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article imageOp-Ed: Opposition to NDAA heating up

By Christine Mattice     Jan 31, 2012 in Politics
One month after President Obama signed the controversial NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) into law, public opposition is reaching fever-pitch.
Across the United States, February 3 has been designated as the “Nationwide NDAA 2012 Congressional Protest,” where protesters will gather outside of the offices of the Senators and Representatives who voted for this bill. Protests are also planned in other locations.
At issue are sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA which, although the language is vague, appear to allow for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens, without trial, until hostilities have ceased. (As if the hostilities against terrorism will ever cease).
Moreover, the requirements for indefinite detention include those who have “committed a belligerent act [against the United States] or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.” This requirement is so vague that it could include those who engage in constitutionally protected protests or civil disobedience activities. Essentially, then, sections 1021 and 1022 violate our Sixth Amendment rights to a speedy trial and our First Amendment rights of free speech.
And Americans are not keeping quiet any longer.
Besides the upcoming day of protest on February 3:
*Montana has launched a recall effort to remove their two Senators and one Representative who voted for the NDAA.(Although only 9 states allow for recalls of their Federal representatives, many groups are petitioning their states to allow for similar recalls of their representatives).
*Ron Paul has introduced a bill in Congress to repeal the unconstitutional portions of the NDAA.
*Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges has filed a lawsuit against Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta challenging the legality of the NDAA.
*Several states and even counties are pursuing their Tenth Amendment right to nullify the unconstitutional portions of the NDAA.
On January 16, for instance, Rhode Island’s State Representative Daniel Gordon not only drafted a resolution (which is a precursor to a Bill to nullify) stating his opposition to the NDAA, but he released this statement:
Given the fact that the constitutions of Rhode Island and that of the United States are replete with guarantees of individual liberties, right to habeas corpus, and right to freedom of speech, the offending sections of [the NDAA] are repugnant to the sensibilities of anyone [who] has a basic understanding of the foundation of this country.
When I took the oath of office, I swore that I would support the constitutions of Rhode Island and the United States. And before one constituent of mine is snatched up in the dead of night, without due process under our laws, they’ll have to pry those documents from my cold dead hands.
Frederick Douglas, former slave, abolitionist, and political activist once said:
Find out just what the people will submit to and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.I think the government is finding out just how far they can push the American people before we will really fight back.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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