Progressive Calendar 12.03.11 /2
From: David Shove (
Date: Sat, 3 Dec 2011 11:08:54 -0800 (PST)
P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R  12.03.11

1. CUAPB                12.03 1:30pm
2. Northtown vigil       12.03 2pm
3. Witch hunt/Somali 12.03 2:30pm
4. WD pro & con       12.03 7pm
5. Palestine poet       12.03 8pm

6. William Robinson - Global rebellion: the coming chaos?
7. Andy Worthington - Deranged Senate votes: military detention & permanent
8. ed                        - DC Dems  (haiku)

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From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at]>
Subject: CUAPB 12.03 1:30pm

Meetings: Every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3104 16th Avenue
South <>

Communities United Against Police Brutality
3100 16th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867)

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From: Vanka485 [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 12.03 2pm

Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday 2-3pm

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from kim defranco kimdefranco [at]
subject: Witch hunt/Somali 12.03 2:30pm

Stop the Witch Hunt of the Somali Community! Defend the Right to Give
Humanitarian Aid! Speak Out in Support of the Somali Community
Saturday 12/3 @ 2:30pm @ Walker Library, 2880 Hennepin Ave, Mpls
Last month Amina Ali and Hawo Hassan were unjustly convicted of âmaterial
support to terrorism,â after they collected relief donations for a country
that is suffering a severe famine and war. All supporters of human rights
should unite and protest this outrageous persecution of the Somali
community. The FBI has been harassing and interrogating Somalis in
Minneapolis for years now with allegations of support for terrorism. This
is an attack on the democratic rights of everyone in the
U.S.No<>U.S. or Foreign Intervention!
Self-Determination for Somalia!   Acting on
behalf of the U.S., 12,000 African Union (AU) foreign and Kenyan troops are
intervening in Somalia, denying Somalis the right to self-determination.
More foreign troops are being sent, and the Kenyan and Somali governments
have called for âbig countries and big organizationsâ to send troops. The
U.S. continues to carry out bombing attacks, and to try to impose
governments, and dictate policy. This is foreign domination. Supporters of
the Somali people should call for an end to all foreign military
intervention in Somalia.

Sponsored by Committee to Stop FBI Repression and Minnesota Peace Action

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From: jtmiller jtmiller jtmiller [at]
WD pro & con 12.03 7pm

Working Democracy Discussion Forum:
Arguments Against Working Democracy
Discussed, Debated, Answered

Saturday, December 3, 2011 7:00 PM
Mayday Books 301 Cedar Ave S Minneapolis

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from WAMM
Palestine poet 12.03 8pm

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3  EQ Spoken Word at the Loft
Hear, Here: Indigenous Location, Politics, and Poetry
Featuring Remi Kanazi and Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio With Chaun
Webster and R. Vincent Moniz, Jr.
December 3, 8 p.m.
The Loft at Open Book | Performance Hall
1011 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55415
Suggested $5 ($3 Loft member & students)
Tickets available only at the door, so get there early!

Join Remi Kanazi for an intimate spoken word workshop and sharing of work.
Space is limited--sign up today! Make sure to bring something to write
with/on. And if you'd like feedback on a piece of writing, be sure to bring
that as well.
December 4, noon to 2:30 p.m.
The Loft at Open Book | Room 203
1011 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55415
Suggested $5 ($3 Loft member & students)
Please contact Mizna for reservations for this workshop, (612) 788-6920 or
mizna [at]

Co-presented by Mizna, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network and
the Loft Literary Center.

Remi Kanazi is a poet, writer, and activist based in New York City. He is
the editor of Poets For Palestine and the author of Poetic Injustice:
Writings on Resistance and Palestine. His political commentary has been
featured by news outlets throughout the world, including Al Jazeera
English, GRITtv with Laura Flanders, and BBC Radio. His poetry has taken
him across North America, the UK, and the Middle East, and he recently
appeared in the Palestine Festival of Literature as well as Poetry
International. He is a recurring writer in residence and advisory board
member for the Palestine Writing Workshop.

Daughter of Hawaiian activist, historian, and musician, Jon Osorio, Jamaica
Heolimeleikalani Osorio has honed her art to not only contribute to
bringing back-to-back international slam championships to the islands
(2008-09) but also to win individual awards as well. Part of Jamaica's
journey as a slam poet is captured in HBO's 2008 Documentary series "Brave
New Voices." Currently Jamaica is finishing her final year at Stanford
University while touring the world. One of Jamaica's most memorable
performances took place at the White House where she performed an original
piece Kumulipo for the First Family and many other distinguished guests. In
the near future Jamaica hopes to attend law school in New York City and
then return home to work for the people of Hawaii.

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Global Rebellion: The Coming Chaos?
by William I. Robinson
Published on Friday, December 2, 2011 by Al Jazeera

Global elites are confused, reactive, and sinking into a quagmire of their
own making, says author.

SANTA BARBARA, CA - As the crisis of global capitalism spirals out of
control, the powers that be in the global system appear to be adrift and
unable to proposal viable solutions. From the slaughter of dozens of young
protesters by the army in Egypt to the brutal repression of the Occupy
movement in the United States, and the water cannons brandished by the
militarized police in Chile against students and workers, states and ruling
classes are unable are to hold back the tide of worldwide popular rebellion
and must resort to ever more generalized repression.

Simply put, the immense structural inequalities of the global political
economy can no longer be contained through consensual mechanisms of social
control. The ruling classes have lost legitimacy; we are witnessing a
breakdown of ruling-class hegemony on a world scale.

To understand what is happening in this second decade of the new century we
need to see the big picture in historic and structural context. Global
elites had hoped and expected that the "Great Depression" that began with
the mortgage crisis and the collapse of the global financial system in 2008
would be a cyclical downturn that could be resolved through state-sponsored
bailouts and stimulus packages. But it has become clear that this is a
structural crisis. Cyclical crises are on-going episodes in the capitalist
system, occurring and about once a decade and usually last 18 months to two
years. There were world recessions in the early 1980s, the early 1990s, and
the early 21st century.

Structural crises are deeper; their resolution requires a fundamental
restructuring of the system. Earlier world structural crises of the 1890s,
the 1930s and the 1970s were resolved through a reorganization of the
system that produced new models of capitalism. "Resolved" does not mean
that the problems faced by a majority of humanity under capitalism were
resolved but that the reorganization of the capitalist system in each case
overcame the constraints to a resumption of capital accumulation on a world
scale. The crisis of the 1890s was resolved in the cores of world
capitalism through the export of capital and a new round of imperialist
expansion. The Great Depression of the 1930s was resolved through the turn
to variants of social democracy in both the North and the South - welfare,
populist, or developmentalist capitalism that involved redistribution, the
creation of public sectors, and state regulation of the market.

Globalization and the current structural crisis

To understand the current conjuncture we need to go back to the 1970s. The
globalization stage of world capitalism we are now in itself evolved out
the response of distinct agents to these previous episodes of crisis, in
particular, to the 1970s crisis of social democracy, or more technically
stated, of Fordism-Keynesianism, or of redistributive capitalism. In the
wake of that crisis capital went global as a strategy of the emergent
Transnational Capitalist Class and its political representatives to
reconstitute its class power by breaking free of nation-state constraints
to accumulation. These constraints - the so-called "class compromise" - had
been imposed on capital through decades of mass struggles around the world
by nationally-contained popular and working classes. During the 1980s and
1990s, however, globally-oriented elites captured state power in most
countries around the world and utilized that power to push capitalist
globalization through the neo-liberal model.

Globalization and neo-liberal policies opened up vast new opportunities for
transnational accumulation in the 1980s and 1990s. The revolution in
computer and information technology and other technological advances helped
emergent transnational capital to achieve major gains in productivity and
to restructure, "flexibilize," and shed labor worldwide. This, in turn,
undercut wages and the social wage and facilitated a transfer of income to
capital and to high consumption sectors around the world that provided new
market segments fueling growth. In sum, globalization made possible a major
extensive and intensive expansion of the system and unleashed a frenzied
new round of accumulation worldwide that offset the 1970s crisis of
declining profits and investment opportunities.

However, the neo-liberal model has also resulted in an unprecedented
worldwide social polarization. Fierce social and class struggles worldwide
were able in the 20th century to impose a measure of social control over
capital. Popular classes, to varying degrees, were able to force the system
to link what we call social reproduction to capital accumulation. What has
taken place through globalization is the severing of the logic of
accumulation from that of social reproduction, resulting in an
unprecedented growth of social inequality and intensified crises of
survival for billions of people around the world.

The pauperizing effects unleashed by globalization have generated social
conflicts and political crises that the system is now finding it more and
more difficult to contain. The slogan "we are the 99 per cent" grows out of
the reality that global inequalities and pauperization have intensified
enormously since capitalist globalization took off in the 1980s. Broad
swaths of humanity have experienced absolute downward mobility in recent
decades. Even the IMF was forced to admit in a 2000 report that "in recent
decades, nearly one-fifth of the worldâs population has regressed. This is
arguably one of the greatest economic failures of the 20th century".

Global social polarization intensifies the chronic problem of
over-accumulation. This refers to the concentration of wealth in fewer and
fewer hands, so that the global market is unable to absorb world output and
the system stagnates. Transnational capitalists find it more and more
difficult to unload their bloated and expanding mass of surplus - they
canât find outlets to invest their money in order to generate new profits;
hence the system enters into recession or worse. In recent years, the
Transnational Capitalist Class has turned to militarized accumulation, to
wild financial speculation, and to the raiding or sacking of public finance
to sustain profit-making in the face of over-accumulation.

While transnational capitalâs offensive against the global working and
popular classes dates back to the crisis of the 1970s and has grown in
intensity ever since, the Great Recession of 2008 was in several respects a
major turning point. In particular, as the crisis spread it generated the
conditions for new rounds of brutal austerity worldwide, greater
flexibilization of labor, steeply rising under and unemployment, and so on.
Transnational finance capital and its political agents utilized the global
crisis to impose brutal austerity and attempting to dismantle what is left
of welfare systems and social states in Europe, North America, and
elsewhere, to squeeze more value out of labor, directly through more
intensified exploitation and indirectly through state finances. Social and
political conflict has escalated around the world in the wake of 2008.

Nonetheless, the system has been unable to recover; it is sinking deeper
into chaos. Global elites cannot manage the explosive contradictions. Is
the neo-liberal model of capitalism entering a terminal stage? It is
crucial to understand that neo-liberalism is but one model of global
capitalism; to say that neo-liberalism may be in terminal crisis is not to
say that global capitalism is in terminal crisis. Is it possible that the
system will respond to crisis and mass rebellion through a new
restructuring that leads to some different model of world capitalism -
perhaps a global Keynesianism involving transnational redistribution and
transnational regulation of finance capital? Will rebellious forces from
below be co-opted into some new reformed capitalist order?

Or are we headed towards a systemic crisis? A systemic crisis is one in
which the solution involves the end of the system itself, either through
its super-session and the creation of an entirely new system, or more
ominously the collapse of the system. Whether or not a structural crisis
becomes systemic depends on how distinct social and class forces respond -
to the political projects they put forward and as well as to factors of
contingency that cannot be predicted in advance, and to objective
conditions. It is impossible at this time to predict the outcome of the
crisis. However, a few things are clear in the current world conjuncture.

The current moment

First, this crisis shares a number of aspects with earlier structural
crises of the 1930s and the 1970s, but there are also several features
unique to the present:

The system is fast reaching the ecological limits of its reproduction. We
face the real specter of resource depletion and environmental catastrophes
that threaten a system collapse.

The magnitude of the means of violence and social control is unprecedented.
Computerized wars, drones, bunker-buster bombs, star wars, and so forth,
have changed the face of warfare. Warfare has become normalized and
sanitized for those not directly at the receiving end of armed aggression.
Also unprecedented is the concentration of control over the mass media, the
production of symbols, images and messages in the hands of transnational
capital. We have arrived at the society of panoptical surveillance and
Orwellian thought control.

We are reaching the limits to the extensive expansion of capitalism, in the
sense that there are no longer any new territories of significance that can
be integrated into world capitalism. De-ruralization is now well-advanced,
and the commodification of the countryside and of pre- and non-capitalist
spaces has intensified, that is, converted in hot-house fashion into spaces
of capital, so that intensive expansion is reaching depths never before
seen. Like riding a bicycle, the capitalist system needs to continuously
expand or else it collapses. Where can the system now expand?

There is the rise of a vast surplus population inhabiting a planet of
slums, alienated from the productive economy, thrown into the margins, and
subject to sophisticated systems of social control and to crises of
survival - to a mortal cycle of dispossession-exploitation-exclusion. This
raises in new ways the dangers of a 21st-century fascism and new episodes
of genocide to contain the mass of surplus humanity and their real or
potential rebellion.

There is a disjuncture between a globalizing economy and a nation-state
based system of political authority. Transnational state apparatuses are
incipient and have not been able to play the role of what social scientists
refer to as a "hegemon", or a leading nation-state that has enough power
and authority to organize and stabilize the system. Nation-states cannot
control the howling gales of a runaway global economy; states face
expanding crises of political legitimacy.

Second, global elites are unable to come up with solutions. They appear to
be politically bankrupt and impotent to steer the course of events
unfolding before them. They have exhibited bickering and division at the
G-8, G-20 and other forums, seemingly paralyzed, and certainly unwilling to
challenge the power and prerogative of transnational finance capital, the
hegemonic fraction of capital on a world scale, and the most rapacious and
destabilizing fraction. While national and transnational state apparatuses
fail to intervene to impose regulations on global finance capital, they
have intervened to impose the costs of the crisis on labor. The budgetary
and fiscal crises that supposedly justify spending cuts and austerity are
contrived. They are a consequence of the unwillingness or inability of
states to challenge capital and their disposition to transfer the burden of
the crisis to working and popular classes.

Third, there will be no quick outcome of the mounting global chaos. We are
in for a period of major conflicts and great upheavals. As I mentioned
above, one danger is a neo-fascist response to contain the crisis. We are
facing a war of capital against all. Three sectors of transnational capital
in particular stand out as the most aggressive and prone to seek
neo-fascist political arrangements to force forward accumulation as this
crisis continues: speculative financial capital, the
military-industrial-security complex, and the extractive and energy sector.
Capital accumulation in the military-industrial-security complex depends on
endless conflicts and war, including the so-called wars on terrorism and on
drugs, as well as on the militarization of social control. Transnational
finance capital depends on taking control of state finances and imposing
debt and austerity on the masses, which in turn can only be achieved
through escalating repression. And extractive industries depend on new
rounds of violent dispossession and environmental degradation around the

Fourth, popular forces worldwide have moved quicker than anyone could
imagine from the defensive to the offensive. The initiative clearly passed
this year, 2011, from the transnational elite to popular forces from below.
The juggernaut of capitalist globalization in the 1980s and 1990s had
reverted the correlation of social and class forces worldwide in favor of
transnational capital. Although resistance continued around the world,
popular forces from below found themselves disoriented and fragmented in
those decades, pushed on to the defensive in the heyday of neo-liberalism.
Then the events of September 11, 2001, allowed the transnational elite,
under the leadership of the US state, to sustain its offensive by
militarizing world politics and extending systems of repressive social
control in the name of "combating terrorism".

Now all this has changed. The global revolt underway has shifted the whole
political landscape and the terms of the discourse. Global elites are
confused, reactive, and sinking into the quagmire of their own making. It
is noteworthy that those struggling around the world have been shown a
strong sense of solidarity and are in communications across whole
continents. Just as the Egyptian uprising inspired the US Occupy movement,
the latter has been an inspiration for a new round of mass struggle in
Egypt. What remains is to extend transnational coordination and move
towards transnationally-coordinated programs. On the other hand, the
"empire of global capital" is definitely not a "paper tiger". As global
elites regroup and assess the new conjuncture and the threat of mass global
revolution, they will - and have already begun to - organize coordinated
mass repression, new wars and interventions, and mechanisms and projects of
co-optation in their efforts to restore hegemony.

In my view, the only viable solution to the crisis of global capitalism is
a massive redistribution of wealth and power downward towards the poor
majority of humanity along the lines of a 21st-century democratic socialism
in which humanity is no longer at war with itself and with nature.

 2011 William I. Robinson

William I. Robinson is a Professor of Sociology, Global Studies, and Latin
American Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara. His latest
book is Latin America and Global Capitalism

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Deranged Senate Votes for Military Detention of All Terror Suspects and a
Permanent GuantÃnamo
by Andy Worthington
Published on Friday, December 2, 2011 by

Yesterday the shameful dinosaurs of the Senate â hopelessly out of touch
with reality, for the most part, and haunted by specters of their own
making â approved, by 93 votes to 7, the passage of the National Defense
Authorization Act (PDF), which contains a number of astonishingly alarming
provisions â Sections 1031 and 1032, designed to make mandatory the
indefinite military detention of terror suspects until the end of
hostilities in a âwar on terrorâ that seems to have no end (if they are
identified as a member of al-Qaeda or an alleged affiliate, or have planned
or carried out an attack on the United States), ending a long and entirely
appropriate tradition of trying terror suspects in federal court for their
alleged crimes, and Sections 1033 and 1034, which seek to prevent the
closure of GuantÃnamo by imposing onerous restrictions on the release of
prisoners, and banning the use of funds to purchase an alternative prison
anywhere else. I have previously remarked on these depressing developments
in articles in July and October, as they have had a horribly long period of
gestation, in which no one with a grip on reality â and admiration for the
law â has been able to wipe them out.

The four sections are connected, as cheerleaders for the mandatory military
detention of terror suspects want them to be sent to GuantÃnamo, and have
done, if I recall correctly, at least since Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the
failed Christmas plane bomber in 2009, was arrested, read his Miranda
rights, and interrogated by the FBI. Recently, Abdulmutallab, who told his
interrogators all they wanted to know without being held in military
custody â and, for that matter, without being tortured, which is what the
hardcore cheerleaders for military detention also want â was tried and
convicted in a federal court.

Hundreds of other terror suspects have been successfully prosecuted in
federal court, throughout the Bush years, and under Obama, but supporters
of military custody like to forget this, as it conflicts with their
notions, held since the aftermath of 9/11 and the Bush administrationâs
horrendous flight from the law, that terrorists are warriors. Underpinning
it all is the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), the founding
document of the âwar on terror,â passed the week after the 9/11 attacks.
This authorizes the President to pursue anyone, anywhere who he thinks was
involved in the 9/11 attacks, and it is a dreadfully open-ended excuse for
endless war whose repeal I have long encouraged, but which some lawmakers
have been itching to renew, even after the death of Osama bin Laden, and
the obvious incentives for the winding-down of the ruinous, decade-long
âwar on terror.â

The fundamental opposition to the provision for the mandatory military
custody of terror suspects

Depressingly, when it came to passing the Act, the world was treated to the
unedifying spectacle of lawmakers arguing about whether the existing law â
the AUMF, plus the Supreme Courtâs 2004 ruling in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld that it
authorizes detention until the end of hostilities â actually applies to
Americans, and whether, on that basis, this new legislation does too. Their
compromise was that it would authorize whatever already exists, which only
made them look rather stupid, frankly. For evidence, check out this comment
from Sen. Carl Levin,  as mentioned in the New York Times. âWe make clear
that whatever the law is, it is unaffected by this language in our bill,â
he said.

However, one of the even more extraordinary things about the Senateâs
custody provisions is not only that they are a mangled, scrambled mess, but
also that no one who will be required to obey them wants anything to do
with them. The executive branch, the military, the FBI and the CIA â no one
asked for this new policy. As Spencer Ackerman noted for Wired:

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta opposes the maneuver. So does CIA Director
David Petraeus, who usually commands deference from senators in both
parties. Pretty much every security official has lined up against the
Senate detention provisions, from Director of National Intelligence James
Clapper to FBI Director Robert Mueller, who worry that theyâll get in the
way of FBI investigations of domestic terrorists.

Also opposing the billâs unwanted provisions are Department of Defense
General Counsel Jeh Johnson, Obama Counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan,
16 former interrogators and counter-terrorism professionals, and 26 retired
military leaders who, on Tuesday, urged Senators to support an amendment by
Sen. Mark Udall, backed by Sen. Jim Webb, to strip all the troublesome
provisions from the legislation (and also see Sen, Udallâs eminently
sensible Washington Post op-ed). Despite this, the Udall amendment was
defeated by 61 votes to 37 (with 16 Democrats voting against the amendment
â see the breakdown of votes here).

In addition, President Obama has threatened to veto the bill, although
whether he will remains to be seen. The mandatory military custody
provisions, after all, have a get-out clause, as Andrew Cohen noted for the
Atlantic a month ago, when he wrote:

Section 1032, to be applied in concert with Section 1031, contains a
mandatory detention requirement for anyone âdeterminedâ (by the military)
to be a member of al-Qaeda or its affiliates. It allows the executive
branch, however, to âwaiveâ this requirement by having the âSecretary of
Defense â in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of
National Intelligenceâ submit to Congress a written certificate that the
waiver is in the ânational security interests of the United States.â The
executive branch, in other words, would practically have to do a
song-and-dance on Capitol Hill to prosecute a terror suspect in civilian

Obama, of course, is no great defender of due process, as he had Osama bin
Laden killed in a Wild West style and also approved the execution without
any kind of charge or trial of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen, in
Yemen, where he was producing irritating jihadist material in English on
the Internet. However, it seems likely that his defense secretary, Leon
Panetta, will indeed be forced to jump through hoops if the custody
provisions are not removed.

I honesty find it hard to believe that these proposals even made it as far
as they did, especially as Sen. Carl Levin was involved in drafting the
legislation with the usual deranged suspects â Sens. John McCain, Lindsey
Graham and Joe Liebermann â plus torture advocate Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who
attempted to specifically reintroduce torture as official US policy in her
own deranged bill, which was recently defeated. Astonishingly, the Senate
Armed Services Committee, where this toxic brew was created, conjured it up
in secret, which did not go down well with some of the lawmakersâ
colleagues. Although Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid initially found his
spine and spoke up against it, he soon remembered that it is his job to
cave in on matters of importance, which he duly did, although others were
not so easily swayed.

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, as Andrew Rosenthal explained in the New York
Times, noted with horror that the provisions were âhashed out behind closed
doors without consultation with his committee [he is the chairman of the
Senate Judiciary Committee], or the Intelligence Committee, or the Defense
Department, the FBI or the intelligence community.â In addition, as Andrew
Cohen explained:

Leahy, and Californiaâs Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Select
Committee on Intelligence, wrote Sen. Reid a letter requesting that the
controversial provisions be removed from the NDAA. âWe concur with the
Administrationâs view that mandatory military custody is âundue and
dangerous,ââ they wrote, âand that these provisions would âseverely and
recklessly undermineâ our Nationâs counterterrorism efforts.â

The provisions relating to GuantÃnamo and why they are also important

However, while a host of critics are lined up against the mandatory
military custody aspects of the bill, far less attention, unfortunately,
has been paid to the provisions preventing the closure of GuantÃnamo. As
Andrew Cohen lamented a month ago, âI think Section 1034 [banning the use
of any funds to buy an alternative prison] may be the worst of the lot â a
triumph of fear and prejudice over pragmatic solutions. But it doesnât
appear to have raised the hackles of even those senators who are opposed to
some of the other provisions. Go figure.â

Go figure, indeed. It may, perhaps, be slightly cynical of me to note that
the story of GuantÃnamo involves foreigners and that Americans only wake up
in any kind of numbers when legal monstrosities might apply to American
citizens, but there does appear to be some truth in it. If it could be
demonstrated that no American could possibly end up in mandatory military
custody as a result of the Senateâs mad provisions, I would be prepared to
wager that hardly any Americans would bat an eyelid.

As it is, I can only hope that the two sections relating to GuantÃnamo, and
two other sections specifically criticized by the Presidentâs advisors (in
which Congress demanded detainee reviews from the executive branch) are
subjected to a veto. To make it clear, Section 1033 (which ramps up
unjustifiable restrictions already implemented by lawmakers) is entitled,
âRequirements for certifications relating to the transfer of detainees at
United States Naval Station, GuantÃnamo Bay, Cuba, to foreign countries and
other foreign entities,â and it stipulates that no transfer out of
GuantÃnamo will be allowed âif there is a confirmed case of any individual
who was detained at [GuantÃnamo] who was transferred to such foreign
country or entity and subsequently engaged in any terrorist activity.â

As noted above, Section 1034 (which repeats previous bans imposed by
lawmakers) is entitled, âProhibition on use of funds to construct or modify
facilities in the United States to house detainees transferred from United
States Naval Station, GuantÃnamo Bay, Cuba,â prevents the closure of
GuantÃnamo by stopping the President from buying or modifying an
alternative facility elsewhere, and then there are the two other
provisions, both new, and both largely unnoticed.

Section 1035, entitled, âProcedures for periodic detention review of
individuals detained at United States Naval Station, GuantÃnamo Bay, Cuba,â
requires the Secretary of Defense âto submit a report to Congress for
implementing the periodic review processâ established in the executive
order of March this year, which, outrageously, authorized the indefinite
detention without charge or trial â but with periodic reviews â of 46 of
the remaining 171 prisoners, on the unacceptable basis that they were too
dangerous to be released, but that there was insufficient evidence to put
them on trial.

Section 1036, entitled, âProcedures for Status Determinations,â states
that, âNot later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act,
the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the appropriate committees of
Congress a report setting forth the procedures for determining the status
of persons detained pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force
(Public Law 107â40) for purposes of section 1031â â meaning that it is
supposed to establish, to the satisfaction of Congress, who will be
subjected to mandatory military custody.

The response of the Presidentâs Office, in its letter threatening a veto,
spells out the administrationâs opposition to these sections, and is of
interest. The Presidentâs advisors noted:

The certification and waiver, required by section 1033 before a detainee
may be transferred from GuantÃnamo Bay to a foreign country, continue to
hinder the Executive branchâs ability to exercise its military, national
security, and foreign relations activities. While these provisions may be
intended to be somewhat less restrictive than the analogous provisions in
current law, they continue to pose unnecessary obstacles, effectively
blocking transfers that would advance our national security interests, and
would, in certain circumstances, violate constitutional separation of
powers principles. The Executive branch must have the flexibility to act
swiftly in conducting negotiations with foreign countries regarding the
circumstances of detainee transfers.

Section 1034âs ban on the use of funds to construct or modify a detention
facility in the United States is an unwise intrusion on the militaryâs
ability to transfer its detainees as operational needs dictate.

Section 1035 conflicts with the consensus-based interagency approach to
detainee reviews required under Executive Order No. 13567, which
establishes procedures to ensure that periodic review decisions are
informed by the most comprehensive information and the considered views of
all relevant agencies.

Section 1036, in addition to imposing onerous requirements, conflicts with
procedures for detainee reviews in the field that have been developed based
on many years of experience by military officers and the Department of

The Presidentâs advisors concluded:

In short, the matters addressed in these provisions are already well
regulated by existing procedures and have traditionally been left to the
discretion of the Executive branch.

Broadly speaking, the detention provisions in this bill micromanage the
work of our experienced counter-terrorism professionals, including our
military commanders, intelligence professionals, seasoned counter-terrorism
prosecutors, or other operatives in the field. These professionals have
successfully led a Government-wide effort to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat
al-Qaeda and its affiliates and adherents over two consecutive
Administrations. The Administration believes strongly that it would be a
mistake for Congress to overrule or limit the tactical flexibility of our
Nationâs counter-terrorism professionals.

This is not quite the end of the road for the NDAA, as it must now be
consolidated with the version previously passed by the House of
Representatives, which I wrote about here and here. However, it is almost
certain that the President will soon be required to make clear what he

If Obama is wavering, as is his habit, I would suggest that he takes note
of the fact that the election season is nearly upon us, and that, as we
approach that frenzy of hype and hyperbole, he needs do something to make
his progressive supporters remember why they might want to vote for him,
rather than just hoping â or presuming â that they will not vote against
him. In short, the President needs to veto this bill, and stand up for US
justice, and the still-pressing need to close GuantÃnamo, rather than doing
as he has so often on national security issues, and caving in to pressure.

 2011 Andy Worthington

Andy Worthington is a journalist and historian, based in London. He is the
author of The Guantanamo Files: The Stories of the 759 Detainees in
America's Illegal Prison, the first book to tell the stories of all the
detainees in America's illegal prison. For more information, visit his blog

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Yes for an answer.


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