The geeks at Anonymous probably think they are having more fun publishing the Twitter handles of the 83 senators who approved the NDAA, National Defense Authorization Act, last Thursday, on Bill of Rights Day, which okays indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial. But buried in the information dump is a truly amazing piece of information, which could have been put together from public records, but which Anonymous actually brought to the fore.
Anonymous singles out Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) for receiving a particularly large sum from companies and PACs lobbying for the NDAA. From the RT report:
Robert J. Portman...we are truly disturbed by the ludicrous $272,853 he received from special interest groups supporting the NDAA bill that authorizes the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens on U.S. soil.
Even in Washington terms, over a quarter million is a ridiculous amount of money from special interest groups supporting an issue to any single legislator. Congressmen have been bought for far less, with around $50,000 considered a serious ante at anyone's table, and much less merely keeping you in the game.
“Among the supporters of NDAA are California-based manufacturer Surefire, L.L.C., who won a $23 million contract from the Department of Defense three months ago.
OpenSecrets.org shows Surefire lobbying for HR 1540 which is the House counterpart to the Senate bill, S. 1867, which was passed on Bill of Rights Day and which two retired Marine generals affirm, in a New York Times op-ed, abolishes the Bill of Rights. Retired four-star Generals Charles Krulak and Joseph Hoar write in opposing the new law:
One provision would authorize the military to indefinitely detain without charge people suspected of involvement with terrorism, including United States citizens apprehended on American soil. Due process would be a thing of the past.
From the guardian of democracy OpenSecrets.org:
Surefire retains DC lobbyists Upstream Consulting to do its lobbying on Capitol Hill.
So what does Surefire make? In a word, night-raid equipment, with a fresh new $23 million contract from the DoD even as we saw troops pulling out of Iraq and they are about to pull out of Afghanistan. The product catalog main categories read things like "weapon lights, helmet lights, sound suppressors, high capacity magazines." The equipment is relatively cheap, not big ticket items in Defense Department terms. That means this is a big contract. A $23 million contract would buy enough of these things to outfit maybe 50,000 soldiers.
If we are pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan, what is all this stuff for? Night-raid gear? These are basically made to blind people as they awake from you busting down their door, not for open combat. In a night firefight you don't want any lights near you whatsoever. That gives the other guy an easy target.
This is as Obama is about to sign NDAA into law, if he hasn't already at the time of this writing, the unconstitutional detention provisions of which we now know he specifically requested. We know because some sharp-eyed CSPAN junkie flicked on the record switch when she heard Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) saying these words. Levin on the Senate floor during debate:
Sen. Levin (addressing Senate president): "And I'm wondering whether the senator is familiar with the fact that the language, the language which precluded the application of section 1031 to American citizens was in the bill that we originally approved in the Armed Services Committee, and the administration asked us to remove the language which says that US citizens and lawful residents would not be subject to this section?
Is the senator familiar with the fact that it was the administration which asked us to remove the very language we had in the bill which passed the committee and that we removed it at the request of the administration... that would have said that this determination would not apply to US citizens and lawful residents? I'm just wondering is the senator familiar with the fact it was the administration which asked us to remove the very language [excluding US citizens], the absence of which, is now objected to by the senator from Illinois?"
The Hive Daily gives a fuller report on this at "Military Contractors Funded Detention Bill."
Image from Surefire marketing video:
From SureFire catalog "Weapon Lights":
SureFire Marketing Videos:
Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) Charging Obama Requested Americans be Included in Indefinite Military Detention Provisions:
The Treasonous 383
SENATE: YEAs ---86