National Defense Authorization Act can take away citizen’s rights

Nader Hussein, ‘Doah Contributing Writer
February 26, 2014



Few college students are aware that they, along with the millions of other American citizens, could be indefinitely detained in prisons without their rights if the U.S. government deems them as being or supporting an enemy combatant.

The Bill of Rights grants all citizens, even those suspected of or charged with a crime, the right to a fair trial judged by a jury of their peers.

Yet that could all be coming to an unceremonious end with a little-known provision in an annually approved law.

On Dec. 26, 2013 President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act, one of a series of laws that is renewed every year.

Though this is usually a routine action, in 2012, lawmakers slipped in an amendment allowing the government to indefinitely detain anyone viewed as an enemy, including U.S. citizens.

This includes suspected enemies within U.S. borders, deeming the country a battleground.

Under this law, anyone accused of aiding or carrying out an attack against the United States can be seized, detained indefinitely and stripped of their Miranda rights along with any other rights provided to criminals.

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz, one of the leading members of the Tea Party Movement, was one of just 15 senators to vote against the bill, which passed the senate 84-15.

“I am deeply concerned that Congress still has not prohibited President Obama’s ability to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens arrested on American soil without trial or due process,” Cruz said in a statement. “The Constitution does not allow President Obama, or any president, to apprehend an American citizen, arrested on U.S. soil and detain these citizens indefinitely without a trial.”

Cruz was not the only one to warn the Americans about of this questionable policy. The hacktivist network “Anonymous” released a video in December 2012, the day after the Senate approved the first NDAA with detainment powers.

In the video, Anonymous claims that, “The passage of this law is nothing less than an outright declaration of wart against the American people by the military-connected power elite.”

With detainment powers having been renewed for another year, civil libertarians continue fighting to end what they view as a violation of the Bill of Rights.

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