“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned;

if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity;

but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand."

Ezekiel 33:6

"A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring."

Proverbs 25:26

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"So this is how liberty dies...?"

On Thursday, December 15th, the 220th anniversary of the Bill of Rights, the House and Senate succeeded in final passage of the NDAA bill, which permits the indefinite detention of Americans without charge or trial; an utter eradication of the Fifth Amendment, without apology.

Even the most despotic governments around the world wouldn't dare openly assert such a clearly tyrannical and autocratic claim - the outright denial of habeas corpus, or due process.

Is this what our veterans and our forefathers fought and gave their lives for? Unlimited power in the hands of one man - the President - to do as he wishes with American citizens?

If you are one of these American citizens, the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution recognizes your right to due process: "No person shall... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." The Fourth Amendment, for what it's worth, also recognizes that your right to be secure in your person and in your house (among other things) cannot be infringed by sidestepping the legal process. The explicit recognition of these rights by our government is one of the things that has always made our country exceptional. But this new law effectively nullifies our country's 220-year recognition of these inherent rights.

In "Subtitle D--Detainee Matters", Sec. 1031, "Congress affirms that the authority of the President...includes the authority...to detain...any person...who was a part of or substantially supported...enemy forces." The keyword here is "substantially supported." This designation is extrajudicial - that is, at the President's discretion. In Sec. 1032, "The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States." The keyword here is "requirement." In other words, the President has the authority to indefinitely detain any person who "substantially supported" the enemy, and is required to do so unless it is a U.S. citizen, in which case it is at the President's discretion.

What if opposition to certain government policies - the Patriot Act, or the TSA, or certain military actions, for example - is deemed "substantially supportive" of the enemy? What if radio hosts, or newspaper editors, or individuals of any activity get on the wrong side of the administration? Obama himself (or anyone who succeeds him) will now decide whether to send government agents to your living room to apprehend and detain you at Guantanamo Bay for whatever duration he wishes, under Congressionally-condoned false pretense and color of law. Did we not learn from Russia, China, and Germany in the past century?

To the so-called "conservatives" in Washington who are, at least rhetorically, constantly at odds with the Obama agenda, the majority of whom voted for this bill: how dare you give this (or any) administration even more broad military power to unequivocally control the very lives and liberty of We the People?

Couple that with the fact that Predator drones are now being used inside the United States, and we are looking at an outrageous reality: as of today, the transformation of America from a society of liberty and individual rights to an Orwellian police state is almost complete.

It cannot be overstated how serious of an offense this is. That all those in Congress who supported this legislation should immediately be removed from their posts for violation of their oath to uphold the Constitution is only the least that should happen in response to such an egregious assault on our liberties. We are witnessing the death of our Republic.

Over the past decade, our rights have slowly been dissolved; and though some of us have been sounding the warning bell for years, we've heard the same repeated dismissal: "It couldn't happen here. This is America!"

Wake up. It just happened.

Fans of the classic film series Star Wars will recognize the title, part of an observation spoken as the Senate cheers on Emperor Palpatine, who had just declared a similarly devastating annihilation of the sovereignty of the Republic. "So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause." At least their Republic got some recognition. We didn't even get a whimper.




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