Saturday, December 1, 2012

Rand Paul's Sound and Fury on NDAA: It's Little Else

At the New American,  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D breaksdown an amendment to the NDAA co-sponsored by 18 senators including Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.). 

Here are highlights from Wolverton's commentary:
Naive. That's the word used by the Wall Street Journal to describe attempts by a handful of senators to outlaw the indefinite detention of Americans under key provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)...The purpose of the amendment was “to clarify that an authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States.”...
The Wall Street Journal...invokes the Hamdi ruling as evidence that “citizenship of a member of a foreign army is irrelevant during wartime. Anyone who takes up arms against the U.S., fails to wear a uniform and targets civilians is an unlawful enemy combatant regardless of citizenship.”... 
Finally, the Feinstein-Lee Amendment fails to address the most invasive aspect of the mortal malady that is the NDAA — the placement of the American military at the disposal of the president for the apprehension, arrest, and detention of those suspected of posing a danger to the homeland (whether inside or outside the borders of the United States and whether the suspect be a citizen or foreigner). Giving the president that power is nothing less than a de facto legislative repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, the law forbidding the use of the military in domestic law enforcement.
It is this last bit of Stalinist-style authoritarianism that is the NDAA’s true threat to liberty. While the Feinstein Amendment buttresses the right to a trial for citizens and permanent residents, it does nothing to prevent their apprehension. Denial of habeas corpus (or a trial) comes later; it is the delirium, not the fever, in a manner of speaking.
Put simply, Americans would not need to worry about being held without charge if the president was not authorized in the same act to deploy the armed forces to round up the “suspects” and detain them indefinitely. Being apprised of the laws one is accused of having violated is important, but it’s the detention and the manner of it that must be of more immediate concern to those who are concerned about the new world order being defined by the NDAA.
While the passage of the Feinstein Amendment is laudable in that it is at least a step away from absolute totalitarianism, its restriction to “citizens and lawful permanent residents” of the Constitution’s protections of civil liberties and its failure to abolish the president’s right to deploy the military to arrest suspects reduces it to mere sound and fury signifying nothing but the senators’ failure to show fidelity to their oath of office.
Read the full analysis here.

(HT to  Felix Bronstein)

No comments:

Post a Comment