Last New Year’s Eve, while most Americans were out celebrating, President Obama signed into law the most potentially oppressive national security legislation considered in our country since the onset of the war on terror more than 10 years ago. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA) includes military detention provisions that, along with the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), could enable any future president to suspend the right to trial and detain Americans indefinitely in military custody without trial.
If you thought the PATRIOT Act was bad, the NDAA is even worse. It could be used to criminalize any political party or ideology, round up ethnic minorities, enable recurring torture in military custody, or suspend the right to trial for people the government wants to detain (for whatever reason) without having to establish proof of any crime.
Legions of Americans, from across the country and across the political spectrum, have already come together to raise their voices. Can you spare just one minute to raise your voice now? Go to link, find your representative and send them a message. Can you spare just one minute to raise your voice now?
Several pieces of legislation aim to correct the domestic military detention powers of the NDAA and AUMF. Congress may debate them beginning this Wednesday:
- An amendment offered by Reps. Adam Smith (D-WA) and Justin Amash (R-MI), also supported by Senator Mark Udall (D-CO), provides among the strongest protections of any of the congressional bills.
- Two other amendments, one introduced by Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), and another championed by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), are even stronger. But even though they offer the most principled congressional responses to the military detention controversy, they may never come up for a vote because they lack broad support.
- Unfortunately, a third amendment authored by Reps. Scott Rigell (R-VA) and Jeff Landry (R-LA), as well as a fourth by Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), are both counterproductive and could make the NDAA even worse.
With oppressive national security policies continuing to emerge from Washington, it will take a movement of millions to restore the rule of law in the United States. If you share BORDC’s concerns about the NDAA and looming specter of indefinite military detention, call your members of Congress today.
Tell your senators and representative that you expect them to support efforts to restore due process and the right to trial. Urge them to vote in favor of the Smith-Amash-Udall amendment when it comes up for a vote, and to help bring the Nadler and Paul proposals to the floor.
Bill of Rights Defense Committee – www.bordc.org