Against the US National Defense Authorization Act

On 31st December 2011, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law. He claims to have done so because the Act was primarily setting a budget: the provisions added by Congress to the Act were verbally opposed by Obama before he signed the Act. But regardless of the signing President’s reservations, they now exist in US law.

This Act allows the US authorities to imprison civilians, without charge or trial, anywhere in the world:

The bill also contains provisions making it difficult to transfer suspects out of military detention, which prompted FBI Director Robert Mueller to testify that it could jeopardize criminal investigations. It also restricts the transfers of cleared detainees from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to foreign countries for resettlement or repatriation, making it more difficult to close Guantanamo, as President Obama pledged to do in one of his first acts in office. (ACLU)

Allowing people to be taken from the UK for indefinite detention without trial is probably already unlawful according to current UK extradition law. Regardless of how much the US promise they’ll treat their prisoners well.

The ACLU says:

The provisions – which were negotiated by a small group of members of Congress, in secret, and without proper congressional review – are inconsistent with fundamental American values embodied in the Constitution. Fundamental American values and fundamental freedoms are on the line.

Extradition is a matter for the Home Office. We cannot ask the UK government to make a legal ruling on another country’s law. We can ask, via epetition, for a clear statement by the House of Commons that there is no support in the British government for allowing the US to remove anyone from the UK under the provisions of this Act – British citizen, legal resident, not even a migrant labourer here illegally or an asylum-seeker whose legal status is undetermined. No one should be sent into indefinite detention without trial.

I suggest the wording of the epetition should be as follows:

Against Indefinite Imprisonment

Responsible Department: Home Office

Following the signing into US law of an Act giving US authorities legal power to imprison civilians indefinitely anywhere in the world, the Home Office should publish a clear statement that they will immediately require the transfer to British custody of any British citizen or legal resident of the UK who is imprisoned anywhere in the world under these powers of detention, and that no one within the UK will be transferred into US custody under the authorisation of this Act.

First draft. I’m very happy to take suggestions, comments, and revisions, but feel that it’s important for getting people to sign it that the epetition text remain as brief as possible. It’s impossible to add clarifying links.

The demand should be within what’s legally possible for a UK government department to do – it’s no use asking them to censure the US government for passing the law or to demand that they campaign against the passing the law.

1 Comment

Filed under American, European politics, Justice

One response to “Against the US National Defense Authorization Act

  1. Rwolf

    Americans Lose Constitution & Country To New Fascist Legislation

    Almost every week there are published news accounts of Police Corruption, e.g. Police taking bribes, aiding & smuggling illegal drugs, robbing drug-dealers and committing perjury. ALERT! Perjury by police and their informants may now pose the greatest threat to Americans’ Freedom due to Congress in December 2011 passing (NDAA) The National Defense Authorization ACT of 2012. Under (NDAA) Government does not need probable cause or corroborating evidence to Indefinitely Detain Americans without charges, no right to an attorney, trial or Habeas Corpus; Police that falsify reports and give perjured testimony can now cause innocent Americans to be swept off the street and indefinitely incarcerated for being a suspected terrorist or supporting Terrorism: Note no violent act is required to be charged with involvement in terrorism under(NDAA).

    If that is not scary enough, Congress is now considering HR 3166 and S. 1698 also known as the “Enemy Expatriation Act” sponsored by Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Charles Dent (R-PA) that would let Government Strip Your Citizenship Without a Conviction. Once an American’s Citizenship is stripped they have no rights whatsoever. To read article, search title: New Bill Known As Enemy Expatriation Act Would Allow Government To Strip Citizenship Without Conviction.
    To read the full text of the bill, go here: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h112-3166

    Currently there are several Multi-State Recall Petitions of Congressman that voted for The National Defense Authorization ACT of 2012.

    Some observers believe NDAA included the vague term “Belligerent” in the manner it did, so U.S. Government would have authority granted by Congress to Indefinitely Detain large numbers of Americans not involved in terrorism. Under NDAA, U.S. Government can deem anyone a “Belligerent” for indefinite detention. The term “Belligerent” is so expansive and vague an American Citizen could be labeled a “Belligerent” for exercising First Amendment Rights—speaking out for or against any issue; protesting a U.S. Government Policy; agency or coalition Partner. It is foreseeable U.S. Government will threaten Americans with Indefinite Detention that refuse to act as informants. The East German Stasi Police used this tactic to create an army of neighborhood and other informants.

    The passed (Defense Authorization Act of 2012) appears more threatening to Americans than (Hitler’s FASCIST 1933 Discriminatory LAWS) that suspended provisions in the Reich Constitution that Protected German Citizens’ Civil Liberties? For example—Hitler’s 1933 DISCRIMINATORY LAWS (stated fines and time limits) that German Citizens could be incarcerated for e.g., Serious Disturbance of the Peace, Provoking Public Unrest, Rioting; Acts that threatened National Security. In contrast Senators John McCain and Carl Levin’s passed National Defense Authorization Act of 2012—mandates holding Americans’ (Indefinitely) in Military Custody for being a mere “Belligerent.”

    Under the passed National Defense Authorization, could some Americans (Retroactively) be subject to Indefinite U.S. Military or Prison Detention without charges or right to an attorney or trial? Consider most American activists don’t know what other activists and groups they networked or associated did in the past—perhaps illegal. Both the National Authorization Act of 2012 and USA Patriot Act are expansive and vague—what constitutes (1) supporting or aiding terrorists, (2) a terrorist act; (3) when someone is a “Combatant” or (4) “a Belligerent.” For example, Americans advocating, attending or supporting a meeting or protest demonstration against a U.S. Government Agency; Policy or U.S. Military Action—could be charged with (1) (2) (3) and (4) under NDAA and the Patriot Act.

    History Repeats: When other countries passed Police State Laws like The Defense Authorization Act of 2012, Citizens increasingly abstained from politically speaking out; visiting activist websites or writing comments that might be deemed inappropriate by their Police State Government, e.g. cause someone to lose their job; be investigated; disappeared and or detained in Police/Military Custody. Some writers might be dead-meat under NDAA. It appears that “Americans” who write on the Internet or verbally express an opinion against any entity of U.S. Government or its coalition partners—may under the Patriot Act or The Defense Authorization Act—be deemed by U.S. Government (someone likely to engage in, support or provoke violent acts or threaten National Security—to order an American writer’s indefinite military or prison detention.

    Is NDAA Retroactive? Can U.S. Government invoke provisions of NDAA or the Patriot Act to assert a U.S. Citizen’s past or current writings (protected by the 1st Amendment) supported or aided terrorists, provoked combatants or belligerents as a premise to order an author’s Indefinite Detention? The Defense Authorization Act of 2012 did more than Chill Free Speech—it may FREEZE IT! Consider: In mid-January 2012 Homeland Security announced the National Operations Center (NOC) received permission from Washington to monitor journalists and retain data on users of social media and online networking platforms. Could this Homeland Security spying, tracking Americans result in Citizens abstaining from visiting and posting comments on websites? It is not clear why Homeland Security wants to track users of social media and online networking platforms. You may read, search title: Homeland Security Monitors Journalists 1-7-12 at:
    http://rt.com/usa/news/homeland-security-journalists-monitoring-321/

    It should be expected that indefinitely detained U.S. Citizens not involved in terrorism or hostile activities, not given Miranda Warnings when interrogated or allowed legal counsel; will also be prosecuted for non-terrorist (ordinary crimes) because of their (alleged admissions) while held in Indefinite Detention.

    Is the Defense Authorization Act of 2012) More Threatening to Americans than Hitler’s (1933 DISCRIMINATORY LAWS) That Suspended Provisions In the Reich Constitution That Protected German Citizens’ Civil liberties?

    1933
    GERMANY Preliminary Compilation of Selected Laws, Decrees, and Regulations:

    DISCRIMINATORY LAWS:

    DECREE OF THE REICH PRESIDENT FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE PEOPLE AND STATE

    Note: Based on translations by State Department, National Socialism, 1942 PP. 215-17, and Pollak, J.K., and Heneman, H.J., The Hitler Decrees, (1934), pp. 10-11.7

    In virtue of Section 48 (2) of the German Constitution, the following is decreed as a defensive measure against Communist acts of Violence, endangering the state:

    Section 1
    Sections 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124, and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. Thus, restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press, on the right of assembly and the right of association, and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic, and telephonic communications, and warrants for house-searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.

    Section 2
    If in a state the measures necessary for the restoration of public security and order are not taken, the Reich Government may temporarily take over the powers of the highest state authority.

    Section 4
    Whoever provokes, or appeals for or incites to the disobedience of the orders given out by the supreme state authorities or the authorities subject to then for the execution of this decree, or the orders given by the Reich Government according to Section 2, is punishable—insofar as the deed, is not covered by the decree with more severe punishment and with imprisonment of not less that one month, or with a fine from 150 up to 15,000 Reich marks.

    Who ever endangers human life by violating Section 1, is to be punished by sentence to a penitentiary, under mitigating circumstances with imprisonment of not less than six months and, when violation causes the death of a person, with death, under mitigating circumstances with a penitentiary sentence of not less that two years. In addition the sentence my include confiscation of property.

    Whoever provokes an inciter to or act contrary to public welfare is to be punished with a penitentiary sentence, under mitigating circumstances, with imprisonment of not less than three months.

    Section 5
    The crimes which under the Criminal Code are punishable with penitentiary for life are to be punished with death: i.e., in Sections 81 (high treason), 229 (poisoning), 306 (arson), 311 (explosion), 312 (floods), 315, paragraph 2 (damage to railroad properties, 324 (general poisoning).
    Insofar as a more severe punishment has not been previously provided for, the following are punishable with death or with life imprisonment or with imprisonment not to exceed 15 years:

    1. Anyone who undertakes to kill the Reich President or a member or a commissioner of the Reich Government or of a state government, or provokes to such a killing, or agrees to commit it, or accepts such an offer, or conspires with another for such a murder;
    2. Anyone who under Section 115 (2) of the Criminal Code (serious rioting) or of Section 125 (2) of the Criminal Code (serious disturbance of the peace) commits the act with arms or cooperates consciously and intentionally with an armed person;
    3. Anyone who commits a kidnapping under Section 239 of the Criminal with the intention of making use of the kidnapped person as a hostage in the political struggle.

    Section 6

    This decree enters in force on the day of its promulgation.
    Reich President
    Reich Chancellor
    Reich Minister of the Interior
    Reich Minister of Justice

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s