12.22.2011

'Appalled, but Not Surprised' by Congressional NDAA Vote and Administration’s Veto Threat Withdrawal, Says Amnesty International

Photo: White House Flickr


You might want to bypass the gossip for a moment and pay attention to this. Have you heard of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)? It is a bill passed by Congress earlier this month. Why should you care? Well, it has some "interesting" provisions in it. Check this out: If this bill becomes law the military could arrest and detain YOU if they even suspect that you're involved in any terror-related activities--EVEN IF IT'S NOT TRUE! I think this is awful and those who call themselves patriots should be voicing their disgust with this. President Barack Obama should not sign this. What message will this send to the American people?


In an op-ed titled "Three myths about the detention bill," columnist Glenn Greenwald writes:
"It simply cannot be any clearer within the confines of the English language that this bill codifies the power of indefinite detention. It expressly empowers the President — with regard to anyone accused of the acts in section (b) – to detain them “without trial until the end of the hostilities.” That is the very definition of “indefinite detention,” and the statute could not be clearer that it vests this power. Anyone claiming this bill does not codify indefinite detention should be forced to explain how they can claim that in light of this crystal clear provision."
In a press release sent out by Amnesty International USA, Tom Parker, policy director (counter) terrorism and human rights, issued the following statement:


"The NDAA enshrines the war paradigm that has eroded the United States’ human rights record and served it so poorly over the past decade as the country’s primary counterterrorism tool. In doing so, the NDAA provides a framework for 'normalizing' indefinite detention and making Guantanamo a permanent feature of American life. 
"This legislation establishes a two-track system of justice by distinguishing between U.S. persons (citizens and resident aliens) and foreign nationals - a betrayal of the most fundamental principle of justice and equality before the law." 
"This bill also creates a tangle of competing counterterrorism jurisdictions that no one in Washington seems to understand. Law enforcement agencies have a strong record countering terrorism since the 9/11 attacks and this new legislation will inevitably hobble their efforts. "By withdrawing his threat to veto the NDAA, President Obama has abandoned yet another principled position with little or nothing to show for it. Amnesty International is appalled – but regrettably not surprised."


Want to do something? Go to Amnesty's website and sign this petition plus spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc. This is important.