The “war on terror” is a status quo fraud perpetuated by the oligarch-controlled mainstream media and authoritarian members of Congress as a way to systematically strip the American public of its freedom and civil rights in the name of fighting an outside enemy. This tried and true tactic has been used by statists throughout history, and history is indeed repeating itself here in the “land of the free.”
Of course, I’ve spent innumerable hours writing on this topic for many years, even before I started this website. Here are a few recent examples:
Moving along, today’s story is so incredible it’s almost hard to believe. It appears our so-called “representatives” recently took fifteen minutes to pass a bill that allows the Secretary of State to revoke Americans’ passports with no due process. Did you know about this? Well neither did I, and what’s worse, these members of Congress are so cowardly they passed the bill with a voice vote to avoid going on record. Talk about anti-American.
First, from Reason:
On Tuesday, without much notice, and after a whopping 15-minute debate, the U.S. House of Representatives passed via voice vote the Foreign Terrorist Organization Passport Revocation Act of 2015. Its intent: “To authorize the revocation or denial of passports and passport cards to individuals affiliated with foreign terrorist organizations, and for other purposes.” Some of the bill’s sparse details:
The Secretary of State may refuse to issue a passport [or revoke a previously issued one] to any individual whom the Secretary has determined has aided, assisted, abetted, or otherwise helped an organization the Secretary has designated as a foreign terrorist organization
How does today’s John Kerry or tomorrow’s John Bolton make such a determination? The bill doesn’t say.
Don’t we have laws, courts and due process in this country? Guess not.
It was also covered by Police State USA:
A bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives would allow the government to restrict Americans’ travel through the revocation of passports based upon mere suspicions of unscrupulous activity. This bill represents another dangerous step forward in the war on terror and the disintegration of American due process.
H.R. 237, the “FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organization) Passport Revocation Act of 2015,” will allow the U.S. Secretary of State the unchecked authority to prohibit individuals from traveling internationally. According to the bill, the Secretary may unilaterally revoke (or refuse to issue) a passport from “any individual whom the Secretary has determined has aided, assisted, abetted, or otherwise helped an organization the Secretary has designated as a foreign terrorist organization pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189).”
The bill did not bother to define what the terms “aided, assisted, abetted, or otherwise helped” actually mean, in legal terms. The power has been left open-ended so that it can mean whatever the secretary wants it to mean. Needless to say, a bill like this would be easily abused.
The travel restriction requires no presumption of innocence for the targeted individual; no explanation; no public presentation of evidence; no opportunity for a defense; no checks and balances on the power. The bill does not outline any appeals process for the targeted individual. The only stipulation is that the Secretary of State must issue a report to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs — “classified or unclassified.” The bill does not state that either committee can reverse the secretary’s decisions.
What’s really disturbing though, is that as I was researching this bill, I came across the fact that Congress is also sneaking in a provision to the highway-bill that would allow the IRS to revoke Americans’ passports if they owe the agency $50,000. Here’s some excellent coverage on the matter from the Ron Paul Institute:
Just the other day we wrote about a US House “suspension” bill that would give the Secretary of State the authority to cancel your passport if he decided that you had “aided” an organization that he rules is terrorist. There is no definition of what “aided” means, no chance to dispute the Secretary’s decision, no trial or presentation of evidence, and in fact any evidence the government has can be classified as secret so that you may not see it. In effect the Secretary of State can unilaterally consign you to internal exile and there is nothing you can do about it.
Because Members of the US House were too cowardly to go on record voting for such an anti-American piece of legislation, the bill passed by a voice vote.
Today the US Senate plans to one-up its counterparts on the lowlier side of Capitol Hill. Buried inside the US highways funding bill is a provision to revoke or deny issuance of a US passport to anyone who has a large outstanding tax debt to the US Internal Revenue Service. According to a Senate Finance Committee summary (PDF) acquired today, the measure provides for:
Revocation or denial of passport in case of certain unpaid taxes. This provision would authorize the Federal government to deny the application for a passport when an individual has more than $50,000 (indexed for inflation) of unpaid federal taxes which the IRS is collecting through enforcement action. It would also permit the Federal government to revoke a passport for such individuals. Before revocation, however, the Federal government would be allowed to limit a previously issued passport only for return travel to the United States or to issue a limited passport that only permits return travel to the United States. The provision would be effective on January 1, 2016, and is estimated to raise $0.398 billion over 10 years.As can be seen from the summary, this measure threatening to imprison Americans within (or outside) US borders is simply viewed as a means by which to raise revenue. The hoped-for increase in revenue coming from this threat is considered an “offset” to the money being spent on the highway bill — in other words the threat to imprison US citizens within their own country or freeze them out is considered appropriate incentive to force them to pay what the government claims it is owed.
Unconvinced that the US government would do such a thing? Check the bill coming to the Senate Floor. Section 52102 of the Highway Funding bill, to be taken up by the Senate today, states:
If the Secretary receives certification by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue that any individual has a seriously delinquent tax debt in an amount in excess of $50,000, the Secretary shall transmit such certification to the Secretary of State for action with respect to denial, revocation, or limitation of a passport pursuant to section 52102(d) of the Transportation Funding Act of 2015.
The use of citizenship rights as a weapon against Americans is becoming increasingly common as Washington is ever more desperate for control of its passport holders.
Indeed, Congress does seem rather obsessed in creating various loopholes by which the government can snatch American citizens’ passports and restrict travel without due process. It makes you wonder if Ron Paul was right in 2011 when he stated: “Border Fence Will Be Used To ‘Keep Us In’”
Starting in 2016, the Transportation Security Administration will require all airline passengers to present a REAL ID compliant identification card or a passport in order to board a flight. The Department of Homeland Security estimates that 20-30% of Americans live in jurisdictions that are not REAL ID compliant, meaning their driver’s licenses will no longer be accepted during security checks at the airport.