The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012 passed the U.S. House by a vote of 283-136. The U.S. Senate passed it by a vote of 86-13. This legislation places the sanctity of the U.S. Constitution in jeopardy. Legislators from both parties voted to give U.S. Presidents unbridled power to indefinately detain U.S. citizens.
The NDAA’s open ended language gives unscrupulous leaders a free ticket to trample Constitutional rights. In the words of Representative Justin Amash (R-Michigan); “On Thursday, Congress gave the President sweeping new power to detain American citizens indefinately, without charge or trial. A provision in the NDAA empowers the President to detain anyone who “substantially supported” groups he determines are “associated forces” of terrorist.” Representative Amash has promised to; “Over the months, I hope to join others who value our country’s constitutional rights to block the NDAA’s dangerous detention provision.” Freedom loving Alabamians need to support his efforts.
This backdoor assault on the Constitution (Section 1021) was hidden in an 1800 page red tape nightmare of a conference report. Instead of carefully deleiberating Constitutional matters the NDAA was rushed through in a few days. Why the need to rush such an important issue?
Section 1021’s open ended terms aren’t adequately defined. The President was granted the power to detain persons who “substantially supported” forces “associated” with terrorist elements or “are engaged in “hostilities” against the U.S. or it’s “coalition partners”. What exactly constitutes these actions isn’t defined. Who gets to define them? Who will be safe from this degree of power?
The Senate version S. 1867, Section 1031 states “Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (PL-107-40).” It gives the military authority to detain covered persons (citizens included) pending disposition under the law of war.
“Covered persons” include; a person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the September 11 attacks or harbored those responsible. Section 1032 states; “The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.” This sounds all well and good when talking about terrorist and terrorism, but trampling over the rights of citizens is another matter.
It doesn’t require citizens be detained, but doesn’t prohibit Section 1031 from being used against citizens. A less than honorable President could use this slippery slope approach to go after critics of foreign or domestic policy. Pro-gun activist could be labeled as taking part in a belligerent action. TEA Party protests could be declared hostility against the U.S. We must look at the future possibility of it’s misuse as well as present dangers.
Most Americans are either unwilling, unable (rose colored gtlasses), or utterly indifferent to what is going on around them. If you can keep your head while those around you are losing theirs; perhaps you do not understand the seriousness of the situation. They have forgotten the maxim that power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely.
We cannot stand idly by while our fellow citizens are imprisoned without charge or trial. We cannot stand idly by while the Department of Defense assumes the authority of the Department of Justice. Senators Carl Levin (D-Michigan) and John McCain (R-Arizona) created this monstrosity behind closed doors and passed it in a closed door committee without a hearing. This is not an example of the Rule of Law. We must protest this chipping away at the Constitution.
Chuck Baldwin’s Food for Thought on the NDAA discussed the May 10, 1994 “Combat Arms Survey” given by Lt Commander Ernest Cunningham. It was given to 300 Marines at Twenty-nine Palms, CA. Some of their responses were quite disturbing.
When asked; would you be willing to participate in a National Emergency Police Force within the U.S. ?
- 6.0% strongly disagreed
- 6.3% disagreed
- 42.3% agreed
- 43.0% strongly agreed
- 85.3% agreed to work in a mission violating the Posse Comitatus Act
Thankfully the Marines respect for fellow citizens and understanding of the Constitution was strong. When asked to consider firing upon U.S. citizens refusing to or resisting the confiscation of firearms; they responded:
- 42.3% strongly disagreed
- 19.3% disagreed
- 17.6% strongly agreed
These Marines in 1994 for the most part took their oath of emlistment seriously. Those who’ve worn the uniform, past and present know the danger posed by the NDAA and should contact Oath Keepers. We must preserve our Constitution from such misguided efforts.
It was especially saddening to see Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions back the detention provision of the NDAA. Senator Rand Paul forced a roll call vote on Senator Sessions amendment to the NDAA. His amendment would have allowed the military to detain American citizens indefinately even if they were found not guilty of a crime. Sen. Paul’s noble effort defeated the measure 59-41.
This degree of power in the hands of any President is dangerous. Our current President tramples the Constitution at will. The people of the great State of Alabama need to contact Senators Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions as well as their Representative. They need to be urged to support Rep Amash’s effort to protect our rights as citizens.Our liberties were purchased at too high a price to be surrendered without protest. Let your voice be heard and heard loudly.