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Feb. 10, 2012

The American people are beginning to wake up to the reality that with the passage of the NDAA, their own Congress, both Democrats and Republicans,  has declared “war” on them;  their country has been defined a “battlefield.”

Under the guise of protecting freedom, Congress ignored the Bill of Rights and voted to expressly allow US citizens to be detained by the military, at the discretion of the President, without accusation, lawyer, trial, or jury, taking away the very freedoms they were attempting to secure.

There is no other way to look at it- until the NDAA detention provisions are repealed, Americans will be living under a government that is not acting in accordance with its own Constitution. Each citizen will have to decide for him or herself what form of government that is.

Tyranny: an absolute ruler unrestrained by law or Constitution” -Merriam-Webster.com

Recent responses to NDAA: “I Am Not a Terrorist!”-graffitist, Boise, Idaho

Man pleads guilty to spray painting federal building, by Jaclyn Brandt, KIVI-TV, Boise, Idaho, Feb 9, 2012

Excerpts:

“He spray-painted the words “FU 1867 I’m not a terrorist” on the East, North and West windows, and “FU 1867 NDAA I’m not a terrorist” on the South windows.”

“The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Protective Service.”

Marin County Board of Supervisors’ letter to Dianne Feinstein re: S2003 and NDAA, Feb. 7, 2012

Excerpts:

“Indefinite detention without due process leaves citizens without the legal protection of the United States Constitution and serves to diminish some of the most basic protections Americans have relied upon since the founding of our republic.”

“The Bill of Rights intentionally provides checks on the government’s power over its citizens. That is not a weakness in our legal system; it is the very strength of our system. We therefore support your efforts [S.2003, Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011] to ensure that a Congressional authorization for the use of military force does not authorize the indefinite detention without trial or charge of American citizens who are apprehended domestically.”

Fairfax Town Council Passes Anti-Defense Act Resolution, by Michael Rock, San Anselmo-Fairfax Patch, Feb. 7, 2012

Excerpts:

“NDAA could allow for indefinite detention without trial of any person, including US citizens. The FBI Director, the Defense Secretary, the Department of Defense, and many of our nation’s generals, admirals, and service men and women have opposed the NDAA’s detention provisions.”

“The town of Fairfax has an extensive history of protecting its residents’ civil rights and liberties embodied in its rejection of the USA PATRIOT Act, which led hundreds of other municipalities across the nation to emulate our example.”

Text of Resolution 12-11: A Resolution of the Town Council of the Town of Fairfax objecting to the Military Detention Provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act, adopted Feb. 1, 2012.

Excerpts:

“WHEREAS, the Constitution of the United States is the foundation of our nation’s rights and freedom, and the basis of our representative democracy; and…

“WHEREAS the indefinite military detention of any person without trial violates the 5th and 6th amendments of the Constitution of the United States, Article III of the Constitution of the United States, and the Posse Comitatus Act; and

“WHEREAS the NDAA corrodes the ideals of presumed innocence and right to a fair trial on which our nation was founded, and which generations of activists and military servicemen and women have fought to preserve; and…

“BE IT RESOLVED that the Fairfax Town Council does hereby declare that we…instruct all our Town of Fairfax agencies to decline requests by Federal agencies acting under detention powers granted by the NDAA that could infringe upon residents’ freedom of speech, religion, assembly, privacy or rights to counsel…

“…Expect all Federal and State law enforcement officials acting within the Town of Fairfax to work in accordance with local law, and in cooperation with the Fairfax Police Department, by allowing any detainees among Fairfax’s residents or visitors access to a trial, counsel and due process, as provided by Article III of the Constitution of the United States…”

Anniversaries from ‘UnHistory, by Noam Chomsky, Nation of Change, Feb. 7, 2012

Excerpts:

“In three years we may – or may not – commemorate another event of great contemporary relevance: the 900th anniversary of the Magna Carta.
“This document is the foundation for what historian Margaret E. McGuiness, referring to the Nuremberg Trials, hailed as a ‘particularly American brand of legalism: punishment only for those who could be proved to be guilty through a fair trial with a panoply of procedural protections.’ “
“The Great Charter declares that ‘no free man’ shall be deprived of rights ‘except by the lawful judgment of his peers and by the law of the land.’ The principles were later broadened to apply to men generally. They crossed the Atlantic and entered into the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, which declared that no ‘person’ can be deprived of rights without due process and a speedy trial.”

“A further step in undermining the principles of the Magna Carta was taken when President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which codifies Bush-Obama practice of indefinite detention without trial under military custody.”

“Such treatment is now mandatory in the case of those accused of aiding enemy forces during the ‘war on terror,’ or optional if those accused are American citizens.”

“Many other examples illuminate the concept of ‘terrorist.’ One is Nelson Mandela, only removed from the terrorist list in 2008. Another was Saddam Hussein. In 1982 Iraq was removed from the list of terrorist-supporting states so that the Reagan administration could provide Hussein with aid after he invaded Iran.”

“Accusation is capricious, without review or recourse, and commonly reflecting policy goals – in Mandela’s case, to justify President Reagan’s support for the apartheid state’s crimes in defending itself against one of the world’s ‘more notorious terrorist groups': Mandela’s African National Congress.”

San Diego Activists Slam Both Susan Davis and Duncan Hunter for Supporting the NNDA, San Diego Blogspot, Feb 5, 2012

Anti-NDAA protesters at Cong. Duncan Hunter’s office, Feb 3, 2012. Photo by Hugh Moore

Excerpts:

“Several members of one of San Diego County tea party factions joined progressives at Hunter’s office site.  This reflects the fact that both sides of the political spectrum oppose the NDAA.”

“The action at Davis’ office was organized by a recently-formed coalition called Save the Bill of Rights. It consists of members of different progressive organizations, such as MoveOn San Diego, Occupy San Diego, the Movement for a Democratic Society, the Democratic Party, and Progressives for a Democratic America… The Ramona Forum – made up of progressives, independents and tea party members from that East County community – sponsored the action at Hunter’s office.”

“Another protest against the NDAA is planned for the State Democratic Party convention being held in San Diego next weekend [Sat. Feb 11].”

The NDAA and the Militarization of America, by Carl Mirra, Common Dreams, Feb. 10, 2012

Excerpts:

“The NDAA, they[former federal judges Abner Mikva, William Sessions, and John Gibbons] write [in Beyond Guantanamo], ‘codifies methods such as indefinite detention without charge and mandatory military detention and make[s] them applicable to virtually anyone…including U.S. citizens.’ “

“Congress could have stated something to the effect that, ‘Nothing in this act shall be construed as authorizing the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens.’ It did not. That a clear statement to protect U.S. citizens was defeated in favor of a contested one strongly suggests that the NDAA does not offer safeguards for citizens.”

“Even the president, then, admits that the “existing law” provision in 1021 (e) is subject to interpretation, rendering it vague to the point of being meaningless. Existing law is, at best, under dispute with respect to the detention of U.S. citizens. The president has, after all, already asserted his authority not only to detain citizens without trial, but to assassinate them as well.”

“Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), who drafted the NDAA, disclosed in a floor statement that the ‘existing law’ clause in section 1021 (e) fails to insulate citizens from detention without charge… Levin is referring to Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, a 2004 Supreme Court ruling that found there is “no bar” to indefinite detention of U.S. citizens as long as they are granted some limited habeas rights. Levin is arguing that it is the Supreme Court’s interpretation of “existing law,” not the NDAA’s, that permits indefinite detention.”

“Of special concern is the administration’s contention that “it is not possible” to define the “precise nature and degree of substantial support, or the precise characteristics of associated forces.” Since these undefined categories are now, verbatim, part of the NDAA, it opens the door for the indefinite detention of a category of people the government is unable to define. “

Beyond Guantanamo, by Abner Mikva, William S. Sessions and John J. Gibbons, Chicago Tribune, Oct 7, 2011

Excerpts:

“It is a fact that our criminal justice system is uniquely qualified to handle complex terrorism cases. Indeed, civilian courts have successfully overseen more than 400 terrorism-related trials, whereas military commissions have handled only six. While the use of military commissions may occasionally be appropriate under the Constitution, the Guantanamo military commissions remain subject to serious constitutional challenges that could result in overturned guilty verdicts.”

“We need access to proven instruments and methods in our fight against terrorism. Stripping local law enforcement and the FBI of the ability to arrest and gather intelligence from terrorism suspects and limiting our trial options is counterintuitive and could pose a genuine threat to our national security. Furthermore, an expanded mandatory military detention system would lead to yet more protracted litigation, infringe on law enforcement’s ability to fight terrorism on a local and state level, and invite the military to act as law enforcement within the borders of our states.”

[Abner Mikva is a former chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia and former counsel to President Bill Clinton. William S. Sessions is a former director of the FBI, federal judge in Texas and a member of the Constitution Project's Liberty and Security Committee. John J. Gibbons is the former chief judge of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.]

The NDAA Makes it Harder to Fight Terrorism, by Brian Michael Jenkins, Foreign Affairs, Feb. 1, 2012

Excerpts:

“The Senate rejected efforts to exclude U.S. citizens from indefinite detention. Instead, the bill states only that it will not alter existing law, but existing law on detention is not settled. President George W. Bush claimed that he had authority to indefinitely detain without bringing charges or bringing to trial José Padilla (a U.S. citizen arrested in Chicago) and Ali al-Marri (a legal permanent U.S. resident). Before the Supreme Court could hear the case challenging this assertion, however, the administration turned both individuals over to civilian courts.”

“…the United States has no separate prison system for terrorist suspects. In practice, indefinite detention (to which American citizens remain vulnerable under the new law) means military custody. The government held both Padilla and al-Marri in a Navy brig to keep them out of civilian custody. “

“…the new legislation’s proponents see this process as inadequate. One of their principal arguments is that regular trials allow terrorist suspects to “lawyer up,” thereby depriving authorities of valuable information. The evidence indicates otherwise. Those arrested in the United States or returned there for trial have proved to be treasure troves of information. They can negotiate information for sentencing leniency or other considerations.”

Most recent State and Local Resolutions to nullify NDAA indefinite detention provisions prohibiting enforcement because they are unconstitutional:

Washington State

Oklahoma

Missouri

Tennessee

Fremont County, Colorado

Weld County, Colorado

[in addition to previous resolutions, statements or legal approach by Virginia, Montana (recall), Rhode Island, Alaska, El Paso County, Colorado]

Emerging movement encourages sheriffs to act as shield against federal tyranny, by Nancy Lofholm, The Denver Post, Feb. 12, 2012

Excerpts:

“Online Constitutional Sheriffs materials state, ‘The sheriff’s position overrides any federal agents or even the arrogant FBI agents who attempt to assume jurisdiction in our cases.’ “

“Colorado had the largest representation at this convention, along with California and Utah.”

“Elkhart County, Ind., Sheriff Brad Rogers told of chasing federal regulators out of his county after they repeatedly did inspections at an Amish dairy farm that was selling raw milk. He threatened to arrest the regulators if they tried to come back. “

“El Paso County Commissioner Peggy Littleton, who attended with El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa, gave a presentation that took another tack. She told how her county recently passed a resolution to nullify the National Defense Authorization Act. She urged other counties to do the same. “

Constitutional Sheriffs Conference Jan 29-31, 2012 (audio)

Stewart Rhodes, of Oathkeepers,  speaking from 1:18:29- 2:30:10, on NDAA.

NDAA & Obama: Defenders Are Wrong – Here’s Why, Young Turks, Jan 3, 2012

Rachel Maddow, “A Tale of two Speeches,”  analyzing President Obama’s speech on  “prolonged detention,” May 21, 2009

Text of show and speech, May 21, 2009 [note mistake at 3:52. Should read "To ensure that they are in law line with the rule of law."]

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