May 1, 2014 by History in a Hurry
Happy Loyalty Day!
by Daniel McAdams
President Obama, pursuant to Public Law 85-529, today signed the 2014 annual “Loyalty Day” proclamation, declaring that today, “we renew our conviction to the principles of liberty, equality, and justice under the law.”
Loyalty Day was first proclaimed in 1921 to counter an early “red scare.” It was then referred to as “Americanization Day.”
Ironically, this year’s Loyalty Day takes place in the same week the US Supreme Court has refused to hear a challenge to the “indefinite detention” provisions of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.
This means on Loyalty Day Americans can be indefinitely detained if the government decides they are not sufficiently loyal, for example if it determines one has “supported” any “associated forces” of those who have attacked the United States in 2001.
The terms “supported” and “associated forces” are sufficiently vague so as to broadly apply. But of course the terms clearly do not apply to the US government’s own support of al-Qaeda’s associated forces in Syria and Libya. That’s different.