On February 18 at a mosque in Berlin, Connecticut, citizens from all walks of life and all political persuasions came together to organize themselves in opposition to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), particularly provisions of that recently enacted law that provide for the arrest and indefinite detention of American citizens by the military.
On December 31, 2011, with the President's signing of the NDAA, the writ of habeas corpus — a civil right so fundamental to Anglo-American common law history that it predates the Magna Carta — is voidable upon the command of the President of the United States. The Sixth Amendment right to counsel is also revocable at his will.
A key component of this legislation mandates a frightening grant of immense and unconstitutional power to the executive branch. Under the provisions of Section 1021, the President is afforded the absolute power to arrest and detain citizens of the United States without their being informed of any criminal charges, without a trial on the merits of those charges, and without a scintilla of the due process safeguards protected by the Constitution of the United States.
One of the citizen activists who addressed the meeting was Shahid Buttar, executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC). Buttar laid out chapter and verse of the NDAA and the unconstitutional attack on the civil liberties of all Americans, any one of whom may one day be labeled a “covered person” and hauled away by the military to a detention facility without being apprised of the charges against him and without the right to an attorney. (As U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham declared during floor debate on the measure in the Senate, the United States is now a theatre in the War on Terror and Americans "can be detained indefinitely ... and when you say to the interrogator, 'I want my lawyer,' the interrogator will say, 'You don't have a right to a lawyer because you're a military threat.' ")
Click here to read the entire article.
Photo: AP Images