Alexander Hamilton wrote in The Federalist Papers that: “[T]he practice of arbitrary imprisonments [has] been, in all ages, the favorite and most formidable instrument of tyranny.”
This principle of constitutional liberty, when applied to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), reveals a frightening truth about the powers illegally granted the President in that legislation.
As has been recounted many times (never enough, however, given the urgency of the situation in which our Republic is now found) in this magazine and elsewhere, in various provisions of the NDAA, the Congress granted to the President the power to deploy the military of the United States to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens inside or outside of the United States suspected by him (the President) of posing a military threat to national security.
Once the suspect is imprisoned, the NDAA authorizes the President to deny that person access to legal counsel (in defiance of the Sixth Amendment) and to refuse habeas corpus petitions requiring the government to inform the accused of the crimes with which he or she is being charged (in defiance of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution). This latter deprivation of civil liberties, the one Hamilton described as tyrannical, is being challenged again by a man being held at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility.
Click here to read the entire article.