News that is likely to cause a stir usually comes out on a Friday afternoon or evening, when fewer people are paying attention. Washington uses this trick, and they’ve also upped the sneakiness factor by issuing decisions and signing legislation on holidays, or during major news events.
That is why on December 31, 2011, Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), declaring the entire United States a “battlefield” and giving the U.S. government the right to detain an American citizen indefinitely and even assassinate them, if they are suspected of terrorism—without due process.
The NDAA is an otherwise mundane document that outlines the budget and expenditures for the Department of Defense; every year, Congress works on the numbers and submits it to the President for approval. As with other bills, however, the NDAA contains various other provisions that get crammed in without public knowledge and sometimes even without debate.
The current NDAA is making news online among those concerned about liberty because it eliminates the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which prohibits the use of Armed Forces in localized law enforcement; it eliminates habeas corpus, which requires that people under arrest be brought before a judge; and possibly even more shocking, it allows for the assassination of American citizens without a trial.
Our Constitutional freedoms were wiped out with Obama’s signature on New Year’s Eve a little over a year ago. Congress signed off on it and sent it to the President, willingly including the language to allow for assassinations of American citizens.
Obama actually asked that assassination powers be given to him, and then acted as though this was a worrisome inclusion. He signed it, of course, and then gave a statement about how he never “intends” to use that clause.
The reality now is, if the government says you are a terrorist—or if they say you are associated with terrorists—your Constitutional protections are null and void. This is a concern because the Department of Homeland Security funded a study, which hardly mentions Islam at all, yet labels terrorists as including:
· Americans who are suspicious of centralized federal authority;
· Americans who believe their way of life is under attack;
· People opposed to abortion;
· Americans who are reverent of individual liberty
We want to catch the radical Islamists and others who want to kill us … but America cannot accept the government eliminating our Bill of Rights protections and having full, unchecked authority while doing it.
We know Congress is fumbling around with what to do, because last year S. 2175 and H.R. 5936 were introduced, which would have repealed the mandatory military detention requirement and banned indefinite detention and military commissions from the United States. However, both bills died.
Additionally, the Feinstein-Lee amendment was added, which states: "An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States apprehended in the United States, unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention."
But that language was replaced without explanation on December 18, 2012, and critics say it does nothing to change the fact that American citizens now have no legal recourse if the Obama administration claims they are suspected of terrorism. A group of journalists and activists are suing the government over the NDAA, and lawyer Scott Higgins says the new language is actually worse because, “detained U.S. citizens currently have no way to gain access to lawyers, family or the court itself once they are detained within the military…under the guise of supposedly adding protection to Americans, the new statute actually expands the AUMF (Authorization for Use of Military Force) to civilians in the U.S."
This is but one more way for Obama to create a police state in America. And he pretends it is nothing for American citizens to be worried about.
The Emerging Geo’s blog warns, “while we've been liberating the citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan, it's ironic that our very own protections afforded to us from our Bill of Rights and Constitution have just been eradicated before our very eyes. We are now positioned to go down a very dangerous path, as a country and "WE THE PEOPLE" need to get engaged before it's too late. In essence, our public servants just trashed our 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 14th Amendments…this was done in the back rooms between a small group of individuals and voted upon by the Senate and House without ever reading the text.”
Our job is to remain watchful of our rights. Obama is unraveling of hundreds of years of guaranteed and protected freedoms—and Congress is allowing it. We are the last line of defense against tyranny. It is not okay for our government to lock up American citizens without charges or due process.
The NDAA is not constitutional, it is vague, and it needs to be reviewed in its entirety—and possibly repealed.