Will Michigan Nullify NDAA “Indefinite Detention?”

LANSING, Mich. (June 18, 2012) – Last week, Michigan joined the swelling ranks of states considering legislation that would effectively block any state cooperation with federal officials seeking to detain Americans under provisions in sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act.

On June 14, Rep. Tom McMillin (R-Rochester Hills) introduced HB5768. The legislation would prohibit any state agent, state employee or member of the Michigan National Guard from assisting “an agency of the armed forces of the United States in any investigation, prosecution, or detention of any person pursuant to 50 USC 1541, as provided by the federal national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2012, Public Law 112-81, if such aid would place that state agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the Michigan national guard in violation of the United States constitution, the state constitution of 1963, or any law of this state.”

Five cosponsors signed on to the bill, including two Democrats and a 10-year Air Force veteran.

“Once again we see the bipartisan nature of the pushback against federal kidnapping,” Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey said. “This is not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue. This is an American issue.”

In the 1840s and 1850s, northern states effectively used a similar strategy to block implementation of the Fugitive Slave Acts. The federal law denied due process to blacks accused of running away from slavery. A slave-owner could haul a man or woman back south simply on the authority of his own testimony. A black person was not even allowed to testify in her own defense. Northern states passed personal liberty laws, in some cases refusing state cooperation, denying the use of state resources to slave commissioners and forbidding state officers to participate in the process. Other state laws guaranteed any person charged as a fugitive slave a jury trial.

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Are the President’s “Kill List” Activities Constitutional?

Two things have brought drone warfare to public attention in an amplified way the last few days: our assassination of Abu Yahya al-Libi, Al-Qaida’s second-in-command, and The New York Times release of classified information showing that President Barack Obama, on a weekly basis, reviews a “kill list” and personally authorizes each kill. Is this Constitutional?

The paper revealed a “top secret ‘nominations’ process to designate terrorists for kill or capture” but that there is little interest in capture because of a hidden “take-no-prisoners” policy. In the last three months 20 “presumed terrorists” have been assassinated, 14 in Yemen and 6 in Pakistan. It complicates things when they have to be sent to Guantanamo Bay, thus only one person on the list has been sent to the Island prison. Killing them frees us from those messy practices of “enhanced interrogation” (torture) and “rendition” (exporting torture to foreign nations, called “black sites,” less squeamish about screaming victims), practiced under the George W. Bush administration. Under Obama the dead do not need rendition, military commissions, and indefinite detention, the paper infers (Secret “Kill” List Tests Obama’s Principles, New York Times, May 29, 2012).

Moreover, the Obama Administration also got rid of the messy civilian casualties problem by defining all “military age males in a strike zone as combatants … unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.” They would not be in the area if they were not also terrorists—guilt by association—they reason. Therefore the Administration can argue, “that not a single noncombatant had been killed in a year of strikes.” One administrative source said, “They count the corpses and they’re not really sure who they are.” Unfortunately for The Administration, The New York Times noted, “Videos of children’s bodies and angry tribesmen holding up American missile parts flooded You Tube, fueling a ferocious backlash that Yemeni officials said bolstered Al Qaeda.” Sometimes our actions create our next wave of enemies.

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Economic Dominoes Are Falling

cross-posted from the Sound Money Center

At the recent Camp David economic summit of world leaders, our President attempted to use his dwindling influence to press European nations to ease up on austerity programs which have ignited a major social and political backlash in countries such as Greece.  His position provides us with an early indication of how austerity measures will be viewed in this nation when the reality of our fiscal situation becomes apparent over the next twelve to twenty-four months.  Austerity will be rejected in favor of the printing press.

This is consistent with history, which shows that when governments have the ability to create money out of thin air, they attempt to print their way out of trouble rather than face reality. Such is the case today. Get ready. The printing presses are about to be unleashed again after a very brief quiet period.

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