PROTEST National Defense Authorization Act

15 12 2011

We are on the verge of loosing the right to habeas corpus in America.

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 was passed by the House last night and the president is expected to sign it into law.

Forbes has a good article on the threat this law poses to civil liberties in the United States.

This law allows the US  government to indefinitely detain US citizens without trial.

If the government doesn’t like you… they can brand you a terrorist and make you disappear.

This makes every US citizens vulnerable to unjust prosecution.


I will be at Zuccotti Park  40 Foley Square NYC protesting today.



Information on the NDAA has been tough to find with lots of confusion on the internet.

Lawfare has a great FAQ that gets into the subtleties of the NDAA.


UPDATE: President Obama has signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law.



9 responses

20 12 2011

I appreciate your link to the FAQ. The bill was intentionally written to not say if it applied to US citizen, which leaves the question open. How is it we have a law that may, or may not, apply to a US citizen. What exactly is the intention of this bill? Is it intended to be used on US citizens or not? If not then why did they strike language that would state it as such?

29 12 2011

The original text of the bill is ;

I think the bit your are concerned over is from page 426 on.

29 12 2011

Yes I read it before I posted.

29 12 2011

So, did you read;

“(e) AUTHORITIES.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities, relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.”


“(b) APPLICABILITY TO UNITED STATES CITIZENS AND LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS.—10 (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS.—The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.” I’m unclear what the fuss is, if it is stated not to be construed to affect existing laws within the US?

29 12 2011
Mark Suppes

There is quite a bit of debate on this very important point. Does this law extend to US citizens?

To quote from the lawfare NDAA FAQ:

“Does the NDAA authorize the indefinite detention of citizens?
No, though it does not foreclose the possibility either.”

“During the administration of George W. Bush, the government used its detention authority under the AUMF (described above) in two instances involving U.S. citizens.”

“The government has not asserted authority to detain a citizen under the AUMF since this time, so the question of citizen detention has remained unsettled ever since.”

“The explicit idea was to preserve the unsettled status quo described above, leaving it to the courts to determine if detention authority extends to citizens should the government ever again attempt to assert it.”

Indefinite detention and even assassination of US citizens is already happening. This is “current law” until it is challenged in court.

29 12 2011

I will copy here my comment from a different forum.

On section 1031:

This was added presumably in response to uproar that US citizens could be detained under the law, and the text could be used to argue that it doesn’t. But does it really say that? All it says is that “existing” authorities are not affected, but not that “new authorities” are not introduced or would not be introduced or claimed. Also consider the fact that an amendment specifically excluding US citizens was rejected. Sen. Levin (co-sponsor) claims that an early draft included a specific US citizen exception, but that Obama asked it to be removed. Whether this is true I have no idea.

Secondly in section 1032 (REQUIREMENT FOR MILITARY CUSTODY), there seems to be another red herring.

On section 1032:

This seems to clearly exempt US citizens, or does it? It simply states that the military is not required to detain US citizens which fall under 1031, not that it cannot detain them. Also, if section 1031 is not intended to apply to US citizens in the first place, then why would they have to specifically state that the military is not required to detain them in 1032?

To me the fact that there is a concerted effort to not specifically exclude US citizens with this muddled language makes the intent clear: US citizens on US soil are intended to fall under this provision of indefinite dention without trial. And I think that those who crafted this think they can squeak it by the lawyers when the executive branch inevitably tests the limits.

29 12 2011

The two sections in question are 1031 and 1032. There have been a string of failed bills introduced with very similar language, some explicitly allowing the detention of us citizens. McCain introduced “S.3081 – Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010”, who also co-sponsored the bill in question. I think there is an effort to get this kind of language in for a while now but of course couldn’t get it passed alone which goes to motivation.

Now, what about the actual bill passed though. The two sections should be studied together to try to figure out what exactly is being pushed here.

31 12 2011
Uthman Apatira

People are too quick to sign away their liberties at the slightest whim. Our founding fathers would be tossing in their graves should they become aware that the liberties they took arms to secure for us were being thrown away the way they are. There are even cases now of us citizens being targeted and assinated abroad by our administration without due process of law. I can’t imagine what’ll come next.

22 01 2012
iRobot Robots

Enjoyed browsing your site.

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