NDAA 2012: An abominable anniversary

January 1, 2013 by History in a Hurry

Weep for America on this one-year anniversary.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2012 was signed into law by President Barack Obama on Dec. 31, 2011, (during his Hawaiian vacation, no less).

The NDAA includes the infamous Sections 1021 and 1022, which allow for the military to indefinitely detain anyone, including American citizens, without due process of law, even on American soil.

The provisions are still on the books. Nothing has changed in the last year despite the attention Sen. Rand Paul drew to the issue recently. The detention provisions hark back to the pre-Magna Carta era, circa 1215, when King John of England could throw anybody into a dungeon forever.

Last year, Obama signed the provisions into law after claiming he wouldn’t; attached a signing statement saying he wouldn’t use the provisions, even though his administration requested they be included in the NDAA (which is a military spending bill); and then circumvented U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest when she attempted to block one section.

The Founding Fathers would be concerned about the Executive Branch claiming the authority to act as jury, judge and executioner for anyone on the planet using secret evidence. Every citizen should be concerned, especially when the government’s definition of “terrorist” is quite broad.

How to best mark this abominable anniversary this week?

1) Share this information with your friends and family.

2) Educate yourself. Read information online about this from Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Wolf, Paul Craig Roberts and Rep. Justin Amash.

3) Email or call your U.S. representative and senators to ask why they voted to allow for the indefinite detention of American citizens. Better yet, visit their next townhall meeting to publicly ask why they voted for the provisions and how they plan to repeal them.

4) Write letters to the editor or blog posts about the topic.

5) Start at #1 again and repeat until due process is restored and not subject to the whims of the president, no matter who that person is.

I have a collection of articles and videos about this topic. But I especially like this Dec. 16, 2011, column from The Imaginative Conservative.


Oh James Otis, Where are you now? Or, Lamentations for the Republic That Was

by Bradley J. Birzer

With the Senate passing the National Defense Authorization Act on a vote of 87 to 13 yesterday, something fundamental seems to have changed in the very existence of our republic, if we can even employ this noble term any longer.

For a year and a half, under Winston’s excellent editorship, TIC has been examining in various ways the history, the nature, the meaning, the purpose, and the frailties of republics, this once great one and a number of others. At times, this analysis has been direct. At other times, very indirect.

Regardless, every writer at TIC is concerned with the existence, defense, and perpetuation of the American republic.

But, yesterday. . . . that was a day.

Read the full piece:


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