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Urging Congress to repeal the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

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The U.S constitution is the backbone of this country. It is imperative that we save the constitution and ensure the rights of all people. On December 31, 2011, President Barrack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), codifying indefinite military detention without charge or trial into law for the first time in American history. Sections of the legislation selectively suspend due process and habeas corpus, as well as other rights guaranteed by the 5th,6th, and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.  The American people were promised that the NDAA does not pertain to U.S citizens, rather to non-citizens affiliated with terrorists groups.  Although the law does not directly target U.S. persons, it neither excludes nor protects them. Section 1022 of the law allows for open-ended executive judgment with regard to the handling of U.S. citizens. In other words, U.S persons can be held indefinitely without charge or trial if deemed a threat to national security.

 The NDAA violates the “equal protection” clause of the 14th Amendment stating that all people be treated the same under the law.“This pernicious law poses one of the greatest threats to civil liberties in our nation’s history,” writes Brian J. Trautman Under AUMF, “this law can be used by authorities to detain (forever) anyone the government considers a threat to national security and stability – potentially even demonstrators and protesters exercising their First Amendment rights.”

 U.S citizen or not, the National Defense Authorization Act is unconstitutional. Documents produced by Homeland security have leaked that numerous people and groups have been targeted and deemed a threat to our national security, such as right-wing extremists, Ron Paul supporters, and even veterans returning home. The NDAA does not only violate the 5th, 6th, and 14th, but it puts our first Amendment right at severe risk as well. Has the Fed become to powerful? Acts such as the NDAA should come as no surprise after George W. Bush signed The Patriot Act October 26,2001, in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, in which sections of the Act clearly violate the 4th  Amendment.  

"We the People"

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." --George Washington and the delegates to the Convention

 "A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever."-John Adams


 "They who can give up essential Liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither Liberty nor safety."—Benjamin Franklin




The executive branch has acquired greater authoritarian and unaccountable power under this law which disaffirms justice as a fundamental human right. It brings the illegal practice of extraordinary rendition home. Tom Parker of Amnesty International USA argues that the NDAA “provides a framework for ‘normalizing’ indefinite detention and making Guantanamo a permanent feature of American life.” What democracy and civil liberties we did enjoy in this country before the NDAA of 2012 became law have been severely weakened, and our nation’s moral and legal credibility in the world, which has been gradually declining since the so-called “war on terror” was declared by President Bush, has been diminished further.


The NDAA of 2012 increases the United States’ worldwide detention authority. In doing so it further entrenches a culture of war in American society. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), “The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield… the breadth of the NDAA’s detention authority violates international law because it is not limited to people captured in the context of an actual armed conflict as required by the laws of war.”


As difficult as it might be to have any faith left in the Congress, there is hope on the horizon for overturning at least the portion of the law that threatens U.S. persons. The Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011, H.R. 3702, authored by Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) and Martin Heinrich (D- NM) and currently co-sponsored by 32 House members, including the ranking members of the Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, and Judiciary committees, clarifies existing U.S. law and states unequivocally that the government cannot indefinitely detain American citizens or lawful U.S. residents. It ensures that U.S. citizens and permanent residents on American soil are protected. The bill amends the Non-Detention Act of 1971, clarifying that a congressional authorization for the use of military force – such as that in the NDAA which included the detainee provisions – does not authorize the indefinite detention without charge or trial of U.S. citizens apprehended on U.S. soil. H.R. 3702 is companion legislation to Senator Dianne Feinstein’s Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011, S. 2003.


Since 2001, the Patriot Act, the AUMF, and now the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 have eroded many of our most valued constitutional rights. Our nation is moving away from government “of the people, by the people, for the people” and toward a totalitarian state. The late historian, Howard Zinn observed, “Terrorism has replaced Communism as the rationale for the militarization of the country [America], for military adventures abroad, and for the suppression of civil liberties at home. It serves the same purpose, serving to create hysteria.”


It is up to the American people to stop this fear-mongering and this unfettered growth of the military industrial complex. How? Americans can begin by actively dissenting against laws that violate their Constitution and their conscience. Dr. Zinn believed very strongly that “dissent is the highest form of patriotism.


If the Constitution is to be defended against those who aspire to destroy it, all Americans have a duty to themselves and their country to stand up and demand progressive change toward a culture of peace and justice. One of the most effective ways to do this is by engaging in methods of nonviolent direct action, as demonstrated by the Occupy Wall Street movement. As more Americans embrace these methods and the Occupy movement grows stronger, Washington will be forced to end its campaign of militarizing law enforcement and American society or risk being voted out of office. Only then can the freedoms and civil liberties the people are promised in the Constitution be restored.











La Constitución de EE.UU. es la columna vertebral de este país. Es imperativo que salvar la Constitución y garantizar los derechos de todas las personas. El 31 de diciembre de 2011, el Presidente Obama firmó la Ley de Autorización de Defensa Nacional (NDAA), que codifica la detención militar indefinida sin cargos ni juicio en ley por primera vez en la historia estadounidense. Las secciones de esta ley son una violación directa de nuestro derecho Enmienda 5 al debido proceso.


Enmienda 5: Ninguna persona será obligada a responder por un delito capital o con otra infamante si no es en denuncia o acusación por un Gran Jurado, salvo en los casos que se presenten en las fuerzas terrestres o navales, o en la milicia nacional cuando se encuentre en servicio efectivo en tiempo de guerra o peligro público, ni ninguna persona estará sujeta por el mismo delito a dos veces en peligro de perder la vida o la integridad física, ni será obligada en ninguna causa criminal a ser testigo contra sí mismo, ni se le privará de la vida, la libertad o la propiedad sin el debido proceso de ley, ni se ocupará la propiedad privada para uso público sin una justa indemnización.


La NDAA viola la "igual protección" cláusula de la Enmienda 14 que indica que todas las personas sean tratadas de la misma bajo la ley. "Esta ley perniciosa representa una de las mayores amenazas para las libertades civiles en la historia de nuestra nación", escribe Brian J. Trautman Bajo AUMF, "esta ley puede ser utilizada por las autoridades para detener (para siempre) cualquier persona que el gobierno considera una amenaza para la seguridad nacional y la estabilidad -., potencialmente, incluso los manifestantes y los manifestantes que ejercen sus derechos de la Primera Enmienda"


Los documentos producidos por seguridad nacional se han filtrado que muchas personas y grupos han sido blanco de ataques y que se considere una amenaza para nuestra seguridad nacional, como los extremistas de derecha, partidarios de Ron Paul, y los veteranos que regresan a casa incluso. La NDAA no sólo viola la Enmienda 5 º y la 14 ª Enmienda, sino que pone a nuestro derecho Enmienda primero en grave riesgo también.


Ha vuelto a la Fed poderoso? Yes.Acts como la NDAA no debería ser una sorpresa después de que George W. Bush firmó la Ley Patriota de octubre 26,2001, en respuesta a los 9/11 ataques terroristas, en el que las secciones de la Ley claramente violan la Enmienda 4. Derogación de la NDAA!


Kristen Ussery

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