Citizen journalist Tim Pool. You can do this:
NDAA 2012 epilogue:
Now that the encampment at City Hall no longer exists, the battleground for Freepers, Fox News hacks and others hostile to the cause has become a media blackout strategy. The lack of coverage of the NDAA passage showed how the power to control the flow of information to the public is critical to the maintenance of the status quo. Somewhere up at the top of very tall luxury office building, news directors had a decision to make about the newsworthiness of the NDAA. While it is speculative to assume what actually occurred, we can surmise that there were two options that would have been discussed. Make the effort to educate the public on the issues, feature some experts along with legislators on both side of the debate, and emphasize the constitutional implications of the legislation? Or should the entire affair be dismissed as another boring, meaningless piece of routine legislation better left to C-SPAN and daytime talk radio hosts? (Mostly conservatives as it turns out).
The choice was obvious, but what raises questions among the alternative media (and the rest of the population that has either read or understands the language of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012), is the appearance of collaboration. How could virtually every major news organization all conclude that the NDAA wasn't worth mentioning at all? Had it not been for C-SPAN we wouldn't have learned by way of Senator Levin that it was President Obama that insisted on language that would allow for indefinite detention of Americans. Is this not by itself a significant story worthy of at least a a few words to note the dramatic change in policy by the administration? Was it not significant that the President threatened a veto, feigning opposition, while making sure the provision was part of the legislation behind the scenes?
What is the downside of framing the issue properly? Not enough time to pursue some of the mindless stories that are typical of an average news cycle? Why would anyone be interested in the ramifications of some rather mind-boggling assertions by the executive branch regarding the Constitution when there could be a celebrity tweeting about the possibility of a pregnancy?
And in their wisdom, how did all of these news executives come to the same conclusion? I could sit here and provide several pages of reasons why the NDAA was a significant news story. The constitutional issues by themselves seem worthy of discussion, and if memory serves, the news services don't have a lot of trouble producing experts on any subject, especially constitutional lawyers that are usually regulars.
The news directors of these outlets are very comfortable asking questions about potential malfeasance by public officials most of the time. How is it they never have to explain their own editorial decisions, especially when legislation like the NDAA can cause so much of a ruckus in the alternative media but completely escape their notice? By themselves, the conservatives talkers who focused on this story like few before number in the tens of millions. Left-leaning programming and editorials were also out in front of the issue at least for the days leading up to the final votes. Libertarians, Paulies, human rights organizations, liberals, conservatives, socialists, and even the FBI Director were against it. But no coverage.
Makes you wonder whether the advertisers had a role in the blackout decision, or since all of the major news organizations are corporate-owned, that perhaps the financial giants that have tentacles everywhere lobbied behind the scenes. Remember that the City of Los Angeles can't even transfer its money to socially responsible banks because of the influence, money and legal resources of the banks and their surrogates like the Central City Association. (It's called lobbying).
So the legislation will go to the President and he will sign it as was the plan since the first closed-door meetings. Those meetings likely occurred in the days just after several occupy actions that took place involving the banks, most notably Bank Transfer Day on November 5. The Senate passed their version within hours of the raids on Los Angeles and Philadelphia. Interesting coincidence. Or is it another story that the mainstream media is conspicuously ignoring?
We report. You decide.
NDAA continued: 'Stacking the deck politically'
This travesty was shrouded by the rest of the defense spending bill making it less likely that challenges would be heard. Chris Coons D-Delaware, made the point in this interview with Chris Hayes: “(I)t was bad policy, it was a bad debate, intentionally vague and difficult for most folks at home and in congress to follow the swirling details and competing interpretations . . . Why was this necessary?”
Mr. Coons asked the opposition to be patient, that the subject will be revisited with further legislation intended to fix this abomincation and that our civil rights heroes in Congress will step up to prove their principles remain intact. The reasoning, they say, is that once separated from a defense spending authorization bill, legislators will have a chance to vote on certain provisions without concern for the repercussions of voting against a defense spending authorization bill. If legislators were asked whether Americans should be subject to arrest and detention indefinitely without trial is a much easier vote than being blamed for any sort of restraints on military spending. This will also allow for the debate that never occurred, and it should be a shining moment for the Democrats that voted against it on principle and fealty to constitutional values.
No support from constitutional decisions of the past.”
Senator Merkley from Oregon, one of 13 that voted against the NDAA, explains why the bill is a flagrant attack on civil rights despite the fact that there are plenty of Supreme Court precedents clearly intended to preclude legislation like this from becoming law Note that Levin erroneously compares this legislation to previous decisions aimed at Nazi saboteurs and spies in WW II thusly proving his ignorance of the law as it pertains to the legislation he proposed.
This sort of power grab is not unexpected from clowns like McCain and Graham who have always been big Patriot Act supporters (which also chucks the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in exchange for the perception of security). Levin's argument is almost comical in its twisted comparison to foreign agents working for a country clearly at war, a declared war, sneaking ashore to sabotage military installations. Is he kidding, trying to obfuscate the clarity of previous Supreme Court decisions, or is he just ridiculously ignorant?
Listen to this exchange and take your pick after watching this video:
If Senators Feinstein and Merkley for example really wish to overturn this abomination, they will have a splendid opportunity to make revisions in the days and weeks leading up to the next election. Let's hope they take advantage of it to prove they represent something other that McCain, Graham and Levin; that there is a difference in the two political entities. As far as the President, his “reluctant” endorsement, his signature on this garbage bill, will be more difficult to cover up. But at least there will be some interesting debates on the subject before the next election. Debates that never had a chance to take place in Congress before passage.
One more outtake from Chris Hayes makes the point that the President will be remembered for this legislation, it will become part of his legacy and historians will not overlook the details when it is subjected to scrutiny which never occurred before it was passed. And of course we can thank the mainstream media for effectively precluding any discussion of it prior to the vote.
The Occupation Movement brings focus to issues that the mainsteam media has purposely evaded, stories like this one which have long-term implications on the lives of Americans. Our efforts to point out the various bank scams are another example. The video below is a refreshing look at the infancy of the new paradigm that was the natural reaction for a population that has seen there income, their investments, their civil rights and their political influence deteriorate to the point of becoming meaningless in the political arena. A valiant attempt to embrace democracy and freedom, not a rant against the “system” or capitalism:
Freeper attack: The Free Republic features some of the most bellicose language you'll find regarding the Occupation Movement. There was never any doubt that committee meetings and assemblies were interrupted, sidetracked, delayed, and otherwise susceptible to the antics of anyone that showed up with an agenda. Last add on some of the obstacles the movement has faced since its inception:
A post on Tuesday on the hard right Republican website Free Republic suggests that opponents of the Occupy Wall Street movement may well be injecting themselves into the demonstrations' open consensus process in order to confound the objectives of the nascent movement.
"'[We n]eed LA Freepers to show up to block this vote by the Occupy LA General Assembly,' the poster identifying him/herself only as 'joinedafterattack' wrote in apparent hopes of scuttling a discussion that night about a proposal being negotiated with the LA City Council to trade 10,000 square feet of office space and some farmland with demonstrators in exchange for their voluntary exodus from the lawn in front of City Hall.”
The business model continues pay dividends:
The SEC made a deal with Citigroup to pay a $285 million fine for various violations of law while avoiding any admission of guilt. This provision is often included in deals offered by the SEC despite the fact that everyone involved knows that the violations are subject to prosecution. The regulators have many incentives to settle these cases, and as has been pointed out here on many occasions, the fine amounts to a commission payable to the government for services rendered. The service? Allowing this business model to continue without so much as an admission of wrongdoing.
So now we see the SEC appealing on behalf of the perpetrator, in this case Citigroup:
“SEC Enforcement Director Robert Khuzami on Dec. 15 announced that the agency would appeal the case to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, because 'we believe the district court committed legal error by announcing a new and unprecedented standard that inadvertently harms investors by depriving them of substantial, certain and immediate benefits.'”
"Our concern is that many settlements become a cost of doing business for companies."
WASHINGTON (AP) — “Two former CEOs at mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Friday became the highest-profile individuals to be charged in connection with the 2008 financial crisis.
“The charges brought Friday follow widespread criticism of federal authorities for not holding top executives accountable for the recklessness that triggered the 2008 crisis.”
Frontline on 2008 meltdown (6 parts):