Oath Keepers

Oath Keepers Founder Stewart Rhodes Wants to Recall Montana Legislators Who Voted for the Defense Bill [Updated]

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Stewart Rhodes, the controversial founder of the controversial "libertarian" (declares the Huffington Post) group Oath Keepers would like to recall Montana Sens. Max S. Baucus and Jonathan Tester (Democrats) and Republican Congressman Denny Rehberg because they voted for the National Defense Authorization Act. And in theory, Montana law and the 10th Amendment would allow for it if only because it is not explicitly disallowed by the Constitution.

The Oath Keepers and their overstated supposed penchant for FEMA Camp-style paranoia seem tailor-made allies for criers of wolf like radio host Alex Jones, who has the most dire interpretation of the NDAA. But even people who dwell well outside of bunkers, such as Jacob Sullum, have noted that the actual powers of the bill are disturbingly opaque at best.

Nothing from the Oath Keepers' press release reads very controversially, yet this short Huffington Post piece ends by reminding the dear reader just what sort of people they believe we're dealing with.

Huff Po:

The Oath Keepers is an organization made up of current and former U.S. military and law enforcement personnel committed to upholding the U.S. Constitution. They have been criticized in the past for adopting extremist views and language, and for their supposed ties to white supremacist and militia groups. The movement was characterized in a 2009 Southern Poverty Law Center as "a particularly worrisome example of the Patriot revival."

Ire over the implications of the indefinite detention provision has been widespread across the political spectrum. All things considered, the rhetoric of the fledgling recall campaign is reserved. Earlier this month, a failed Tea Party candidate from California raged against the measure, writing in a Facebook post that Obama's signing of the bill was grounds to "assassinate the f—– n—– and his monkey children."

Apparently this racist fellow was a former Libertarian councilman who was investigated by the Secret Service for his remarks. Has Rhodes ever been investigated by the Secret Service? Is there any compelling reason at all to pay Rhodes the exceedingly backhanded compliment of implying that at least he hasn't advocated presidential assassination and the murder of children lately? The juxtaposition is bizarre and implies a desire to equate two completely unrelated people.

Kicking out elected officials should happen more often, so why not actually delve into whether it's constitutionally feasible to do so? The NDAA is a great excuse to find out if it can be done. It has never been done on the federal level, and it's perhaps legally dubious, but the power to recall officials apparently rests within Montana law — one of only nine states which grant this power —and which states the following requirements for recalls:

3) Physical or mental lack of fitness, incompetence, violation of the oath of office, official misconduct, or conviction of a felony offense enumerated in Title 45 are the only grounds for recall. A person may not be recalled for performing a mandatory duty of the office that the person holds or for not performing any act that, if performed, would subject the person to prosecution for official misconduct.

Violation of the oath of office, says Rhodes and his supporters, is what occurred when these men voted to pass the NDAA, which violates various amendments such as the 6th Amendment's requirement for a speedy jury trial. Rhodes also believes that support of the NDAA qualifies as treason on the legislators' parts. 

Still, with Congress at a historically low 11 percent approval rating, throwing them all out shouldn't be a sign of radicalism. But this just won't happen. And that's partially because of the strange continuing narrative from folks at places like the Southern Poverty Law Center; those who make sure we don't forget that leaning a wee bit towards the paranoid in matters of government is a much bigger blot on your record than merely voting to erode Americans' rights.

Check out Radley Balko's excellent Feb 2011 interview with Stewart Rhodes and Jesse Walker in the May 2010 American Conservative on how "The Oath Keepers have more in common with Henry David Thoreau than Timothy McVeigh."

Reason on suspicious anti-government types who like federalism; and Reason on the NDAA.

Addendum: This is the second time I've been overly sarcastic and sloppily insulted Stewart Rhodes when I intended to defend his organization (or at least him, since he usually comes off excellently in interviews, particularly the above one by Radley Balko). There are some signals in this post that I was being sarcastic (and obviously anyone who has read my writing realizes my sympathies lie with Mr. Rhodes) but I mucked it up and what is obvious to me — that the media narrative of the paranoid Montanan being more of a threat than the leviathan state is tired and completely absurd—was not obvious in my bad writing. Sincere apologies, Mr. Rhodes. 

NEXT: Matt Welch Reports From Václav Havel's Funeral

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  1. Constitutionalism.

    1. Constitutionalists look upon law as the word-magic of lawyer-necromancers who draw their wizardly powers from grimoires, from books of magic spells they have selfishly withheld from the people. Constitutionalists have extracted from these books — from judicial opinions, from the Constitution, from legal dictionaries, from the Bible, from what-have-you — white magic with which to confound the dark powers of legislation, equity, and common sense. Never mind what words like “Sovereign Citizen” or “Lawful Money” mean — what does “abacadabra” mean? — it’s what they do that counts. Unfortunately, Constitutionalist words don’t do anything but lose court cases and invite sanctions. Constitutionalism is the white man’s version of the Ghost Dance. But believing you are invulnerable to bullets puts you in more, not less, danger of being shot.

      “CONSTITUTIONALISM”: THE WHITE MAN’S GHOST DANCE
      by Robert C. Black
      http://www.spunk.org/texts/wri…..01650.html

    2. Constitutionalism, huh, yeah. What is it good for. Absolutely nothing. Say it again, y’all.

      1. If you follow vermin shit’s links, you’ll find the author’s claim to ‘primitivism’ is evidenced by the fact that he has a OLD COMPUTER!
        Why, how much more primitive can you get?!

        1. Does he have an abacus or a slide-rule?

    3. Don’t feed it, people.

  2. In states that don’t allow for the recall of elected officials, you can still petition for impeachment. Any elected official can be impeached. http://impeachforpeace.org/ImpeachNow.html

  3. “The movement was characterized in a 2009 Southern Poverty Law Center as “a particularly worrisome example of the Patriot revival.””

    Ah, yes, The SPLC doesn’t like them. They’re not 100% wrong, but they keep trying.

  4. The NDAA only goes to further stifle our Constitutional Rights without the approval of the Americans, just as the Patriot Act was adopted WITHOUT public approval or vote just weeks after the events of 9/11. A mere 3 criminal charges of terrorism a year are attributed to this act, which is mainly used for no-knock raids leading to drug-related arrests without proper cause for search and seizure. The laws are simply a means to spy on our own citizens and to detain and torture dissidents without trial or a right to council. You can read much more about living in this Orwellian society of fear and see my visual response to these measures on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot…..years.html

  5. Lucy,

    As an Editor you have the power to re-read your post and edit it. That’s all

  6. Kicking out elected officials should happen more often, so why not actually delve into whether it’s constitutionally feasible to do so?

    Hell, it would be nice if we actually did that more often during elections.

  7. Kicking out elected officials should happen more often

  8. Since the Fail is strong in the absence of alt-text, Caption Contest!

    “We represent the Lollipop Guild”

    1. “So, is that extra ammunition in your pocket or are you just…oh, yes I see, it is extra ammunition. Carry on.”

  9. leaning a wee bit towards the paranoid in matters of government is a much bigger blot on your record than actually voting to further erode Americans’ rights.

    Beautiful.

  10. “Nothing from the Oath Keepers’ press release reads very controversially, yet this short HuffPo piece ends by reminding the dear reader just what sort of people we’re dealing with.

    Huff Po:

    The Oath Keepers is an organization made up of current and former U.S. military and law enforcement personnel committed to upholding the U.S. Constitution. They have been criticized in the past for adopting extremist views and language, and for their supposed ties to white supremacist and militia groups. The movement was characterized in a 2009 Southern Poverty Law Center as “a particularly worrisome example of the Patriot revival.”

    Ire over the implications of the indefinite detention provision has been widespread across the political spectrum. All things considered, the rhetoric of the fledgling recall campaign is reserved. Earlier this month, a failed Tea Party candidate from California raged against the measure, writing in a Facebook post that Obama’s signing of the bill was grounds to “assassinate the f—– n—– and his monkey children.”

    Apparently this racist fellow was a former Libertarian councilman who was investigated by the Secret Service for his remarks. Has Rhodes ever been investigated by the Secret Service? Is there any compelling reason at all to pay Rhodes the exceedingly backhanded compliment of implying that at least he hasn’t advocated presidential assassination and the murder of children lately?”

    I am Stewart Rhodes.

    I’m not really sure what to make of this. Either you are an exceedingly bad writer, or you are joining Huffington Post in trying to smear me by exceedingly contrived false association. Maybe you don’t mean to do that – I honestly cannot tell.

    But what exactly do I have to do with some racist asshole that advocates assassination and calls Obama’s children monkeys? No more than you do.

    And this:

    “yet this short HuffPo piece ends by reminding the dear reader just what sort of people we’re dealing with.

    …”they have been criticized in the past for adopting extremist views and language, and for their supposed ties to white supremacist and militia groups.”

    Are you saying my group has ties to white supremacists? Are you citing Huffington Post as an authoritative source of accurate info regarding me and Oath Keepers? Or are you trying to take a swipe at Huff Po? Again, I can’t tell, and it is likely other readers won’t be able to tell either.

    I want to be very clear about what kind of people you think you are dealing with.

    I will be contacting whoever is your supervisor at “Reason” first thing in the morning, at the very least to bring this to their attention and to find out if they are happy about you writing in Reason in a way that is indistinguishable from what Southern Poverty Law Center does in its smear campaigns against not just me, but also against Ron Paul and Judge Andrew Napolitano.

    As for the old “paranoid” label, I have just been proved completely right by what Congress did in the NDAA, and also by Obama’s policy of just targeting Americans for assassination. I predicted that back in 2004 in my paper at Yale Law School, which focused on the issue of the US government applying the laws of war to the American people. I was right. I knew this was all coming, which is exactly why I founded Oath Keepers in 2009 and that is why #3 on our list of Orders We Will Not Obey (which I wrote in March 2009) is:

    “3. We will NOT obey orders to detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to military tribunal.”

    That was not paranoia. That was foresight.

    After reading it over several times, it seems you were trying to point out the silliness of Huff Po, but it actually comes across like you agree with their assessment.

    If you don’t agree with their smear attack, then why not just focus on the substance of what I said in the announcement of the recall effort, and what I said in my analysis of the NDAA. You really should consider what I wrote, and you should give my 2004 Yale paper a look. That would be far more interesting than regurgitating Huff Po crap.

    The NDAA is a critically dangerous bill, but it did not come out of the blue. It builds on, and codifies nearly ten years of practice by two administrations and also several federal court cases – especially the Fourth Circuit Padilla decision, and the Supreme Court’s Hamdi decision.

    What is being set up in the U.S. is precisely the same kind of “second legal track” that was established in Nazi Germany.

    Stewart Rhodes

    1. I think you’re misreading it, Mr. Rhodes. I’m a fan of your organization, but I read it as a defense of you and yours against the HuffPo piece. To wit:

      Apparently this racist fellow was a former Libertarian councilman who was investigated by the Secret Service for his remarks. Has Rhodes ever been investigated by the Secret Service? Is there any compelling reason at all to pay Rhodes the exceedingly backhanded compliment of implying that at least he hasn’t advocated presidential assassination and the murder of children lately?

      She’s saying that HuffPo included mention of this person to subtley contrive guilt-by-association…but that since you have not been investigated, nor did you have personal ties with this person, there was no reason to include that information.

      In fact, she is pointing out that the HuffPo piece is deliberately trying to smear you by making it look like a compliment that you yourself do not engage in those behaviors, only as a way to tell readers that you (presumably) associate with people who do engage in such nonsense.

      I agree it could have been better written, but she is not attacking you sir.

      1. I would concur. It is not an attack at all.

    2. Yeah, you read it wrong dude. He wasn’t regurgitating what they said, he was openly mocking them. Keep fighting the good fight but maybe learn some reading comprehension.

      1. heshe

        I admit I didn’t even read who wrote it. My paternalistic instincts strike again!

    3. Mr. Rhodes, this is the second time in my short life as Reason writer that I’ve offended you. Once again, I apologize. Once again I’ve been lazy too lazy in my sarcasm. This was a very writerly off day and I am going to edit this piece to reflect more clearly that I was attempting to be on your side and I was scorning the Huffington Post. I edited my piece and moved things around and I muddled my own writing far too much.

      I don’t blame you for being testy about writings like this, and I certainly am not helping by being exceedingly sloppy in my attempts to be on your side. Please forgive me and understand this was not character assassination but unforgivably fuzzy-headedness. I originally had much more clear signals that of course the Huffington Post was daft, but I over-edited and changed and somehow only the clumsy sarcasm remained.

      Very sincere apologies, sir.

      1. Lucy, no sweat. I was unclear of your intent. Sorry if I got a bit snippy myself. My wife ran across your piece and was horrified by it, and that got me steamed. I have my off days too, believe me!

        Thank you for being on our side, and for being willing to clarify your writing. That is a sign of character. Please feel free to delete my earlier comment, and this one too, if it seems best.

        Stewart

        1. It’s just a bit hilarious that this has happened before, when I was a young intern lass a few months ago. I just hate to find that I made the same mistake several months down the road. I have to check what seems obvious to me and make sure I communicate it more clearly.

          Thanks for responding again. I appreciate that. I’ll leave the comments. It’s not a big tragedy and they should stay. I admit I do feel much better knowing you’re no longer peeved.

          Have a good night then. I’m forever jealous of those who get to live in Montana!

          1. shoulda just put scare quotes here and there. Or used a sarcmark*.

            *just to be clear, I was being sarcastic here. Proponents of the sarcmark should be killed and stuffed with their own entrails.

      2. Seemed pretty unambiguous to me. No reason to apologize for Stewart’s lack of reading comprehension.

        1. Seems like Mr Rhodes position is something like this:

          LEO’s are independent moral agents who are responsible for their own actions. For some clear cut cases, at the minimum*, the old nazi prison guard excuse of “I was just following orders” doesn’t cut it. He is just trying to get people to think about that, and commit to doing the Right Thing before the prison camps** open.

          For this he is smeared all over the place as a right-wing, racist, tin-foil hat wearing, nut job.

          So I can see why he might be a tad defensive at times.

          *his minimum, is I believe much less stringent than what I’d say.(e.g. I consider most enforcement of the War on Drugs to be immoral, but I think you are allowed to be an Oath Keeper, and still put somebody in jail for growing their own pot). But, as far as I can tell, he is trying to build a coalition around easy-to-agree with minimums. Something is better than nothing, so I’m OK with that.

          ** metaphorical prison camps, if that’s what you need.

          1. So the author clearly made fun of the Huffington Post for trying to smear him. Then he took offense to this, thinking for some unexplained reason that the author agreed with this smear.

            Your response to me calling him out on that is to try to explain his beliefs to me, as if that somehow excuses him for freaking out that someone is defending him because he can’t read properly?

    4. Stewart,
      I think that, like many readers here, you may have misinterpreted Ms. Steigerwald’s sarcasm, which to me was clearly intended as a comment on HuffPo’s inexcusable attempt to associate Oath Keepers’ noble effort with racism an other unpalatable political movements in the U.S. When I first read her item, I did not for a second misunderstand her sarcasm, but I have a particularly sarcastic sense of humor as well.

      I certainly hope that you would have contacted any HuffPo writer and publicly offered to contact their supervisor as well when confronted with some of their intentionally misleading drivel. It would not do to treat your opponents better than your friends, a problem we libertarians continually confront.

    5. Thanks for keeping it classy Stewart and Lucy.

      1. They don’t pass out monocles the day you declare your libertarianism for nothing. We’re classy.

  11. Jules Manson a former Libertarian councilman? I don’t think so. Try former candidate for council who claimed membership in the Libertarian Party, but who ran in a non-partisan race, so needed no party vetting or endorsement. On his website, he also claimed the endorsement of former Libertarian candidate for California Governor, Dale Ogden. When asked about it, however, Ogden denied that he had ever endorsed Jules Manson, or even knew him very well.

    News reports about his assassination rhetoric rarely mentioned Manson’s self-professed libertarianism, but, as in the HuffPo quote above, they did make a big deal about his Tea Party connections, and also his “enthusiastic support” of Ron Paul.

  12. The recall of Senators and House Reps seems problematic. The Constitution specifies that the people are to elect those particular species of congress critters, but not that the people have the power or procedure to recall either. It is a strange reading of the 10th Amendment that gives States the authority to come up with their own respective methods for recalling their elected federal officials. Impeachment (prosecuted by the House and tried by the Senate) can result in expulsion from Office; also, each house can independently expel its own members, on a 2/3 vote, with no formal impeachment being necessary. It seems as if the Constitution prescribes methods of putting members into Congress as well as methods for taking them out. In such circumstances, does ut make sense to read the 10th Amendment as authorizing the States to use other, additional methods for naming or dismissing House reps or Senators? I’m not so sure.

    1. Mr. Merritt,

      The problem with impeachment and expulsion is that it would require the rascals to police themselves, a much lower probability than a sufficient number of citizens signing recall petitions and at least forcing it into the courts, where at least judges would be forced to kill the republic in broad daylight, with a much wider public understanding of the issues involved.

      I think one of the most important arguments for this nationwide campaign is the educational component. As a result of an appalling major media blackout most Americans (look around you in at work, in the shopping malls) don’t have the vaguest clue of what just happened to their rights. Once we have reached a significant portion of the population through the hard grassroots work of recall campaigns, Americans will be howling at the major media for not telling them and perhaps the stage will be set to finally bust up that monopoly. Many good things could come of this over-reach, as this seems to be shaking Americans from their complacency like nothing before it.

  13. Finally, even though I doubt my State’s and my own constitutional authority to recall Senators (at least since the 17th Amendment, in the case of the State), I would nevertheless very much like to wield that authority on behalf of the oath-breaking Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein. I am so outraged and ashamed by our Senatorial delegation. In the spirit of the season, if we need to ratify a Constitutional Amendment to authorize the popular recall of federal elected officials, then we had best do so and decrease the surplus congressional population.

  14. As big a fan as I am of the Oath Keepers I think Mr. Rhodes is being too soft. If I were running for Congress next year and elected my first act would be calling for the impeachment of every Representative and Semator who voted for NDAA. The charge, you ask? TREASON! The NDAA is in itself an act of war by the U.S. Government against the American people.

  15. [Oath Keepers] have been criticized in the past for adopting extremist views and language, and for their supposed ties to white supremacist and militia groups.

    How totally weaselly of HuffPo. No a shred of evidence that this is so, yet the fact that somebody, somewhere has smeared Oath Keepers is quotable.

    I’m constantly amazed by the complete pants-wetting hysteria which is the standard liberal reaction to Oath Keepers. Sure, some of OK’s positions are a bit out there (ie, FEMA camps) but everything they oppose are things which liberals also claim to also oppose.

    Thanks, Stewart Rhodes. Keep up the good fight.

    1. I’m fascinated that according to some Huff Po types, nothing says treason like declaring that one will honor and obey their oath of office. 😉

  16. Lucy, Stewart
    Great exchange.
    Had to read it twice…slowly the second time to get your drift Lucy. Stewart…great job.
    Keep it up.
    Strength and Honor.

  17. Is there any compelling reason at all to pay Rhodes the exceedingly backhanded compliment of implying that at least he hasn’t advocated presidential assassination and the murder of children lately?

    ‘Rhetorical guilt-by-association sleight-of-hand’. Oldest journalistic bitch-slap technique in the world.

    Rhodes?=a Constitutionalist. Ya know who else are constitutionalists? Tea Party types. You know what some lone Tea Party type once said? Some racist shit.

    Ergo…?

    What a crock of horseshit.

    Whereas, you can be a empty-headed leftist truther screaming about how the jews planned 9/11, and how we need to dismantle capitalism in a revolution, and run around smashing up people’s private property and interfering with people’s business….

    and Huffington Post WILL ADMIRE YOU

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..44905.html

    I am weary of hearing well-meaning friends question the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon. They ask, “What do they want? They don’t have any clear goals — how can they hope to bring about change?”

    I want to ask:

    “What was the meaning of Gandhi’s fasts? “

    “What was the meaning of the Watts riots?”

    “What is the meaning of the young Syrian who set himself on fire because he could find no job, and started the Arab Spring?”

    In other words, what is the meaning of a human cry? There comes a moment from time to time in history when a system is so patently unjust and cruel that people rise up against it and say, “No more!” Sometimes the people have not worked out a clear political agenda. Perhaps in their anger and pain, they have not sorted out the issues, or chosen leaders, or created a movement. Perhaps they never will. But this does not mean that their cry was in vain.

    Occupy Wall Street has had great significance. If nothing else, OWS has changed the national conversation and shifted the civic discourse. They have made space for the voice of the people.
    Since the country’s founding, our national myth has been the promise of equal opportunity for all. Of course, that opportunity has never been there for everyone: we have never been truly egalitarian. However, the ideal was there, calling to us as individuals and as a nation to broaden the umbrella, including more people in that promise. And so we have recognized our theft of Native American lands and destruction of native culture; we have set a course for civil rights for those whose heritage was slavery; we have said that women should be considered equal to men and should be rewarded equally for equal work.

    But somewhere during the last 30 years, we got lost on the way to the bank.

    Yeah. Oath Keepers = Extremist. Idiotic kids who want to drown capitalism in the blood of revolution?= HEROES

    I note that on HuffPo blogs… they have “Feedback” buttons.

    These are your options:

    “REACT!=

    Amazing
    Inspiring
    Funny
    Scary
    Hot
    Crazy
    Important
    Weird”

    Unfortunately “Crock of Shit” isnt’ an option

  18. This article is so badly written I can’t figure out what it is saying. You might suggest to the author that at the very least she stop stacking so many adjectives.

  19. Where do I sign?

  20. Re: Multi-State Recall Petition of Congressman who voted for The National Defense Authorization ACT / consider the following:

    Is the Passed Defense Authorization Act of 2012) More Threatening to Americans than Hitler’s (1933 DISCRIMINATORY LAWS) That Suspended Provisions In the Reich Constitution That Protected German Citizens’ Civil liberties? If the answer is “Yes” Congress has passed Fascist Legislation.

    Compare: Hitler’s 1933 DISCRIMINATORY DECREES stated time limits that German Citizens could be incarcerated for e.g., Serious Disturbance of the Peace, Provoking Public Unrest, Rioting; Acts that threatened National Security; note that Senators Carl Levin and John McCain’s passed National Defense Authorization Act?mandates holding Americans’ (Indefinitely) in Military Custody, even for being a mere “Belligerent.” Some observers believe NDAA included the vague term “Belligerent” in the manner it did, so U.S. Government would have authority granted by Congress to Indefinitely Detain large numbers of Americans not involved in terrorism. U.S. Government can now arbitrarily deem anyone a “Belligerent.” Compare below The NAZI Government 1933 Decrees with Senators Carl Levin and John McCain’s National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.
    Under the passed National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, could some Americans be (Retroactively) subject to Indefinite U.S. Military or Prison Detention without charges or right to an attorney or trial? Consider that most American activists don’t know what other activists and groups they networked or associated have done in the past?perhaps illegal.
    Alarmingly both the National Authorization Act of 2012 and USA Patriot Act are broadly vague?what constitutes (1) a terrorist act, (2) supporting or aiding terrorists; (3) when someone is a “Combatant” or (4) “a Belligerent.” For example, Americans advocating, attending or supporting a meeting or protest demonstration against a U.S. Government Agency; Policy or U.S. Military Action?could be charged with (1) (2) (3) and (4) under NDAA and the Patriot Act.

    History Repeats Itself: When other countries passed Police State Laws like The Defense Authorization Act of 2012, Citizens increasingly abstained from politically speaking out; visiting activist websites or writing comments that might be deemed inappropriate by the Police State Government, e.g. cause someone to lose their job; be investigated; disappeared, and or detained in Police/Military Custody. Some writers might be dead-meat under NDAA. It appears that “Americans” who write on the Internet or verbally express an opinion against any entity of U.S. Government or its coalition partners?may under the Patriot Act or The Defense Authorization Act?be deemed by U.S. Government (someone likely to engage in, support or provoke violent acts or threaten National Security?to order an American writer’s indefinite military or prison detention.
    Is The Defense Authorization Act Retroactive? Can U.S. Government invoke provisions of passed NDAA or the Patriot Act to assert a U.S. Citizen’s past writings (protected by the 1st Amendment) have in the past supported or aided terrorists; provoked combatants or belligerents as a premise to order an author’s Indefinite Detention? The Defense Authorization Act of 2012 did more than Chill Free Speech?it may FREEZE IT!

    It should be expected that indefinitely detained U.S. Citizens not involved in terrorism or hostile activities, not given Miranda Warnings when interrogated or allowed legal counsel; will also be prosecuted for non-terrorist (ordinary crimes) because of their (alleged admissions) while held in Indefinite Detention. Compare below: Hitler’s Laws that might appear mild when set side by side with the National Authorization Act of 2012 and USA Patriot Act.
    1933. ROBL. I 83.
    GERMANY Preliminary Compilation of Selected Laws, Decrees, and Regulations:

    DISCRIMINATORY LAWS:

    DECREE OF THE REICH PRESIDENT FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE PEOPLE AND STATE

    Note: Based on translations by State Department, National Socialism, 1942 PP. 215-17, and Pollak, J.K., and Heneman, H.J., The Hitler Decrees, (1934), pp. 10-11.7

    In virtue of Section 48 (2) of the German Constitution, the following is decreed as a defensive measure against Communist acts of Violence, endangering the state:

    Section 1
    Sections 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124, and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. Thus, restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press, on the right of assembly and the right of association, and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic, and telephonic communications, and warrants for house-searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.

    Section 2
    If in a state the measures necessary for the restoration of public security and order are not taken, the Reich Government may temporarily take over the powers of the highest state authority.

    Section 4
    Whoever provokes, or appeals for or incites to the disobedience of the orders given out by the supreme state authorities or the authorities subject to then for the execution of this decree, or the orders given by the Reich Government according to Section 2, is punishable?insofar as the deed, is not covered by the decree with more severe punishment and with imprisonment of not less that one month, or with a fine from 150 up to 15,000 Reich marks.

    Who ever endangers human life by violating Section 1, is to be punished by sentence to a penitentiary, under mitigating circumstances with imprisonment of not less than six months and, when violation causes the death of a person, with death, under mitigating circumstances with a penitentiary sentence of not less that two years. In addition the sentence my include confiscation of property.

    Whoever provokes an inciter to or act contrary to public welfare is to be punished with a penitentiary sentence, under mitigating circumstances, with imprisonment of not less than three months.

    Section 5
    The crimes which under the Criminal Code are punishable with penitentiary for life are to be punished with death: i.e., in Sections 81 (high treason), 229 (poisoning), 306 (arson), 311 (explosion), 312 (floods), 315, paragraph 2 (damage to railroad properties, 324 (general poisoning).
    Insofar as a more severe punishment has not been previously provided for, the following are punishable with death or with life imprisonment or with imprisonment not to exceed 15 years:

    1. Anyone who undertakes to kill the Reich President or a member or a commissioner of the Reich Government or of a state government, or provokes to such a killing, or agrees to commit it, or accepts such an offer, or conspires with another for such a murder;
    2. Anyone who under Section 115 (2) of the Criminal Code (serious rioting) or of Section 125 (2) of the Criminal Code (serious disturbance of the peace) commits the act with arms or cooperates consciously and intentionally with an armed person;
    3. Anyone who commits a kidnapping under Section 239 of the Criminal with the intention of making use of the kidnapped person as a hostage in the political struggle.

    Section 6

    This decree enters in force on the day of its promulgation.

    Reich President
    Reich Chancellor
    Reich Minister of the Interior
    Reich Minister of Justice

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