Article by Mark I Rasskazov, Editor in Chief.
This is an extremely unconstitutional and tyrannical act.
This is a document that authorizes the Executive branch (the President) to immediately and indefinitely detain anyone — including US Citizens on US soil — on whim. Authorization from congress is not required. Aside from being a clearly tyrannical development of boundless executive power, it also violates the Fifth and Sixth Amendments by violating the right to due process, and the ban against cruel and unusual punishment. Furthermore, arresting or assassinating people on foreign soil is an act of war — per Section 8 of the Constitution, war can only be conducted under a declaration of war, and war can only be declared with explicit approval from congress. The document also authorizes the use of Reservists during times of emergency, which abuses Posse Comitatus.
This is a highly disturbing development.
The ACLU criticizes that this bill flies in the face of Barrack Obama’s promise to close the Guantanimo Bay prison, and enables the military to indefinitely detain non-combatants.
US Senator Rand Paul has harshly criticized this bill for allowing for indefinite military detention.
Matt Sledge and Ryan J. Reilly of The Huffington Post point out:
«Obama’s signing statement did reiterate his opposition to restrictions on when he can move prisoners out of the Guantanamo camp. Such statements signal how a president plans to put a law into effect but do not have the force of law themselves, leaving future administrations to make their own interpretations.»
Natasha Lenard of Salon rails against the bill:
«This time last year, President Obama said that he had “serious reservations” about certain provisions of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. But he signed it anyway. This year, the same provisions over which he was so reserved remain in the 2013 version of the bill, along with a number of brand-new problematic amendments.»
She also points out that Congress did little to improve the bill.
The Center for Constitutional rights put out a very strong indictment against Obama and the new bill:
«For the second year in a row, President Obama has caved on his threat to veto this dangerous legislation, which severely restricts his ability to transfer or provided fair trials for the 166 men who remain imprisoned at Guantanamo. The 2013 NDAA extends restrictions that have been in place for nearly two years, during which zero prisoners have been certified for transfer oversees and zero have been transferred to the U.S. for prosecution. Once again, Obama has failed to lead on Guantanamo and surrendered closure issues to his political opponents in Congress. In one fell swoop, he has belied his recent lip-service about a continued commitment to closing Guantanamo.»
Activist Post points out that the NDAA flies in the face of federal court rulings.
Citizens and journalists from both sides of the aisle are coming out strongly against this bill, yet Congress and the Executive are standing by it anyway. What is going on in Washington? Are we still living in a democracy? Do we still have a constitution? Whatever became of the «Land of the Free?»