The Fine Print in the Mini-Bus and Defense Bills

The mini-bus spending bill passed by Congress and signed by Obama is chock-full of law enforcement and prison spending -- $27.4 billion, including increases of $4 billion for the FBI, DEA, ATF and Marshal's Service. The FBI gets an additional $1.1 billion "for new initiatives in national security, surveillance, violent crime and cyber security." The Senate removed a provision that a portion had to go to something called "special surveillance groups." But the DEA is getting $10 million to expand the El Paso Intelligence Center. There's $90 million for prison construction. (Start on page 234.)

It also has detainee and abortion-funding restrictions for female prisoners. (Sections 202-204.) And it tells the Bureau of prisons it can't spend money on cable TV services or videos for inmate recreational purposes. [More...]

SEC. 209. (a) None of the funds appropriated
by this Act may be used by Federal prisons to
purchase cable television services, to rent or
purchase videocassettes, videocassette recorders,
or other audiovisual or electronic equipment
used primarily for recreational purposes.
(b) The preceding sentence does not preclude
the renting, maintenance, or purchase of audiovisual or electronic equipment for inmate training,religious, or educational programs.

Sounds like this company needs a better lobbyist. Doesn't Congress get that cable tv and movies actually make prisons safer, especially for those who work there? Bored and angry inmates are a recipe for violence.

There's also $100 million for security for the 2012 national conventions.

Next up: The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. Section 1011 extends the military's funding of counter-drug activities of other government agencies for another five years. Section 1012 extends the military's funding of foreign government counter-drug activities for five years -- until 2017 -- to the tune of $100,000,000 ($100 million.) It adds lots of countries in Africa, as well as Nicaragua. Section 1015 authorizes another year of funding for combined terror/drug activities in Colombia.

The real fun starts on page 364 at Section 1031 with Detainee Matters. This is the portion Obama has said he might veto. Anyone think he will? It's a primer for indefinite military detention until the end of time (since it encompasses more than al Qaida and the war on terror is endless.) It gives the military total control over detainees.

The new America seems to be a military state fueled by fear of terrorism and drugs. It's a state that knows only one response -- implement a knee-jerk plan to spy on everyone , lock them up and throw away the key.

< Ding Dong, The Super Committee Is Dead? | Sunday Night Open Thread: Comparing Terror Plots >
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    People want to be safe. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Gerald USN Ret on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 06:15:43 AM EST
    Law and Order!  Defense! Don't coddle prisoners.

    Nothing wrong with those.  It will be hard for Obama to say no right before an election.