OK

Succumbing to public outrage, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) seems to have been beaten back for now.   SHTFPlan.com reports:

Amid significant pressure from tens of thousands of internet users and major web behemoths like Google, Facebook, and Reddit, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is, in its current form, Dead on Arrival.

Washington Monthly reported:

Though the administration did issue a formal veto threat, the White House’s opposition signaled the end of these bills, at least in their current form.  A few hours later, Congress shelved SOPA, putting off action on the bill indefinitely.

Although presented in the guise of a bill to combat online piracy, Daisy Luther at Inalienably Yours, detailed how the bill was nothing short of  a direct attack against the first Amendment, in much the same way that the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 (NDAA) was a direct attack on U.S. citizens' right to a jury trial when accused of links to terrorism, in the guise of a harmless bill targeting only foreign nationals.  Luther writes:

On closer inspection, the legalese in the bill has the potential to eviscerate free speech….and like NDAA, without proof…only with suspicion of “wrong-doing”.  It’s all about copyright infringement.  If you tick off the powers that be, and you’ve quoted someone, somewhere, saying something, you may have infringed on their copyright.  As a defendant, you are not even present at the legal proceeding allowing “them” to shut you down until you prove yourself innocent.

How do they shut you down?  Search engines are required to remove you from their listings.  Internet Service Providers can be ordered to block access to your site.  Advertising networks and payment providers can also be forced to cease doing business with you.  This continues until you are proven INNOCENT.  Wait – I thought it was innocent until proven guilty….oh….that was “before” the NDAA.

David Seaman at BusinessInsider.com was more blunt in his piece "NDAA And SOPA: The End of America?!":

SOPA, as you probably know, threatens the very existence of the Internet in its current form -- and would enable government censorship of Internet content on a scale never before seen in America or the developed world.

Forbes Magazine writer E.D. Kain in "SOPA, the NDAA, and Patent-Trolling: Why Americans Need a Civil Liberties Caucus" highlights the small group of senators from both parties, unlikely allies in most other issues, who stand against SOPA and the NDAA, saying:

We need to elect more men and women willing to stand up against bills that strip away our basic rights. We have more to fear from these laws than we do from terrorism or internet piracy. We need leaders on the left and the right who reflect American values, and not American fears.

The 13 senators who voted against NDAA were Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).

The action comes after Fight for the Future had called for a web strike on Jan. 18th during which, starting at 8a.m. Eastern, participating website would go dark and replace their home page with this page protesting SOPA.

There is no guarantee the main elements of the bill will not surface in some other form in the future, therefore eternal vigilance is still required.

Which turns attention to the continuing battle to reverse the military detention of U.S. citizens provisions of the NDAA, which began on Christmas Day with the announcement of Montanans from both sides of the political spectrum to begin a recall effort against their senators and congressmembers who voted for the bill, which led to the spontaneous sprouting of numerous Facebook pages such as Recall Every Congressman Who Voted for the NDAA.

Nationwide protests and actions are scheduled over the NDAA on Feb. 3, protest Facebook HERE.

Activists are bringing the battle to the state legislatures in the matter of recall of federal officials.  States which presently have federal recall laws are Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Federal recall laws remain relatively untested in the courts, with the reasoning behind the two instances in which they have been disallowed, in Idaho and New in New Jersey, considered weak and vulnerable.  Proponents of such laws point out that the Idaho decision was based on the idea that a recall law constituted a change in the "qualifications" for office, such as age and residency, which the Constitution prohibits.  And the NJ decision, by a state court, relied on the argument that the Constitution prohibits the length of a term of office from being changed, something which a recall does not do.  

A faculty paper of theCollege of William and Mary Law School on federal recall argues:

   

   Properly conceived and exercised, the recall would serve not as a referendum for single issues like abortion or a balanced budget, but rather would provide the voters with a means of removing a senator who has perpetrated an extraordinary breach of the public trust...

For states with no present federal recall laws, RecallTheTraitors.blogspot.com (of which I am a participant) has released a suggested cover letter and model recall law package for presentation to state legislators.

Recall Package for State Legislators to Enact a Recall Law for U.S. Senators and Congressmen in Your State

 COPY AND PASTE INTO A WORD DOCUMENT AND TAILOR TO YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVES AND STATE SENATORS.

CONTACT YOUR STATE LEGISLATORS HERE
http://www.ncsl.org/?tabid=17173

COVER LETTER

[Brackets where information to be tailored]

Dear Representative/Assemblyman [NAME]

You of course are familiar with the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 (NDAA), the controversial law which allows (not requires) the indefinite military detention of U.S. citizens without charge or trial for the "duration of hostilities" in the "war on terror."  The law was passed by Congress on December 15, Bill of Rights Day, and signed by the president on New Years' Eve.  There is no question that the law, and any idea that the U.S. government can do this to its citizens, is clearly unconstitutional, illegal, and in violation of the Oath of Office of every U.S. Senator and Congressman who voted to pass the bill.

We believe it is time for [STATE NAME] to have a recall law modeled along the lines of the carefully worded, stringent recall law passed by Washington State.  This law allows for the recall of federal officials on two grounds: 1) acts of malfeasance or misfeasance while in office, or 2) violation of the oath of office.  There is no doubt that [Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown] have violated their oaths of office, to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic."   The Constitution is the "Supreme Law of the Land" according to the Supremacy Clause, Article VI.

The Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees that in "all" criminal prosecutions:

    "the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."

In contrast, Section 1021 (b) through (c) of the NDAA in substance states that:

""Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force ...to detain...A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda...or associated forces...including any person who has...directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces...The disposition of a person...may include...Detention under the law of war...without trial until the end of the hostilities..."

In cases of treason, in which American citizens have taken up arms against the United States, Article III, Section 3, of the Constitution mandates that:

       "No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court."

In cases of treason,  American citizens are guaranteed not only their Sixth Amendment rights under the Constitution, which are "inalienable" according to the document from which the Constitution emanates, the Declaration of Independence, but also their Article III requirement that two witnesses testify against him, or that he confess in open court.  The Declaration of Independence declares that:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable rights;"

The U.S. Supreme Court held in 1897 that:

       "The Constitution is the body and letter of which the Declaration of Independence is the thought and the spirit, and it is always safe to read the letter of the Constitution in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence.     The Constitution itself connects itself to the Declaration of Independence by dating itself from the date of the Declaration of Independence, thereby showing clearly that it is the second great document in the government of these United States and is not to be understood without the first."

As for the importance of the right to a jury trial, Thomas Jefferson said:

    "I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution."

Therefore, in cases of treason, U.S. citizens are guaranteed, by the Supreme Law of the Land, due process rights under two distinct sections of the Constitution, the Sixth Amendment, and Article III.

The NDAA is unconstitutional for the additional reason that the broad sweep of the language used in Section 1021, “substantial support” of an “associated force,” may imply citizens engaged in innocuous, First Amendment activities, such as free speech opposition to U.S. government policies, aid to civilians, or acts of civil disobedience.

U.S. Representative Tom McClintock said on the House floor during debate that Section 1021:

    "specifically affirms that the President has the authority to deny due process to any American it charges with “substantially supporting al Qaeda, the Taliban or any ‘associated forces’” — whatever that means.  Would “substantial support” of an “associated force,” mean linking a web-site to a web-site that links to a web-site affiliated with al-Qaeda? We don’t know."

It is important to remember that the passage of the NDAA has been accompanied by a sophisticated and well-oiled misinformation campaign intended to deceive Americans into believing that the indefinite military detention provisions do not apply to U.S. citizens.  U.S. Representative Justin Amash warned that the NDAA as passed was“carefully crafted to mislead the public.”  For example, Section 1021 (e) states:

"Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States."

 But "existing law" is in flux, and in its present state is embodied in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in  the case of Jose Padilla, the U.S.-born citizen whom Fourth Circuit affirmed could be held indefinitely by the military under the Bush administration without charge or trial.  The Fourth Circuit's controversial decision was destined for Supreme Court review until the Bush administration released Padilla to civilian trial after nearly 4 years of military detention, after which he was unable to assist in his own defense.  Some speculate that the change of course in Padilla was made specifically to avoid Supreme Courth review of the Fourth Circuit decision, the first involving the status and rights of "enemy combatants" in the first proclaimed war without end.

The second section of deceptive language is in Section 1022 (b) of the NDAA states:

"APPLICABILITY TO UNITED STATES CITIZENS AND LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS:  (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS.—The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States."

However, even if US citizens are not "required" to be detained by the military in terrorism cases,  it is still "allowed." 

The ACLU has said:

“President Obama’s action today is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law…Under the Bush administration, similar claims of worldwide detention authority were used to hold even a U.S. citizen detained on U.S. soil in military custody…” (“President Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Bill Into Law,” Press Release, ACLU, 12/31/2010 at http://tinyurl.com/... )

By violation of their Oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic," Senators Kerry and Brown have become eligible for recall. 

We the People of Massachusetts demand that our U.S. senators and congressmen obey their sacred Oath of Office, to be performed before all other official acts of of.  These are not just words. 

[State representatives if the Commonwealth of Massachusetts] also take an oath to "support the United States Constitution."  Senators [Kerry's and Brown's] actions demand recall by the people.    Without delay, please sponsor and work to enact The Massachusetts Public Official Accountability Act of 2012 (MPOAA,) draft language below, modeled upon the federal recall law for the state of Washington, in order that the People may exercise our powers reserved to us under the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which "reserves" all powers not specifically enumerated as the preserve of the federal government "to the states...and to the people":

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution  nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States  respectively, or to the people." - Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

A comprehensive analysis of NDAA language from the final bill can be found at http://tinyurl.com/... (“Continuing Protests Against NDAA Indefinite Military Detention of U.S. Citizens, Recall Efforts On” at DailyKos.com )  Please find enclosed a Fact Sheet on NDAA and draft language of the model law based on Washington State's.

Thank you and best regards.

Signed Your Constituents:

Non-constituent supporters of MPOAA:

---------

Washington State Recall Law, Constitution of the State of Washington Article I, Sections 33 and 34:

Recall of Elective Officers.

Every elective public officer of the [state of Washington] except judges of courts of record is subject to recall and discharge by the legal voters of the state, or of the political subdivision of the state, from which he was elected whenever a petition demanding his recall, reciting that such officer has committed some act or acts of malfeasance or misfeasance while in office, or who has violated his oath of office, stating the matters complained of, signed by the percentages of the qualified electors thereof, hereinafter provided, the percentage required to be computed from the total number of votes cast for all candidates for his said office to which he was elected at the preceding election, is filed with the officer with whom a petition for nomination, or certificate for nomination, to such office must be filed under the laws of this state, and the same officer shall call a special election as provided by the general election laws of this state, and the result determined as therein provided.

The legislature shall pass the necessary laws to carry out the provisions of section thirty-three (33) of this article, and to facilitate its operation and effect without delay: Provided, That the authority hereby conferred upon the legislature shall not be construed to grant to the legislature any exclusive power of lawmaking nor in any way limit the initiative and referendum powers reserved by the people. The percentages required shall be, state officers, other than judges, senators and representatives, city officers of cities of the first class, school district boards in cities of the first class; county officers of counties of the first, second and third classes, twenty-five per cent. Officers of all other political subdivisions, cities, towns, townships, precincts and school districts not herein mentioned, and state senators and representatives, thirty-five per cent.


Washington State law linked at  http://www.ballotpedia.org/...

-------

Fact Sheet: New Law Allowing for Indefinite Military Detention of U.S. Citizens Without Charge or Trial, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 (NDAA)

Last revision: 1/10/2011

- The National Defense Authorization Act of 2001 (NDAA) passed by the House and the Senate on Dec. 15, 2011, Bill of Rights Day, and signed by Obama in the late hours of New Year’s Eve, allows for American citizens to be taken into military custody without charge or trial, for the “duration of hostilities” in the “War on Terror” for the first time in American history.

- The roll call votes for the House and Senate can be seen at links: Senate (86 “yes” - 13 “no”) at  http://tinyurl.com/...  and House (283 “yes” - 136 “no”) at  http://tinyurl.com/...

- Forbes Magazine: “The NDAA authorizes the military to detain even US citizens under the broad new anti-terrorism provisions provided in the bill, once again without trial.” (“President Obama Signed the National Defense Authorization Act - Now What?” by E.D. Kain, Forbes, 1/2/2011)

- ACLU: “President Obama’s action today is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law…Under the Bush administration, similar claims of worldwide detention authority were used to hold even a U.S. citizen detained on U.S. soil in military custody…” (“President Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Bill Into Law,” Press Release, ACLU, 12/31/2010 at http://tinyurl.com/...   )

- There is a major campaign underway to deceive Americans into thinking NDAA does not apply to U.S. citizens.  Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) said the legislation was “carefully crafted to mislead the public.” (“U.S. Rep. Justin Amash opposes defense authorization bill,” The Grand Rapids Press, 11/28/2010)

-  In a Jan. 5, 2011 BBC report, Professor Jonathan Turley of the Georgetown University School of Law called Obama’s signing statement to not use NDAA powers against U.S. citizens a “hollow promise” which nevertheless gives the president and future presidents “authoritarian powers” to lock up U.S. citizens without trial and even kill them.  Youtube of interview at: http://tinyurl.com/...

- Precise analysis of bill language at http://tinyurl.com/...    (“Continuing Protests Against NDAA Indefinite Military Detention of U.S. Citizens, Recall Efforts On” at DailyKos.com )

- The Washington Post has confirmed a secret list of Americans to be assassinated, reporting on Jan. 26, 2010: "The military's Joint Special Operations Command maintains a target list that includes several Americans...U.S. officials have said that the government is prepared to kill U.S. citizens who are believed to be involved in terrorist activities..." There is no way to determine who is on the list, as it is "classified." ("U.S. military teams, intelligence deeply involved in aiding Yemen on strikes," Washington Post, by Dana Priest, Jan. 27, 2010)

- The only U.S. senators who voted against the NDAA are: Cardin (D-MD), Coburn (R-OK), Crapo (R-ID), DeMint (R-SC), Durbin (D-IL), Franken (D-MN), Harkin (D-IA), Lee (R-UT), Merkley (D-OR), Paul (R-KY), Risch (R-ID), Sanders (I-VT), Wyden (D-OR)

- The Oath of Office for U.S. senators and congressmen, required by the Constitution before assuming duties, and American military officers is: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…”  Thomas Jefferson said: "I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution."

- Citizens have launched recall campaigns against senators and congressmen who voted for the NDAA.  The states which presently have such recall laws are Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin.  States which do not can pass them.  For more information go to RecallTheTraitors.blogspot.com,  and http://tinyurl.com/...

Opposition to the NDAA and the restoration of Americans’ basic rights are not a partisan issue.  Citizens from the left to the right of the spectrum have come together in outrage.  For more information go to RecallTheTraitors.blogspot.com  Please join the Facebook linked at this site.

NDAA Fact Sheet linked at http://recallthetraitors.blogspot.com/...

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