National Defense Authorization Act is Law NDAA: Rand Paul on Patriot Act and America Liberty

Obama has had the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on his desk for close to two weeks. Yesterday he signed it. The law allows for the detention of American citizens for suspected terrorism involvement, with no trial – depending on who you believe. There is language in the bill to guarantee us that there is nothing new in the law, but – the real, defining language was voted down. See an important Rand Paul video below.

ABC News:

Recently two retired four-star Marine generals called on the president to veto the bill in a New York Times op-ed, deeming it “misguided and unnecessary.”

“Due process would be a thing of the past,” wrote Gens Charles C. Krulak and Joseph P. Hoar. “Current law empowers the military to detain people caught on the battlefield, but this provision would expand the battlefield to include the United States – and hand Osama bin Laden an unearned victory long after his well-earned demise.”

The bill was submitted for vote late, without adequate time to read it. Most who voted for it, had little knowledge of what was in it. Those voting for it said, and Obama signing it said, they did so because the Military has to be funded.

Senior administration officials, who asked not to be named, told ABC News, “The president strongly believes that to detain American citizens in military custody infinitely without trial, would be a break with our traditions and values as a nation, and wants to make sure that any type of authorization coming from congress, complies with our Constitution, our rules of war and any applicable laws.”

One official explained that President Obama does believe, however, that American citizens can be temporarily detained, and that the military has the right to capture and hold any citizen who is engaged in conflict against the United States. If various provisions in the law prove unworkable, the president could go back to Congress to ask for changes.

Campaign for Liberty:

Senate Amendment (SA) 1126 would “clarify” Section 1031 to explicitly state within the section that the authority of the military to detain persons without trial until the end of hostilities does not apply to American citizens. [Update: Voted down 45-55]

SA 1125 would limit the mandatory detention provision in Section 1032 to persons captured abroad, not in America. [Update: Voted down, 45-55]

I have a fairly comprehensive look at the language, along with some legal opinions here.  You can also see a list of those voting against the NDAA.

Today we start a new year, and really America, we must force Congress to stop this sloppy and dangerous behavior. It must be a big issue in the 2012 elections. Of course we should fund the Military, but we must do it in a timely manner without cramming the bill with provisions that are not fully understood.

Who in Congress went to the microphone and said, ‘we just got the bill and it’s dreadfully late?’ I heard Rand Paul mention it just days before it was signed on an interview with Fox. The bill was due on October 1. All Republicans in both chambers should have hit the mics that day, and each day thereafter, telling us that the bill was egregiously late. Where are our defending Fathers?

A snippet from the Rand Paul video below, just before the NDAA vote (this is a chilling video, with discussion about the Patriot Act and how we can handle terrorism without it, and keep our Constitutional liberties intact):

Their legislation would arm the Military with the authority to detain, indefinitely and without trial, suspected al-Qaeda sympathizers, including American citizens apprehended on American soil…   There is one thing and one thing only protecting American citizens from being detained at will, at the hands of a too powerful state – our Constitution and the checks we put on Government power…

“…the very core of liberty secured by our Angle-Saxon system of separated powers has been freedom from the indefinite imprisonment at the will of the Executive” – Justice Antonin Scalia

Linked at Grumpy Opinions – Thanks!

Senator Rand Paul on the National Authorization Defense Act (video)

Thanks to this protest site for the video

  • It’s a horrible bill, and it is horrible that our lawmakers would even contemplate such a thing. The shifty language should give us all pause, as it is a purposeful fig leaf for the statists of all parties.

  • I read the comments/provisions that Obama wrote in when he said he was “reluctant” to sign it. I don’t believe what comes out of that mans mouth at all! He’s a liar! He says one thing and does another, this has been Obama from the get go! Hope and change really means tear apart our Constitution and form a Marxist America! Smoke and mirrors again! In his comments about the bill, it seems to be fairly vague. He and his commie buds have allowed Obama to be able to have a power as a president that could very well be a threat to American citizens. Although there is much “speak” about Al Qaeda, there are paragraphs in the bill that could be twisted and used for Obama’s advantage. What makes me sick is that a lot of republicans voted for this bill as well. AND there isn’t many articles on this bill by conservatives….not even Heritage Foundation! This bill should really be picked apart and analyzed by conservative experts! Where the heck are they!

    • Stephenie

      There is nothing so important that Obama had to reluctantly sign this bill. He had no problem at all stopping the keystone pipeline that could have put many many people back to work but he signed this POS bill into law. Sick. I want to know which of our candidates for President even realize he signed it much less what is in it.

      • Stephenie, most of the Republicans voted for it, so whether they know he signed it yesterday or not, doesn’t really matter. He would have nothing to sign had Congress not put in on his desk. In the article there is a list of those principled enough not to sign it.

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  • Besides the fact this bill is unconstitutional, it galls me that Obama is sitting there playing all coy and ‘has serious reservations’ when this was his idea in the first place. The media seems to be leaving that little factoid out.

  • Silver, Fran and Lady Liberty: Jim Inhofe voted for this. His press release said his yes vote was because we needed to fund our Military. I seldom have anything to complain about with Inhofe but this MUST stop. Inhofe also assured us that there was language in the bill that did not go beyond the powers already given, but it appears that is not true. They didn’t have time to read the 1,000 pages. No one complained loudly that the bill was so egregiously late. Third: No one complained that this was in a funding bill, and EVERYONE knew, had they refused to sign, all the junk would have been stripped out because we must fund the military.

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