The United States has declared war. Not against Iran, not against North Korea, but against the American people.
The annual signing of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) usually comes and goes without much fanfare. This year, instead of just the usual military budgetary concerns, there are two provisions (sections 1021 and 1022) in the 2012 bill that have outraged many people. These provisions violate our civil rights and further erode our freedoms.
Section 1021 of the NDAA “includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection (b)) pending disposition under the law of war.” Who exactly is a covered person? Subsection B has your answer: “(b) Covered Persons — A covered person under this section is any person as follows: (1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks. (2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the U.S. or its coalition partners.”
If you want to know where the outrage is coming from, all you have to do is refer to section 1022 subsection c: “(1) Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.” This authorizes the federal government to hold, without charges, anyone designated an enemy combatant for an unlimited amount of time.
To make matters worse, section 1022, subsection a, item 4 allows the President to waive any requirements for proof of the person being an enemy of the state if it is believed to be in the “national security interests of the United States.” Obama has declared the entire planet a war zone, he has given notice that anyone suspected of plotting against the U.S. can be locked up indefinitely, and he has even been provided a waiver against the inability to prove such person is an enemy combatant.
Multiple civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, have rained criticism down on the president since the NDAA was signed into law on New Year’s Eve. The ACLU has declared the provision illegal and has said it is “extremely disappointed” it was signed into law.
Elsewhere, outrage has also been building. The New American remarked, “This liberty-extinguishing legislation converts America into a war zone and turns Americans into potential suspected terrorists.” The same article quoted Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul as saying the bill is “a slip into tyranny” and “our descent into totalitarianism.”
In 2008, then President-elect Obama said the following on a cold November night in Chicago: “The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope."
What happened to those ideals?
Photo Credit: willwhitedc