Posts Tagged ‘NDAA’


Dominique de Kevelioc de BailleulBefore It’s News
May 4, 2012

In a riveting interview on TruNews Radio, Wednesday, private investigator Doug Hagmann said high-level, reliable sources told him the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is preparing for “massive civil war” in America.

“We have problems . . . The federal government is preparing for civil uprising,” he added, “so every time you hear about troop movements, every time you hear about movements of military equipment, the militarization of the police, the buying of the ammunition, all of this is . . . they (DHS) are preparing for a massive uprising.”

Hagmann goes on to say that his sources tell him the concerns of the DHS stem from a collapse of the U.S. dollar and the hyperinflation a collapse in the value of the world’s primary reserve currency implies to a nation of 311 million Americans, who, for the significant portion of the population, is armed.

Uprisings in Greece is, indeed, a problem, but an uprising of armed Americans becomes a matter of serious national security, a point addressed in a recent report by the Pentagon and highlighted as a vulnerability and threat to the U.S. during war-game exercises at the Department of Defense last year, according to one of the DoD’s war-game participants, Jim Rickards, author of Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis.

Through his sources, Hagmann confirmed Rickards’ ongoing thesis of a fear of a U.S. dollar collapse at the hands of the Chinese (U.S. treasury bond holders of approximately $1 trillion) and, possibly, the Russians (threatening to launch a gold-backed ruble as an attractive alternative to the U.S. dollar) in retaliation for aggressive U.S. foreign policy initiatives against China’s and Russia’s strategic allies Iran and Syria.

“The one source that we have I’ve known since 1979,” Hagmann continued. “He started out as a patrol officer and currently he is now working for a federal agency under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security; he’s in a position to know what policies are being initiated, what policies are being planned at this point, and he’s telling us right now—look, what you’re seeing is just the tip of the iceberg. We are preparing, we, meaning the government, we are preparing for a massive civil war in this country.”

“There’s no hyperbole here,” he added, echoing Trends Research Institute’s Founder Gerald Celente’s forecast of last year. Celente expects a collapse of the U.S. dollar and riots in America some time this year.

Since Celente’s ‘Civil War’ prediction of last year, executive orders NDAA and National Defense Resources Preparedness were signed into law by President Obama, which are both politically damaging actions taken by a sitting president.

And most recently, requests made by the DHS for the procurement of 450 million rounds of hollow-point ammunition only fuels speculation of an upcoming tragic event expected on American soil.

These major events, as shocking to the American people as they are, have taken place during an election year.

Escalating preparatory activities by the executive branch and DHS throughout the last decade—from the Patriot Act, to countless executive orders drafted to suspend (or strip) American civil liberties “are just the beginning” of the nightmare to come, Hagmann said.

He added, “It’s going to get so much worse toward the election, and I’m not even sure we’re going to have an election in this country. It’s going to be that bad, and this, as well, is coming from my sources. But one source in particular said, ‘look, you don’t understand how bad it is.’ This stuff is real; these people, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), they are ready to fight the American people.”

TruNews Wiles asked Hagmann: who does the DHS expect to fight, in particular? Another North versus South, the Yankees against the Confederates? Hagmann stated the situation is far worse than a struggle between any two factions within the U.S.; it’s an anticipated nationwide emergency event centered on the nation’s currency.

“What they [DHS] are expecting, and again, this is according to my sources, what they’re expecting is the un-sustainability of the American dollar,” Hagmann said. “And we know for a fact that we can no longer service our debt. There’s going to be a period of hyperinflation . . . the dollar will be worthless . . . The economic collapse will be so severe, people won’t be ready for this.”

Source: Full TruNews interview, May 2, 2012.


Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
April 26, 2012

Sudden action on CISPA today signals that the House was instructed to pass the legislation despite overwhelming opposition. It was rushed to the floor a day early and quickly brought to a vote with additional amendments.

Alex Jones reports on the passage of CISPA. As of this writing, the corporate media has not bothered to post a video.

“Pushing the bill through is bad enough, but what’s worse are the amendments that Rep. Ben Quayle (R – AZ) managed to get added. These amendments make CISPA infinitely worse than it already was,” writes Game Politics.

The amendments converted the supposed “cybersecurity” bill into an outright Big Brother surveillance tool that completely nullifies Fourth Amendment protection online.

From Techdirt:

Previously, CISPA allowed the government to use information for “cybersecurity” or “national security” purposes. Those purposes have not been limited or removed. Instead, three more valid uses have been added: investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crime, protection of individuals, and protection of children. Cybersecurity crime is defined as any crime involving network disruption or hacking, plus any violation of the CFAA.

Basically this means CISPA can no longer be called a cybersecurity bill at all. The government would be able to search information it collects under CISPA for the purposes of investigating American citizens with complete immunity from all privacy protections as long as they can claim someone committed a “cybersecurity crime”. Basically it says the 4th Amendment does not apply online, at all. Moreover, the government could do whatever it wants with the data as long as it can claim that someone was in danger of bodily harm, or that children were somehow threatened—again, notwithstanding absolutely any other law that would normally limit the government’s power.

Dirty tricks were used to pass CISPA. The legislation allows the national security state to circumvent the Constitution and allow carte blanche surveillance of the internet – from computer networks to private computers and devices to the emerging “internet of things.” Passage of CISPA is a milestone for the high-tech surveillance police state now going in place.

The traitors in Congress threw up a wilted fig leaf to cover their posteriors. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said the bill was “needed to prepare for countries like Iran and North Korea so that they don’t do something catastrophic to our networks here in America,” Politico reports, while Speaker of the House John Boehner said the legislation will protect the economy and create jobs.

Rogers’ transparent excuse was is little more than a sick joke considering the fact the U.S. and Israel unleashed the Stuxnet virus on Iran’s computer network. North Korea is a convenient culprit and its ability to attack the United States is seriously in question, especially after another failure to put a satellite in orbit, something the former Soviet Union and the United States did over half a century ago.

Following the defeat of SOPA and PIPA earlier this year, Congress was told to sell CISPA as a bulwark against terrorism. Obama has promised to veto the bill but this remains to be seen and is likely yet another trick.

In December at the last moment Obama signed the NDAA after he said he would veto it. No doubt he will perform the same parlor trick with CISPA.

Call your representatives now and strongly voice your condemnation. Also call your senator and warn him or her that there will be serious repercussions if they vote this monstrosity into law.

 


Carl Herman
Washington’s Blog
Monday, March 19, 2012

“A mere demarcation on parchment of the constitutional limits (of government) is not a sufficient guard against those encroachments which lead to a tyrannical concentration of all the powers of government in the same hands.” – James Madison, Federalist Paper #48, 1788.

President Obama signed an Executive Order for “National Defense” yesterday that claims executive authority to seize all US resources and persons, including during peacetime, for self-declared “national defense.”

“American exceptionalism” is the belief that a 200+ year-old parchment in the National Archives has magical powers to somehow guarantee limited government from 1% tyranny, despite the specific and clear warnings of the US Founders, despite world history of repeated oligarchic/1% tyranny claiming to be for the “good of the people,” and despite US history’s descent

into vicious psychopathy (short version here: US war history in 2 minutes) hidden in plain view with paper-thin corporate media propaganda.

I don’t know about you, but both my grandfathers were in the US military during the gruesome WW1. My father, father-in-law, and only uncle were in a brutal WW2. Both wars were functions of colonialism; a 1%’s vicious and rapacious greed.

Now, we’re all looking at WW3 that includes official policy and dark rhetoric for US first-strike use of nuclear weapons on Iran. This, after multiple current lie-started and treaty-violating wars surrounding Iran, increased US military preparationsmultiple war-propagandizing US political “leaders,” and recent history of US overthrowing Iran’s democracy and 35 consecutive years of US war on Iran that killed over one million Iranians.

I don’t know about you, but I’m teaching the obvious crimes in war and money, destruction of Constitutional Rights rights (see specific links below), and asking students (of all ages) what they see to do about these clear facts. The first answer people see is to help people get over their “American exceptionalism” to recognize these massive crimes, and demand arrests of the obvious criminal “leadership.”

I don’t know about you, but I refuse to be silent in face of lying and criminal government policies that annually murder millions, harm billions, and loot trillions of the 99%’s dollars.

What will you do?

Here is the US government claiming it can Constitutionally assassinate Americans upon the non-reviewable dictate of the leader, as these criminals take psychopathic steps to murder Americans who expose their crimes.

Here is NDAA 2012 where US government claims it can Constitutionally disappear Americans and then appoint a tribunal with death sentence authority (unless unlimited detention is their choice). Here is the 2006 Military Commissions Act that says the same. This is fascist terrorism to silence Americans from communicating that the 1% are War Criminals to arrest NOW.

Here is US government claiming it can Constitutionally control-drown (waterboard) anyone they declare a “terrorist” as a 1% terror-tactic to silence Americans.

Again, what will you do?

 


The Blade Report

Obama fearing a revolution against him by the states, has moved swiftly by nationalizing nearly all National Guard Forces in multiple states; Georgia, Alabama, Kansas, Minnesota, Tennessee, Virginia, Louisiana, South Carolina – to name a few. The Governors of the Great States of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia still have under their Command-and-Control the State Defense Forces to go against U.S. Federal forces should the need arise. Also important to note: There are NO U.S. laws prohibiting National Guard troops from also joining their State’s Defense Forces. This dilemma occurred during the Civil War with many “citizen soldiers” choosing to serve their states instead of the Federal Government.

Obama is angered by the several State Governors who have reestablished “State Defense Forces.” These forces are described as: “State Defense Forces (also known as State Guards, State Military Reserves, State Militias) in the United States are military units that operate under the sole authority of a state government; they are not regulated by the National Guard Bureau nor are they part of the Army National Guard of the United States. State Defense Forces are authorized by state and federal law and are under the command of the governor of each state. State Defense Forces are distinct from their state’s National Guard in that they cannot become federal entities.”

Read Full Story


Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
March 9, 2012

Earlier in the week, Obama’s attorney general admitted that the Fifth Amendment is a dead letter and the president can kill anybody he wants without due process. “In this hour of danger, we simply cannot afford to wait until deadly plans are carried out, and we will not,” Eric Holder said during a speech at Northwestern University’s law school in Chicago.

 

FBI Director Robert Mueller on Wednesday came off as a constitutional illiterate when he said he would have to check with the Justice Department to see if Holder’s criteria for summary execution was permitted on U.S. soil.

“I have to go back. Uh, I’m not certain whether that was addressed or not,” Mueller told Rep. Tom Graves.

Constitutional scholar Francis A. Boyle of the University of Illinois Law School recently put the issue into perspective. “The U.S. government has now established a ‘death list’ for U.S. citizens abroad akin to those established by Latin American dictatorships during their so-called dirty wars,” he told IPS.

Our version of a Latin American fascist dictatorship with Generalissimo Obama presiding has just about finished off the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The NDAA and a long list of constitutional violations predating the Patriot Act are now coming to a head.

After government invests itself with such self-proclaimed power, the next step is usually the disappearance of political enemies and mass graves.

 


Washington’s Blog
March 9, 2012

Yes, Obama Claims Power to Kill Americans on U.S. Soil


Fox News reports:

FBI Director Robert Mueller on Wednesday said he would have to go back and check with the Department of Justice whether Attorney General Eric Holder’s “[criteria] for the targeted killing of Americans also applied to Americans inside the U.S.

***

“I have to go back. Uh, I’m not certain whether that was addressed or not,” Mueller said when asked by Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., about a distinction between domestic and foreign targeting

Graves followed up asking whether “from a historical perspective,” the federal government has “the ability to kill a U.S. citizen on United States soil or just overseas.”

“I’m going to defer that to others in the Department of Justice,” Mueller replied.

Indeed, Holder’s Monday speech at Northwestern University seemed to leave the door open.

Constitutional expert Jonathan Turley writes:

One would hope that the FBI Director would have a handle on a few details guiding his responsibilities, including whether he can kill citizens without a charge or court order.

***

He appeared unclear whether he had the power under the Obama Kill Doctrine or, in the very least, was unwilling to discuss that power. For civil libertarians, the answer should be easy: “Of course, I do not have that power under the Constitution.”

***

The claim that they are following self-imposed “limits” which are meaningless — particularly in a system that is premised on the availability of judicial review. The Administration has never said that the [Law Of Armed Conflicts] does not allow the same powers to be used in the United States. It would be an easy thing to state. Holder can affirmatively state that the President’s inherent power to kill citizens exists only outside of the country. He can then explain where those limits are found in the Constitution and why they do not apply equally to a citizen in London or Berlin. Holder was not describing a constitutional process of review. They have dressed up a self-imposed review of a unilateral power as due process. Any authoritarian measure can be dressed up as carefully executed according to balancing tests, but that does not constitute any real constitutional analysis. It is at best a loose analogy to constitutional analysis.

When reporters asked the Justice Department about Mueller’s apparent uncertainty, they responded that the answer is “pretty straightforward.” They then offered an evasive response. They simply said (as we all know) that “[t]he legal framework (Holder) laid out applies to U.S. citizens outside of U.S.” We got that from the use of the word “abroad.” However, the question is how this inherent authority is limited as it has been articulated by Holder and others. What is the limiting principle? If the President cannot order the killing of a citizen in the United States, Holder can simply say so (and inform the FBI Director who would likely be involved in such a killing). In doing so, he can then explain the source of that limitation and why it does not apply with citizens in places like London. What we have is a purely internal review that balances the practicality of arrest and the urgency of the matter in the view of the President. Since the panel is the extension of his authority, he can presumably disregard their recommendations or order a killing without their approval. Since the Administration has emphasized that the “battlefield” in this “war on terror” is not limited to a particular country, the assumption is that the President’s authority is commensurate with that threat or limitless theater of operation. Indeed, the Justice Department has repeatedly stated that the war is being fought in the United States as well as other nations.

Thus, Mueller’s uncertainty is understandable . . . and dangerous. The Framers created a system of objective due process in a system of checks and balances. Obama has introduced an undefined and self-imposed system of review ….

Before you assume that Mueller’s comments are being blown out of proportion, remember that it has been clear for some time that Obama has claimed the power to assassinate U.S. citizens within the U.S. As we pointed out in December:

 

I’ve previously noted that Obama says that he can assassinate American citizens living on U.S. soil.

This admittedly sounds over-the-top. But one of the nation’s top constitutional and military law experts – Jonathan Turley – agrees.

***

Turley said [on C-Span]:

President Obama has just stated a policy that he can have any American citizen killed without any charge, without any review, except his own. If he’s satisfied that you are a terrorist, he says that he can kill you anywhere in the world including in the United States.

Two of his aides just … reaffirmed they believe that American citizens can be killed on the order of the President anywhere including the United States.

You’ve now got a president who says that he can kill you on his own discretion. He can jail you indefinitely on his own discretion

***

I don’t think the the Framers ever anticipated that [the American people would be so apathetic]. They assumed that people would hold their liberties close, and that they wouldn’t relax …

Indeed, given that virtually any American could be considered a suspected terrorist these days, no one is safe from an all-powerful president’s whims.

As I noted in another context, circular reasoning provides all the justification needed:

 

The government’s indefinite detention policy – stripped of it’s spin – is literally insane, and based on circular reasoning. Stripped of p.r., this is the actual policy:

  • If you are an enemy combatant or a threat to national security, we will detain you indefinitely until the war is over
  • But trust us, we know you are an enemy combatant and a threat to national security

See how that works?

And – given that U.S. soldiers admit that if they accidentally kill innocent Iraqis and Afghanis, they then “drop” automatic weapons near their body so they can pretend they were militants – it is unlikely that the government would ever admit that an American citizen it assassinated was an innocent civilian who has nothing at all to do with terrorism.

 


‘Council of Governors’ member McDonnell could try to sabotage anti-NDAA law

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
Friday, March 9, 2012

The Virginia Senate has passed a law that forbids authorities in the state from using the ‘indefinite detention’ provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act against Americans, but whether or not Governor Bob McDonnell will sign it remains to be seen given the fact that he is a member of Barack Obama’s infamous ‘Council of Governors’, whose role it is to increase military involvement in domestic affairs.

Delegate Bob Marshall discusses his bill and Governor McDonnell’s attempts to sabotage it.

“Today, the Virginia State Senate nearly unanimously passed my bill, HB 1160, to prevent Virginia’s state and local government agencies from cooperating with the federal government in the indefinite detention of Virginians under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (“NDAA”). I am grateful that the vote in the Senate to accede to the bill as passed by the House of Delegates was 37-1,” said a statement by Delegate Bob Marshall, who was the driving force behind the bill.

“Congress, by including this provision in a must pass bill affecting our Armed Forces, made a terrible mistake in empowering this or any future President and the military to arrest and detain American citizens indefinitely, without charges, without the chance to confront their accusers, without legal counsel, and without a trial.”

Having already passed the Virginia House by a vote of 96-4 last month, the final bill will be sent to Governor Bob McDonnell. However, McDonnell has already attempted to sabotage the legislation using “secretive, backdoor” tactics, according to Marshall, so whether he agrees to sign the bill without trying to weaken its language remains to be seen.

The fact that McDonnell was included on President Obama’s infamous ‘Council of Governors’ probably explains why he has been so reticent to support the bill.

The executive order which established the Council of Governors (PDF), created a body of ten state governors directly appointed by Obama to work with the federal government to help advance the “synchronization and integration of State and Federal military activities in the United States”.

In other words, McDonnell is a key figure in the effort to expand military involvement in domestic security, which explains why he is opposed to a bill that strips the military of the power to arrest and indefinitely detain Americans at the behest of the federal government.

As Joe Wolverton explains, McDonnell has proved to be a roadblock at every stage of Delegate Marshall’s efforts to pass the anti-NDAA bill.

Virginia is just one of numerous states which are fighting back against the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA. According to the Tenth Amendment Center, which has been tracking the nationwide revolt against the NDAA, a total of nine states have now introduced resolutions or bills in opposition to the indefinite detention of American citizens.

Last week President Obama issued a ‘Presidential Policy Directive’ that forbids the indefinite detention provisions from being used against US citizens.

However, as we documented at the time, it was the administration itself that lobbied for the ‘kidnapping provisions’ to be included in the NDAA in the first place.

Obama’s policy directive has done nothing to calm fears that the law could be used to incarcerate Americans under a future administration, which could be in power in as little as ten months.


Agency spokesperson “strongly cautioned” journalists to back off

Steve Watson
Infowars.com
March 9, 2012

Two mainstream media reporters have revealed that the TSA has “strongly cautioned” them not to cover the story of an engineer revealing major flaws in the agency’s $1 billion dollar body scanner program.

As we reported earlier this week, Engineer Jon Corbett of the popular blog TSA Out of Our Pants! posted a video that demonstrates how the TSA’s radiation firing scanners can easily be bypassed, when carrying metal objects.

Despite YouTube initially restricting the video for no discernable reason, the story went viral and the TSA was forced to respond, albeit in a way that only made the subject more pressing.

Now Corbett, who was the first person in the country to sue the TSA over the body scanners, says that two mainstream media journalists have contacted him to make it known that the TSA warned them off the story.

“I’ve been on the phone all day for the last 2 days with reporters and journalists of all kinds,” writes Corbett.

“One South Florida reporter told me that he had been “strongly cautioned” by the TSA not to cover this story. Absolutely unbelievable”

Corbett later updated his post to say that another reporter had also been “strongly cautioned” not to cover the story.

The reporters cite a TSA spokeswoman called Sari Koshetz as the person attempting to intimidate them out of covering the issue. They say that Koshetz described Corbett as someone who “clearly has an agenda” that “should not be aided by the mainstream media”.

“The TSA is clearly no fan of the 4th Amendment, nor of 5th Amendment due process rights, and now this blatant attempt to manipulate the free press with “strong caution” hits at Amendment the First.” writes Corbett on his blog.

“Why strong caution? Are there repercussions for journalists that fail to heed this “advice?” he asks.

“If you’re a journalist who has received any kind of similar warning, please contact me.” Corbett continues. “Everyone else, please take a moment to contact your local mainstream media outlets (Fox, ABC, NBC, CNN, etc.) to request that they cover the original story.”

Corbett praised the alternative media for diligently covering the story:

“The Internet has been absolutely amazing as have large alternative programs (Alex Jones, for example) and I do believe that we have successfully spread the word. But, if the TSA doesn’t want the MSM to cover it, there’s probably a reason, so let’s take the battle there!”

Jon Corbett can be reached via Twitter – @tsaoutourpants


Obama administration firms up support for state-sponsored assassination

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
Monday, March 5, 2012

Attorney General Eric Holder will today attempt to justify the Obama administration’s policy of state-sponsored assassination, as he prepares to give a speech explaining how the U.S. government can arbitrarily kill U.S. citizens on foreign soil.


“Holder plans to say in a major speech on Monday at Northwestern University law school in Chicago that lethal force is legal under a Sept. 18, 2001, joint congressional resolution,” reports the Associated Press.

The notion that the White House can target Americans for summary execution by merely claiming that they are associated with terrorism is chilling given the fact that Americans who engage in political activism or even banal behaviors have been characterized as potential terrorists by U.S. authorities.

The White House has asserted the right to carry out state-sponsored assassination anywhere in the world without having to provide any evidence or go through any legal process. The administration merely has to state that the target is a terrorist and it doesn’t matter whether they are an American citizen or not, as we saw in the case of American-born Anwar al-Awlaki and his son, who were both killed last year.

In December, Obama administration lawyers reaffirmed their backing for state sponsored assassination, claiming that “U.S. citizens are legitimate military targets” and do not have the right to any legal protection against being marked for summary execution.

During a CBS 60 Minutes interview in January, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta revealed that Obama himself personally approves the policy to kill American citizens suspected of terrorism without trial on a case by case basis.

“So it’s the requirement of the administration under the current legal understanding that the president has to make that declaration, not you?” Panetta was asked, to which he replied, “That is correct.”

The administration’s support for state-sponsored assassination without a shred of legal oversight puts into context the worthlessness of an Obama ‘policy directive’ last week that promised the White House would not indefinitely detain American citizens under the National Defense Authorization Act, which Obama signed on New Years Eve.

As we documented at the time, it was the administration itself which demanded the controversial detention without trial provisions of the NDAA be applied to American citizens.

The NDAA defines the entire planet, including America, as a “battlefield,” meaning Americans could also hypothetically be assassinated without any legal process on U.S. soil under the legal framework that has been codified under Obama.

The recent announcement that up to 30,000 drones will be in American skies within ten years, allied to the DHS plan to spend up to $50 million dollars on a spy system that has been used to hunt insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan for the purposes of “emergency and non-emergency incidents” within the United States, makes it clear that Americans are being targeted as terrorists at both home and abroad.


RT
February 29, 2012

Just when you thought the government couldn’t ruin the First Amendment any further: The House of Representatives approved a bill on Monday that outlaws protests in instances where some government officials are nearby, whether or not you even know it.

The US House of Representatives voted 388-to-3 in favor of H.R. 347 late Monday, a bill which is being dubbed the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011. In the bill, Congress officially makes it illegal to trespass on the grounds of the White House, which, on the surface, seems not just harmless and necessary, but somewhat shocking that such a rule isn’t already on the books. The wording in the bill, however, extends to allow the government to go after much more than tourists that transverse the wrought iron White House fence.

Under the act, the government is also given the power to bring charges against Americans engaged in political protest anywhere in the country.

Under current law, White House trespassers are prosecuted under a local ordinance, a Washington, DC legislation that can bring misdemeanor charges for anyone trying to get close to the president without authorization. Under H.R. 347, a federal law will formally be applied to such instances, but will also allow the government to bring charges to protesters, demonstrators and activists at political events and other outings across America.

The new legislation allows prosecutors to charge anyone who enters a building without permission or with the intent to disrupt a government function with a federal offense if Secret Service is on the scene, but the law stretches to include not just the president’s palatial Pennsylvania Avenue home. Under the law, any building or grounds where the president is visiting — even temporarily — is covered, as is any building or grounds “restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance.”

It’s not just the president who would be spared from protesters, either.

Covered under the bill is any person protected by the Secret Service. Although such protection isn’t extended to just everybody, making it a federal offense to even accidently disrupt an event attended by a person with such status essentially crushes whatever currently remains of the right to assemble and peacefully protest.

Hours after the act passed, presidential candidate Rick Santorum was granted Secret Service protection. For the American protester, this indeed means that glitter-bombing the former Pennsylvania senator is officially a very big no-no, but it doesn’t stop with just him. Santorum’s coverage under the Secret Service began on Tuesday, but fellow GOP hopeful Mitt Romney has already been receiving such security. A campaign aide who asked not to be identified confirmed last week to CBS News that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has sought Secret Service protection as well. Even former contender Herman Cain received the armed protection treatment when he was still in the running for the Republican Party nod.

In the text of the act, the law is allowed to be used against anyone who knowingly enters or remains in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so, but those grounds are considered any area where someone — rather it’s President Obama, Senator Santorum or Governor Romney — will be temporarily visiting, whether or not the public is even made aware. Entering such a facility is thus outlawed, as is disrupting the orderly conduct of “official functions,” engaging in disorderly conduct “within such proximity to” the event or acting violent to anyone, anywhere near the premises. Under that verbiage, that means a peaceful protest outside a candidate’s concession speech would be a federal offense, but those occurrences covered as special event of national significance don’t just stop there, either. And neither does the list of covered persons that receive protection.

Outside of the current presidential race, the Secret Service is responsible for guarding an array of politicians, even those from outside America. George W Bush is granted protection until ten years after his administration ended, or 2019, and every living president before him is eligible for life-time, federally funded coverage. Visiting heads of state are extended an offer too, and the events sanctioned as those of national significance — a decision that is left up to the US Department of Homeland Security — extends to more than the obvious. While presidential inaugurations and meeting of foreign dignitaries are awarded the title, nearly three dozen events in all have been considered a National Special Security Event (NSSE) since the term was created under President Clinton. Among past events on the DHS-sanctioned NSSE list are Super Bowl XXXVI, the funerals of Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, most State of the Union addresses and the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

With Secret Service protection awarded to visiting dignitaries, this also means, for instance, that the federal government could consider a demonstration against any foreign president on American soil as a violation of federal law, as long as it could be considered disruptive to whatever function is occurring.

When thousands of protesters are expected to descend on Chicago this spring for the 2012 G8 and NATO summits, they will also be approaching the grounds of a National Special Security Event. That means disruptive activity, to whichever court has to consider it, will be a federal offense under the act.

And don’t forget if you intend on fighting such charges, you might not be able to rely on evidence of your own. In the state of Illinois, videotaping the police, under current law, brings criminals charges. Don’t fret. It’s not like the country will really try to enforce it — right?

On the bright side, does this mean that the law could apply to law enforcement officers reprimanded for using excessive force on protesters at political events? Probably. Of course, some fear that the act is being created just to keep those demonstrations from ever occuring, and given the vague language on par with the loose definition of a “terrorist” under the NDAA, if passed this act is expected to do a lot more harm to the First Amendment than good.

United States Representative Justin Amash (MI-03) was one of only three lawmakers to vote against the act when it appeared in the House late Monday. Explaining his take on the act through his official Facebook account on Tuesday, Rep. Amash writes, “The bill expands current law to make it a crime to enter or remain in an area where an official is visiting even if the person does not know it’s illegal to be in that area and has no reason to suspect it’s illegal.”

“Some government officials may need extraordinary protection to ensure their safety. But criminalizing legitimate First Amendment activity — even if that activity is annoying to those government officials — violates our rights,” adds the representative.

Now that the act has overwhelmingly made it through the House, the next set of hands to sift through its pages could very well be President Barack Obama; the US Senate had already passed the bill back on February 6. Less than two months ago, the president approved the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, essentially suspending habeas corpus from American citizens. Could the next order out of the Executive Branch be revoking some of the Bill of Rights? Only if you consider the part about being able to assemble a staple of the First Amendment, really. Don’t worry, though. Obama was, after all, a constitutional law professor. When he signed the NDAA on December 31, he accompanied his signature with a signing statement that let Americans know that, just because he authorized the indefinite detention of Americans didn’t mean he thought it was right.

Should President Obama suspend the right to assemble, Americans might expect another apology to accompany it in which the commander-in-chief condemns the very act he authorizes. If you disagree with such a decision, however, don’t take it to the White House. Sixteen-hundred Pennsylvania Avenue and the vicinity is, of course, covered under this act.