On December 1, 2011 I published an article that gave a straightforward analysis of Sections 1031 and 1032 of the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act). My follow up post on December 7th spoke to the inadequacies of the Feinstein Amendment. And here, as the 220th Anniversary of the Bill of Rights passes by, I can’t help but wonder what has happened to truth?
I would like to know how Congress can justify just one hour of debate over something that is so important, so controversial, and so questionable. I truly enjoyed Congressman Jerrold Nadler’s argument on the floor. He pointed out that many Constitutional Jurists and Military experts are vehemently opposed to this bill, indicating the very destruction of the rights we are trying to protect from terrorist attack. He also did an amazing thing; he shut down the argument that we must pass this bill with these sections so the Military will get funded. He explained that they had plenty of time to fail the bill, take out these malignant provisions, bring the bill back and pass it before the end of the week. What would be so hard about that? Why couldn’t they do just what Rep. Nadler proposed?
As I watched these debates and listened to the arguments over the last few days, I have become so very perplexed at how those who deny the very language of this bill can do so with such conviction. There is such a dishonesty associated with what they are saying. Time and time again I have heard that this bill specifically excluded US Citizens. NO IT DOES NOT. You have to be illiterate or purposefully disingenuous to put forth such an argument. The section specifically says: “The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.” Legally speaking, stating that an agency is “not required” to do something is the very same as saying they have the choice of doing so or not. If the drafters of this legislation truly wanted to exclude US Citizens from having their Constitutional rights stripped, the lawyers should have used the type of language found in 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(e)(2), the section that contains religious exemptions for employment practices or the various religious and medical exemptions that exist from state to state for things like vaccinations. They are legislators, they have to know that!
On top of that, section 1032(4) specifically provides a military waiver anytime national security dictates a need! “The Secretary of Defense may, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, waive the requirements of paragraph (1) if the Secretary submits to Congress a certification in writing that such a waiver is in the national security interests of the United States.” There you have it. All limitations fly out the window if the government determines a “national security interest”.
This morning I found a jewel, a light bulb came on in my mind. Something that made me want to scream out loud! I was in the middle of a twitter argument over this bill and this person was absolutely adamant that the language of the bill stated that military detention was “inapplicable to U.S. citizens or U.S. lawful resident aliens.” I finally asked my new twitter friend to send me a link to the bill because I could not find that language. What I got was a link to the Bill Summary and Status, the CRS Summary. I could not believe what I was seeing. The very summary put out by Congress describing this bill was a blatant misrepresentation of the bill itself. The summary stated that section 1032 had specific language that said the detention provisions were “inapplicable to US Citizens”. That is not an accurate summary, it is blatant propaganda! The language, “The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States” is not even close to saying detention is inapplicable to US Citizens. How many Congressmen just read the summary and based their entire argument on that lie?
The thing I find most frustrating is knowing that I am not the only one out there spreading the truth. I have heard statements by Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Mike Lee, and others. I watched the debate in Congress. I know engaged citizens have been contacting their Congressmen and Senators and passing on the truth. I really believe if at least a handful of people have enough information to make an informed and educated decision, there is no excuse to believe a lie. Yet, that is where we are. I can see why so many are apt to believe in a conspiracy, because when the truth is so important, so compelling, and people will still believe a lie, we must reconcile it with ourselves as a sinister plot. It is human nature. The truth is out there, I know, I have written about it at least 3 times. Don’t believe a lie because it makes you feel safe. Listen to the words of Justice Blackstone, as quoted by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Paper 84.
“To bereave a man of life, [says he] or by violence to confiscate his estate, without accusation or trial, would be so gross and notorious an act of despotism, as must at once convey the alarm of tyranny throughout the whole nation; but confinement of the person, by secretly hurrying him to jail, where his sufferings are unknown or forgotten, is a less public, a less striking, and therefore a more dangerous engine of arbitrary government.” And as a remedy for this fatal evil he is everywhere peculiarly emphatical in his encomiums on the habeas corpus act, which in one place he calls “the BULWARK of the British Constitution”.
This is EXACTLY what these provision in the NDAA do. We do not have to keep these provisions to fund the military. They are completely irrelevant to that need.
The truth is out there. You have a responsibility to it. Our elected Congressmen and Senators have a responsibility to it. Don’t let them get away with promulgating a misrepresentation of that truth. Don’t allow them to keep telling us we have to eat garbage because the vegetables are in there too. We must know that we cannot have peace from terrorism without having Liberty in America! Don’t sell our Liberty for a little temporary security. It is not our Liberty to sell. It was bought with the blood of our fathers and mothers, who pledged their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor for ages and millions not yet born. This Liberty belongs to our children, our grandchildren, and their children. We must stand for Liberty today, or our children will bow tomorrow! Mark these “leaders” and don’t forget the attack they have perpetrated on the most precious gift America possesses – Liberty!