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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: International | Anti-War
Campaign organizes to push back against Obama provision to arrest Americans
Detention prevention strategy goes national
The bill explains that the president “has asserted that the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, enacted in 2001, authorizes the president to indefinitely detain, without charge, any person, including a citizen of the United States
A national campaign has been assembled and soon is to be launched to push back against a provision in a federal defense authorization law that one judge already has determined violates the Constitution by authorizing the detention of Americans.
WND has reported previously on the situation, which arose with the adoption of the National Defense Authorization Act at the end of 2011.
It includes sections 1021 and 1022, which essentially “create a new power for the federal government to ‘indefinitely detain’ – without due process – any person. Indefinitely. That’s little different than kidnapping,” said a report from the Tenth Amendment Center.
One lawsuit is pending in the courts where a trial judge issued a permanent injunction preventing application of those two sections, but the case is pending before an appeals court now.
The annual defense bill also was renewed just days ago, with the same provisions included.
Concerns are that the government will start using broad definitions about those who may have any interaction with “terrorists,” and arresting and holding them. After all, the federal government already has described those people who support third-party candidates, conservative issues, oppose abortion and are critical of special rights for homosexuals as potential terrorists.
Now a campaign has been announced by PANDA, or People Against the NDAA, to build a backlash against the Washington power grab.
Spokesman Dan Johnson said his organization is being supported by the Tenth Amendment Center, Patriot Coalition, Freedom Outpost, Western Journalism and We Are 1776 in the effort to “restoring the Constitution.”
“The goal of this operation is to stop the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) in all 50 states across America by Dec. 31st, 2013,” he said.
“We are launching this effort for two main reasons. Firstly, we now have the network and resources necessary to push back against this encroachment by the Federal government. The Tenth Amendment Center, Patriot Coalition, Freedom Outpost, Western Journalism, and We Are 1776, among others, are assisting us in restoring the Constitution nationwide.
“Secondly, we are running against the clock. Even though the courageous efforts from the plaintiffs in Hedges v. Obama have elicited one ruling that the NDAA is unconstitutional, the civil liberties score of the 2nd Circuit Court of appeals and the Supreme Court leave little chance that ruling will be upheld in the higher courts. Odds are, the NDAA will be ruled constitutional by 2014,” he said.
“If the NDAA is declared constitutional before there is a major stand from the states, it will then be extremely difficult to restore the rights usurped by this legislation. Very few county commissioners, city councilmen, state representatives and sheriffs will take a stand against the NDAA once it has been declared constitutional,” he said.
The launch formally will be at Wood County, Ohio, Jan. 15 at 9:15 a.m. at the county courthouse, officials said.
Virginia already has outlawed state cooperation with any such detention plan, and another dozen states have proposals under consideration.
One of those is Nevada, where the “Nevada Liberty Preservation Act” that will be considered in the coming legislative session.
The proposal is pending by state Sen. Don Gustavson, according to officials with PANDA.
Michael Boldin, the Tenth Amendment Center’s founder, told WND the only solution now is for states to nullify the action.
“With four more years of the man who not only signed ‘indefinite detention’ into law, but has vigorously defended it in court, there is absolutely zero chance for repeal in Washington, D.C.,” he said.
WND previously reported that the Michigan House of Representatives was unanimous on a plan to defy the federal government’s citizen detention plans.
The state’s HB 5768 addresses Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act that Congress adopted and Obama signed a year ago.
Although interpretations differ, a judge already has confirmed that it appears to allow the arrest and indefinite detention of American citizens under certain circumstances without a warrant or a trial.
If that is the case, there clearly would be constitutional problems.
But in Michigan, on a 107-0 vote, members of the state House have adopted their own statement on the issue.
Their proposal states “no agency of this state, no political subdivision of this state, no employee of an agency of this state or a political subdivision of this state acting in his or her official capacity, and no member of the Michigan national guard on official state duty shall aid an agency of the armed forces of the United States in any investigation, prosecution, or detention of any person pursuant to section 1021 of the national defense authorization act.”
WND also recently reported an even more extreme effort developing in Texas. If the plan is adopted, anyone trying to enforce such a detention could be apprehended and given a year in jail and a $10,000 fine.
Rep. Lyle Larson has House Bill 149 pending. The “Texas Liberty Preservation Act” specifically finds the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution lets Washington “exercise only those powers specifically delegated to it under Article I, Section 8.”
The bill explains that the president “has asserted that the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, enacted in 2001, authorizes the president to indefinitely detain, without charge, any person, including a citizen of the United States or a lawful resident alien, regardless of whether the person is apprehended inside or outside the borders of the United States.”
The NDAA sections allow “indefinite detention of persons apprehended within the United States without charge or trial.”
That, however, violates the Texas Constitution, the limits of federal power authorized by Article I, Section 8 and the legal doctrine of Posse Comitatus.
It also violates habeas corpus, the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, the Sixth Amendment, the Eighth Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment, the legislation explains. That includes the right to petition government, freedom from unreasonable searches, the prohibition of the deprivation of liberty without due process, the right to a speedy trial and the ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
Since sections 1021 and 1022 “violate portions of federal law, the United States Constitution, and the Texas Constitution,” they are “invalid and illegal” in Texas, the legislation says.
WND also previously has reported on a court case challenging the sections in which the Obama administration has battled vigorously for its right to detention.
The fight is on appeal right now, after U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest issued a permanent injunction against the sections.
In her order, Forrest wrote, “The government put forth the qualified position that plaintiffs’ particular activities, as described at the hearing, if described accurately, if they were independent, and without more, would not subject plaintiffs to military detention under Section 1021.”
But she continued, “The government did not – and does not – generally agree or anywhere argue that activities protected by the First Amendment could not subject an individual to indefinite military detention under Section 1021.”
The case was brought a year ago by a number of writers and reporters, led by New York Times reporter Christopher Hedges. The journalists contend the controversial section allows for detention of citizens and residents taken into custody in the U.S. on “suspicion of providing substantial support” to anyone engaged in hostilities against the U.S.
The lawsuit alleges the law is vague and could be read to authorize the arrest and detention of people whose speech or associations are protected by the First Amendment. They wonder whether interviewing a member of al-Qaida would be considered “substantial support.”
“Here, the stakes get no higher: indefinite military detention – potential detention during a war on terrorism that is not expected to end in the foreseeable future, if ever. The Constitution requires specificity – and that specificity is absent from Section 1021,” the judge wrote.