Thursday, December 1, 2011
The broadcast media’s ignorance and unwillingness to cover the National Defense Authorization Act, a radical piece of legislation which outrageously redefines the US homeland as a “battlefield” and makes US citizens subject to military apprehension and detainment for life without access to a trial or attorney, is unacceptable.
Guys, this is far more important than Penn State’s Disgusting Creep of the Decade, or even Conrad Murray’s sentencing.
Call it what you will: a military junta, a secret invalidation of Americans’ civil rights, a Congress gone mad. Whatever it is, it needs to be covered by the press, and quickly.
Anderson Cooper, Brian Williams, Rachel Maddow, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Neil Cavuto and the other handful of household names that mainstream America relies on for news should be talking about this non-stop.
I emailed producers and on-air talent at the three major cable news networks yesterday: not one of them was willing to step up to the plate and report on this appalling legislation, which would give Americans roughly the same protections as citizens in China or Saudi Arabia.
Bloggers and the ACLU’s analysis have already made the work easy for you guys. Even an ADD segment producer can do the math:
– Pay special attention to Section 1031 of the bill.
– This bill violates the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C. § 1385), as it will allow federal military personnel to engage in domestic law enforcement. This is profoundly unconstitutional and scary.
– Also read Sen. Lindsey Graham’s chilling defense of the offending provision in this bill, calling to make the homeland a “battlefield.” Has anyone told these guys that Osama bin Laden and his deputies are dead? Those still alive are running from drone strikes on a daily basis. So who exactly are we fighting against? Are you protecting us from a handful of (almost entirely peaceful) college kids at the Occupy protests? If so, martial law and throwing out 200+ years of basic civil rights seems rather excessive.
– Finally, as the ACLU points out, you won’t have any trouble booking an expert talking head who will tell you how dangerous and counterproductive the National Defense Authorization Act is: “The Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the FBI and the head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division have all said that the indefinite detention provisions in the NDAA are harmful and counterproductive.” Book one of them on your program, and do it quickly. The Senate has already rejected an amendment which would have banned the indefinite detention provisions from the bill.
Please, do your jobs. This is the kind of story that wins journalism awards and makes careers. It’s the kind of story that makes viewers trust you.
UPDATE: To the mainstream media’s credit, Keith Olbermann of Current TV has now mentioned the NDAA’s harmful provision, and I’ve been told that Dylan Ratigan of MSNBC is drawing attention to it as well. A good start, but not nearly enough.
This article was posted: Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 10:43 am