National Defense Appropriations Act opposed by US Military and Intelligence Agencies
The U.S. Congress has ended the year 2011 by assaulting the Constitution. The attack came in the form of the 2012 National Defense Appropriations Act (NDAA) which passed both the House (December 14) and the Senate (December 15) by large margins … that allows the United States military to take into custody and hold indefinitely without trial, any American citizen designated a “terrorist suspect.”
Ironically, Congress did this to the country on the 220th anniversary of the Bill of Rights.
A couple reactions to the Homeland Battlefield Bill:
Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch: “It’s something so radical that it would have been considered crazy had it been pushed by the Bush administration. It establishes precisely the kind of system that the United States has consistently urged other countries to drop.”
Professor Jonathan Turley, legal scholar: “How did we come to this place? Well, it took the joint efforts of both parties and a country that has been lured into a dangerous passivity by years of war rhetoric.”
The odd thing about President Obama’s willingness to sign this bill and, as Human Rights Watch notes, “go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law,” is that the FBI, the CIA, the Director of National Intelligence, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Defense, among others, all oppose it.
The military in particular appears to have no wish to destroy a 200 year tradition of non-interference in domestic affairs. In fact, according to Heather Huburt, the executive director of The National Security Network, a non-profit organization focusing on national security, “you can’t find any national security experts in favor of these provisions.”
[Excerpt of article by Lawrence Davidson, professor of history at West Chester University]