You can listen to Helen’s show online at:
Among other issues we plan to discuss is the passage, by both the House and Senate, of the Pentagon spending bill that declares the entire United States of America to be a part of the battlefield where the “War on Terror” is concerned.
Here is the link to an article on this matter that appeared in the Huffington Post:
Initially combatants captured by the military on American soil would be mandatorily kept in military custody including United States citizens and lawful immigrants. The bill was modified to give the President discretionary authority in terms of custody decisions so that the courts may make the ultimate decision. In my view this is a dangerous law and it is ironic that for nearly a decade the mantra spewed by many politicians since the attacks of 9/11 was, “We are fighting them (the terrorists) over there so that we won’t have to fight them over here!”
I had consistently taken issue with that assessment that was used to justify the sending of troops to Iraq and Afghanistan by saying that while it may make sense to send troops overseas, the war on terror must be fought here in the United States. After all, the attacks of 9/11 all took place “over here,” the Patriot Act involves United States citizens “over here” passengers seeking to board airliners inside the United States have been coming under increasingly invasive scrutiny at airports across the United States and counterterrorism drills have been stages in many cities across our country.
What is also disconcerting is that the administration has been describing a fairly broad swath of Americans as being “Extremists.” Some groups are clearly deserving of the label “Extremist” but in point of fact the administration has broadened the term extremist to include groups with a single issue as their focus- such as immigration. The administration has also warned about returning military veterans. Meanwhile, Bin Laden is dead and this week our soldiers were withdrawn from Iraq. Certainly the “War on Terror” is far from done but it is difficult to understand the timing of this bill that would, for the first time since the Civil War, permit the military to operate within the borders of the United States!
Another concern I have is that often measures designed to combat a particular group of criminals wind up being used against defendants who were not the intended targets of the law in question. The RICO statutes that were passed under the Kennedy Administration’s efforts to dismantle organized crime have been used frequently to prosecute individuals who stand accused of crimes but who have absolutely no involvement with the “Mob!”
I also recall how President Nixon had compiled a “Political Enemies” list which caused him to attempt to find ways of using federal agencies such as the IRS to target individuals who were on his political “hit list.”
Our nation has often been described as being a “Nation of Laws.” Our criminal justice system has been a model for other countries around the world. The mere idea that an American or even an alien can be taken into custody, held indefinitely without being charged with a crime, is antithetical to all that our nation has stood for! The concept of indefinite detention without the individual being charged with a crime is not the way that any country should operate. This scenario is what passes for “business as usual” in dictatorships and in those countries, the officials who are charged with carrying out such detentions are generally referred to as the “Secret Police!”
I have served as a juror in two criminal trials in New York. When both the prosecution and the defense rested, the judges in both cases charged the jury, explaining the process by which we would hopefully reach a verdict made a point that has stayed with me ever since I sat on those juries. Both times the presiding judges made it clear that during a criminal trial, not only was the defendant on trial, but our system of justice was on trial as well!
As an INS Special Agent I have been involved in a number of terrorism cases and served as the case agent in one terrorism trial. I am certainly not “soft on terrorism.” I am however, fiercely defensive of our system of justice!
This afternoon, from 4:00 PM until 4:30 PM, Eastern Daylight Savings Time, I will be a guest on the Armstrong Williams Radio Show.
Here is a link to Armstrong’s excellent website-
His show is broadcast live, daily on WGCV Radio in Columbia, WLMC Georgetown, SC, WCPK Chesapeake, VA, from 4-5:00 PM and is rebroadcast on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio New 128 daily from 7:00 until 8:00 PM. EDT.
You may listen to his live broadcast from 4-5:00 PM, EDT online at:
our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!
We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.
My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.
The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.
If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same. We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”
The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.
The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!
The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians. I implore you to get involved!
I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world. However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels or members of other transnational gangs or members of al-Qaeda!
If our government’s failures to secure our nation’s borders and effectively enforce our immigration laws concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation!
All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!
We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.
This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!
You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!
Democracy is not a spectator sport!
Lead, follow or get out of the way!
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