If President Obama is supporting al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces, should he be subject to indefinite detention under the terms of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)?
As The New American has chronicled since it was first proposed, the NDAA purportedly authorizes the president of the United States to deploy the armed forces to apprehend and indefinitely detain anyone suspected of providing support to terrorists. Section 1021 of the NDAA reads in relevant part:
Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C.1541 note) includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection (b)) pending disposition under the law of war.
A covered person under this section is any person as follows:
A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.
Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.
A plain reading of Section 1021 reveals, then, that anyone who is found to have “substantially supported” al-Qaeda or associated forces can be detained by the military until the end of the War on Terror. Now, the relevant question becomes: Has President Obama substantially supported al-Qaeda and if so, how?
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Photo: In this July 29, 2012 photo, Free Syrian Army soldiers are seen in a vehicle at the border town of Azaz, some 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Aleppo, Syria: AP Images