in response to Osama Bin Laden's repeated, indiscriminately murderous attacks worldwide, he would still be free today, actively plotting and planning, and playing with the local children.

So while I would *like* the US to be less morally grey on the international stage, it's hard to afford that kind of luxury -- politically or otherwise -- when you're under attack or at war. President Obama has done admirably at removing the source of the attack... and at gradually doing away with the wars too, in a way that isn't arousing excessive opposition.

I would make it abundantly clear: anyone who says that Obama hasn't done anything about Guantanamo -- the chief argument in the "all this police state shit" argument put forward, is either monumentally uninformed or dismissively ignorant.

Detainees were coming from across the world to Guantanamo -- oftentimes as a result of rendition tactics -- right up until 2008. But no new detainees have been brought to Guantanamo Bay during the Obama Administration.. There are currently 171 detainees at Guantanamo Bay, four of whom have been convicted. The rest await trial by military commission. At its height, the facility had as many as 670 detainees there at one time.

President Obama has personally spoken with dozens of rulers from across the world, to whittle that number down further by getting them to take in detainees... but the Republicans cynically inserted legislation into a defense spending bill, in order to make it much harder for Guantanamo detainees from being released to other countries. They did the same thing, in regards to allowing detainees to be imprisoned and tried in the US, as well.

Even now, when Obama is on the verge of releasing several detainees in exchange for the Taliban negotiating with Afghanistan on a ceasefire -- something it is his right to do as the Commander-in-Chief -- the GOP has released a partisan report which none of the Democrats on the committee signed off on, claiming a nearly 28% recidivism rate for released Guantanamo detainees. What they failed to point out, however, was that this claim is absurd and entirely misleading as to the actual recidivism, and that almost all of those recidivists were from detainees released by the Bush Administration. Under the process used for releasing detainees by the Obama Administration, that rate has fallen to about 3%.

Do Democrats blame Republican lawmakers for cynically inserting legislation into DoD appropriations bills, to keep Guantanamo and the war on terror alive? Rarely. But that's where your "police state shit" is coming from. Politicians playing gotcha games to force Democratic law makers to either vote against the soldiers or for the terrorists, while keeping the war on terror going just a bit longer; making Guantanamo a real, legislative black hole that even the POTUS can't bring an end to without violating US law.

Meanwhile, your POTUS is completely restructuring the way military tribunals are done. The *entire* system, not just for Guantanamo, so that they comply with the legal requirements the Supreme Court laid down in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and violate neither the Uniform Code of Military Justice or the Geneva Conventions, allowing trials to proceed.

That's right. President Obama is making *all* military justice significantly more just, so that the 171 detainees can get a fair day in court. He's even dragging in lots of top talent from the Justice Department to make it happen. And that means that he's likely to take a hit, when some of the defendants go free... but that's something he is willing to do.

So before you talk too much about how Obama is up to his neck in "all this police state shit", perhaps it's worth pondering that you elected a constitutional law scholar for a reason... to fundamentally change the system, rather than running roughshod over it with supposed executive powers like a mirror image of the last guy who had the job. Consider the fact that the last guy's political party is doing their utmost -- not always with great visibility or reporting from our media -- to keep the current wrongheaded rules in place... and ask yourself again whether there's really no difference between the last guy and his party and the new guy and his.

It certainly seems to me that one political party wants to keep us locked in place until such point as they can drag us further down the rabbit hole, while the other -- and especially their leader -- is trying to somehow drag us out of the very deep hole we've found ourselves in, while still being effective not looking too weak in the process.

Sure, you didn't send them to Washington in the hope of seeing them compromise their principles when needed in order to get reelected, but given the alternative, perhaps you can understand why getting relected over people with no principles whatsoever might be a good thing.
posted by markkraft at 1:53 AM on March 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


The bill here seems to be a no-brainer. Here's the test:


1. Does the regulation serve an important governmental interest?

Protection of the President and Vice President of the United States? Yes.

2. Is the government interest served by the regulation unrelated to the suppression of a particular message?

This is also called the content neutral requirement. The answer here is yes. Fred Phelps, Occupy the White House, Travis Bickle, it doesn't matter who it is.

3. Is the regulation narrowly tailored to serve the government's interest?

It only applies to the White House, the Vice President's Residence and certain other places where a temporary event of national significance is occurring.


4. Does the regulation leave open ample alternative means for communicating messages?

I walk by Lafayette Park a dozen times a year. There's plenty of places to protest and always someone doing it.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:21 AM on March 13, 2012


In a stronger and more self-assured democracy, President Obama might be brought forth in front of a judge.

So you want to throw out the constitution then, got it.
posted by empath at 8:24 AM on March 13, 2012


...certain other places where a temporary event of national significance is occurring.

Them's important words, because it seems to me this is about those big protests at the G8 and other big international showcase conferences, as well as the Occupy events. Those are embarrassing -- that's what makes (or I guess made) them so great. Travis Bickle and Fred Phelps are bullshit red herrings.
posted by Trochanter at 8:45 AM on March 13, 2012


Them's important words, because it seems to me this is about those big protests at the G8 and other big international showcase conferences, as well as the Occupy events. Those are embarrassing

Strawman argument. From what I can tell, Obama's been embracing the Occupy events, not trying to distance himself from them. And in any case, they've all been held in public spaces not restricted by this law anyway.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:56 AM on March 13, 2012


So you want to throw out the constitution then, got it.

...

Empath, you've been dominating this thread with one bad faith comment after another, and several people have put your specious arguments to bed already. Maybe you should give it a rest.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:30 AM on March 13, 2012


...certain other places where a temporary event of national significance is occurring.

Them's important words, because it seems to me this is about those big protests at the G8 and other big international showcase conferences, as well as the Occupy events. Those are embarrassing -- that's what makes (or I guess made) them so great. Travis Bickle and Fred Phelps are bullshit red herrings.


My point is that they are content neutral. It does not matter what the viewpoint of the person whose doing it is. Since being content neutral is one of the four prongs of the test of time, manner and place restrictions, they are not red herrings, they are important points.

the thing about Phelps is this. If he could show up with Occupy numbers, he would. This isn't about Occupy. From a legal standpoint, this statute appears to be constitutional.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:59 AM on March 13, 2012


So you want to throw out the constitution then, got it.

...

Empath, you've been dominating this thread with one bad faith comment after another, and several people have put your specious arguments to bed already. Maybe you should give it a rest.


Let's argue against the points, not the man. Why is his point wrong? Help us. (I haven't reviewed it, so it is an actual, not rhetorical question).
posted by Ironmouth at 10:00 AM on March 13, 2012


Empath, you've been dominating this thread with one bad faith comment after another

FIAMO, or metatalk. But it's not bad faith to point out that it's unconstitutional to drag the president in front of a judge.
posted by empath at 10:14 AM on March 13, 2012


I don't think it's primarily about Occupy either. I think it's about how they had to move the G8 conference to Camp David. I think it's about the NATO conference in Chicago. Protests at these big international shindigs are embarrassing. And they keep getting bigger.
posted by Trochanter at 10:32 AM on March 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


From what I can tell, Obama's been embracing the Occupy events, not trying to distance himself from them.

From what I can tell, he's "embraced" the Occupy movement ant the Tea Party in about equal measure. He feels their pain or something.
posted by Trochanter at 11:04 AM on March 13, 2012


Empath, you've been dominating this thread with one bad faith comment after another

FIAMO, or metatalk. But it's not bad faith to point out that it's unconstitutional to drag the president in front of a judge


The President is immune from criminal prosecution while in office, but is not immune from civil suit, as Clinton found out.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:27 AM on March 13, 2012


"Empath, you've been dominating this thread with one bad faith comment after another, and several people have put your specious arguments to bed already. Maybe you should give it a rest."

Sorry. Consider me another person who thinks that Empath's arguments have been essentially correct, from a legal standpoint.

You may not like that, granted... but the law has changed. And if I had to wager whether either the law or the fundamental conditions that make the law desirable by the powers-that-be are going to change first, I would have to argue in favor with the fundamental conditions.

But that will take time. Meanwhile, the POTUS' application of the law has been measured, to the point that he's refusing numerous powers that he has been granted, and is actively trying to get rid of them.

The big problem here, unfortunately, is that you cannot count on future Presidents to do the same.

It means that all of us will have to do our duty as informed voters, even though we might not feel the hope or the point anymore, or we might be tired of brand x.

We, as voters, are on the edge of a black hole, and can't afford to blow it anymore. The stakes have gotten too high, and everything, from our laws, to our ability to work productively with other nations, to how we keep the power on and the economy going, to the very planet we live on, is at stake here.

We're in a very precarious position, but in all honesty, it's not as though we didn't choose to put ourselves here.
posted by markkraft at 11:35 AM on March 13, 2012


The big problem here, unfortunately, is that you cannot count on future Presidents to do the same.

This is the argument people should be making. But the problem is the damned bill was going to pass with a veto-proof majority anyway. No matter what the President did. This is what something like 9/11 does to a country, especially when the wrong President is in charge at the time.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:02 PM on March 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


These constitutional arguments are ways to squirm around the real issue. That this law, like so many other ones passed in the past decade, are harmful to democracy.

So, like I asked in the last thread, "Do you think the NDAA will ever be used to hold American citizens stationed in the US?" I ask those supporting this bill in this thread, "Do you think this bill will be used to arrest and prosecute protesters who are not near any persons protected by the Secret Service?" Are you willing to state that you think the third clause won't be abused by this or future administrations?

Because that's what it comes down to.

And maybe someday it will eventually be overturned by our wonderful judicial process. But we're getting quite a backlog of bills that are going to need to work their way through the system, and innocent people will be caught in them.
posted by formless at 1:27 PM on March 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


So, like I asked in the last thread, "Do you think the NDAA will ever be used to hold American citizens stationed in the US?" I ask those supporting this bill in this thread, "Do you think this bill will be used to arrest and prosecute protesters who are not near any persons protected by the Secret Service?"

No to first, and not any more than are arrested now to the second. Local police don't even need a law to be complete bastards about arresting protestors without any cause at all.
posted by empath at 1:32 PM on March 13, 2012


"Are you willing to state that you think the third clause won't be abused by this or future administrations?"

I don't think that anyone here is really wildly enthused about this law, or is suggesting that this law -- like practically any other in regards to limiting freedom of speech -- isn't potentially vulnerable to abuse.

The thing is, a Republican wanted this law, practically every lawmaker saw it as justifiable, even though they might have had concerns as to how it could potentially be abused. But you have to take a look at it from their perspective... it wasn't that long ago when Tea Partiers were in spitting distance of them. I don't think it's too much to suggest that they fear for their own safety, and want to keep the POTUS and anyone who needs security a bit safer from us and any terrorist who might be amongst us. Because we apparently can't be trusted, at least in aggregate.

And so it goes...
posted by markkraft at 3:01 PM on March 13, 2012


These constitutional arguments are ways to squirm around the real issue. That this law, like so many other ones passed in the past decade, are harmful to democracy.

How can a law, passed by an overwhelming number of legislators be non-democratic?

This law is not and never will be caused by elites. You think the forces of capital give a shit about how one gnat or even fifty is dealt with? Hardly. This law is to be laid at the feet of the masses, whose fear created this. We are most certainly to blame.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:07 PM on March 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


From what I can tell, he's "embraced" the Occupy movement ant the Tea Party in about equal measure. He feels their pain or something.

Wait, what? I'll need some proof of this.

This is the argument people should be making. But the problem is the damned bill was going to pass with a veto-proof majority anyway. No matter what the President did.

This. The problem isn't that Obama signed it, it's that it doesn't matter if Obama had vetoed it or not, future presidents would still have the power thanks to the legislature, not the executive.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:10 AM on March 14, 2012


From what I can tell, he's "embraced" the Occupy movement ant the Tea Party in about equal measure. He feels their pain or something.

Wait, what? I'll need some proof of this.


The democratic establishment was all about embracing the occupy movement, but the occupy folks basically told them to go fuck themselves.
posted by empath at 10:25 AM on March 14, 2012


One cannot simply have mere peasants approach the emperor's court uninvited. That would be untoward.
posted by moonbiter at 11:10 AM on March 14, 2012


From what I can tell, he's "embraced" the Occupy movement ant the Tea Party in about equal measure. He feels their pain or something.

Wait, what? I'll need some proof of this.

The democratic establishment was all about embracing the occupy movement, but the occupy folks basically told them to go fuck themselves.



“For a lot of the folks who have been in New York and all across the country in the Occupy movement, there is a profound sense of frustration about the fact that the essence of the American dream, which is if you work hard, if you stick to it that, you can make it, feels like that’s slipping away,” Obama said. “And that’s not the way things are supposed to be. Not here. Not in America.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:38 AM on March 14, 2012


You should always evaluate legislation in terms of how they guy you don't like would use it. This bill might be fine in Obama's hands, but what use would President Santorum make of it?
posted by b1tr0t at 12:50 PM on March 14, 2012


The best Obama can do by himself in most cases is to issue signing statements and executive orders

He could say 'this is too much power for the future people to handle. I'm sending this back to Congress to consider the future people who may be over aggressive in prosecution. If Congress thinks they are right, they can pass it without me. I am a check on power, just as the Judges are in case both Congress and myself get something wrong.'

And then not sign it.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:56 PM on March 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


How can a law, passed by an overwhelming number of legislators be non-democratic?

A dude who believes in the system, ladies and gentlemen.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:59 PM on March 14, 2012


I'm sending this back to Congress to consider the future people who may be over aggressive in prosecution. If Congress thinks they are right, they can pass it without me. I am a check on power, just as the Judges are in case both Congress and myself get something wrong.'

And then not sign it.


You do realize that he would not have gotten the exception power he negotiated for and both he and future Presidents would have been forced to militarily detain all terrorists, right? So it would have been worse.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:41 PM on March 14, 2012


How can a law, passed by an overwhelming number of legislators be non-democratic?

A dude who believes in the system, ladies and gentlemen.


We are the system. We actually voted these people in. This is the will of the electorate. And you and I have failed in our job as citizens to convince these people.

Let's be clear. Wall Street could give two shits about this. This is our fear, incarnate. The real bad guys here are the American electorate. The "system" is our fault.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:46 PM on March 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


This bill might be fine in Obama's hands, but what use would President Santorum make of it?

Obama has promised never to leave office, so nothing wrong will ever happen, and it's all good and quasi-legal, so why complain?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:03 PM on March 14, 2012


Obama has promised never to leave office, so nothing wrong will ever happen, and it's all good and quasi-legal, so why complain?
My bad. That totally slipped my mind. Won't happen again.
posted by b1tr0t at 6:04 PM on March 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Speaking of Vice Presidents being inconvenienced by protesters: Cheney Cancels Meeting in Canada With Spectre To Avoid Attempts To Arrest Him
posted by homunculus at 7:50 PM on March 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama has promised never to leave office, so nothing wrong will ever happen, and it's all good and quasi-legal, so why complain?

Read again the part about the legislature having total control of the law and where Obama's signing statements actually blunt the worst parts of it.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:01 AM on March 15, 2012


We are the system. We actually voted these people in. This is the will of the electorate.

The "we" of the Blue is international.

The "we" of the nation - the bulk do not vote.

The electorate "voted" - but do the votes get counted correctly? This years Maine primary has undercounts of who voted. Bev Harris at blackbox voting has brought up concerns over electronic voting machines. Washington DC asked for people to attempt to modify their electoral system and the animated character Bender won the vote. Then there is the historical vote rigging.

Perhaps I (rough ashler) missed your (ironmouth) comments or even the posting about the election abnormality in Maine this year. You must have some opinion given the importance you are placing 'on the will of the electorate', care to share?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:01 AM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tom the Dancing bug on HR347
posted by rough ashlar at 8:52 AM on March 15, 2012


This bill might be fine in Obama's hands, but what use would President Santorum make of it?

Obama has promised never to leave office, so nothing wrong will ever happen, and it's all good and quasi-legal, so why complain?


Let's get this 100% clear. Obama could do nothing to stop this bill. It was going to clear by gigantic, veto-proof majorities (which it actually did--just like when they dealt him the blow on Gitmo 2 years ago). There's a reason they attached it to the entire defense authorization bill for the whole government. It is filled with pork. So Obama can use a veto threat to slow down that pork in exchange for two things. (1) the statement that it doesn't change anything regarding anyone arrested in the US and (2) the authority to waive the provisions at will. That he did and that he got. And then he wrote rules allowing himself carte blanche to waive the military detention provisions at any time. But this bill was passing, like it or not. And if you are afraid of how Santorum would use it, then you'd be damn glad that Obama traded for what he did, because the original bill sucked big, big time.

What's your magic plan for stopping this bill? Who, by name, are the senators and congressmen that you are going to get to vote against the bill enough to kill it? I'd love to see your whip count.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:47 AM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


We are the system. We actually voted these people in. This is the will of the electorate.

The "we" of the Blue is international.

The "we" of the nation - the bulk do not vote.

The electorate "voted" - but do the votes get counted correctly? This years Maine primary has undercounts of who voted. Bev Harris at blackbox voting has brought up concerns over electronic voting machines. Washington DC asked for people to attempt to modify their electoral system and the animated character Bender won the vote. Then there is the historical vote rigging.

Perhaps I (rough ashler) missed your (ironmouth) comments or even the posting about the election abnormality in Maine this year. You must have some opinion given the importance you are placing 'on the will of the electorate', care to share?


So it is your contention that some sort of evil conspiracy has undercounted all of the votes and really, everyone voted for a bunch of screaming liberals who were denied the right to take seats rightfully theirs?

Hardly.

Let's look at the polling, shall we? Close Gitmo? 60-39 Opposed.

Military Detention the only polls I could find were from 2006. 54-42% U.S. Citizens felt Jose Padilla, a US Citizen, should be detained in military custody.

Rasumussen, 2010. 63%-23% of Americans want military tribunals. Same poll found 46% of people favoring a ban on spending to clear out Gitmo v. 23% Opposed.

Quinnipac, 2010 Voters say 68 – 25 percent that terrorism suspects should not receive all of the constitutional protections afforded by a civilian trial.


Obama is fighting the tide here. We have failed in our task of convincing voters. These numbers have remained constant for a long, long time. If you have some plan to avoid the NDAA passing with 90+ votes in the Senate, I'd love to see it. But I think a little dose of reality is needed here. We are in an echo chamber on this issue. We need to convince others of our position.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:59 AM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Read again the part about the legislature having total control of the law and where Obama's signing statements actually blunt the worst parts of it.

Obama Embraces Signing Statements After Knocking Bush for Using Them

Can anyone take those statements as fact, when he'd just as likely write another statement disowning previous statements, if it suited his purposes? I swear, it's like some of you not only have forgotten history, but are incapable of imagining a future where these things allow an anything-goes approach to running things, and that's not even considering what'll happen when/if he leaves office and someone even worse replaces him. Seriously.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:22 AM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can anyone take those statements as fact, when he'd just as likely write another statement disowning previous statements, if it suited his purposes? I swear, it's like some of you not only have forgotten history, but are incapable of imagining a future where these things allow an anything-goes approach to running things, and that's not even considering what'll happen when/if he leaves office and someone even worse replaces him. Seriously.

Please explain your plan for all of this. What exactly is the President supposed to do in this situation? Veto? It gets overidden. This bill passed with 90+ votes in the Senate.

So what is your plan? Ripping on the President is fine, but unless you got a better plan that actually works, its a waste of breath.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:24 PM on March 15, 2012


Can anyone take those statements as fact, when he'd just as likely write another statement disowning previous statements, if it suited his purposes?

The signing statement just clarified the language in the bill and codified how he interpreted it. There's nothing wrong with signing statements. The president needs to lay out how bills he signs are to be implemented by the executive branch where there is ambiguity. Bush used them excessively, and he used them in situations where it wasn't appropriate, and often against the clear intent of congress.

In this case, Obama is just implementing the bill as he reads it, and as many in congress interpreted it, and he's establishing precedent that the courts will look at if any later administration tries to read a more authoritarian interpretation of the bill, should the language even survive the next NDAA.
posted by empath at 3:01 PM on March 15, 2012


So it is your contention that some sort of evil conspiracy

Thanks for attempting to put words into what I said. Then answering the question you wanted to answer instead of what was actually said.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:41 PM on March 15, 2012


I swear, it's like some of you not only have forgotten history,

It has nothing to do with history, it has everything to do with support for someone because they have a D after their name.

not even considering what'll happen when/if he leaves office and someone even worse replaces him

Doesn't have to be worse. Just willing to use the new set of powers.

Somehow THIS President is going to use power without abuse?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:51 PM on March 15, 2012


Doesn't have to be worse. Just willing to use the new set of powers.

Somehow THIS President is going to use power without abuse?


Again, what is your plan that would have done things better? He traded the waiver on required detention and the statement that this doesn't effect the law as written regarding domestic arrests for passaage. What better plan do you have? Large majorities disagree with us on this issue. The vote on this and other bills indicates a veto-override was highly likely. Based on these facts, what is your plan to create a better outcome than the one that occurred here?
posted by Ironmouth at 8:00 AM on March 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


We have failed in our task of convincing voters.

I thought you said the NDAA wasn't a big deal - at least according to a lot of posts here. So what's with this "failed in our task of convincing voters" stuff? Sounds like yet another club to try to beat the Dirty Fucking Hippies over the head with.

On another note, I really wish we could stop with this Platonic Realm of Politics crap, the the political equivalent of the stereotypical Chicago School economist (no such things as externalities, no market failures, everyone's a rational actor, have faith in the curves, etc). It's as if 60 years of political literature simply vanished into thin air around here sometimes.
posted by jhandey at 3:13 PM on March 26, 2012


let us just have a civil war already

jesus

i am so tired of th
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:18 PM on March 26, 2012


Oh my god. Somebody got to TwelveTwo. Condition Chartreuse! Condition Chartreuse!
posted by Trochanter at 8:36 AM on March 27, 2012


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