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National Defense Authorization Act

President Obama appearing reflective

For the last two years, in 2012 and 2013, The National Defense Authorization Act has included language that puts our constitutional rights at risk. The sections in question grant extraordinary latitude to the executive, who may choose at any time to undermine the rights of American citizens.

Any U.S. citizen anywhere in the world (including on U.S. soil) now faces the possibility of indefinite military detention without charge, and without trial.

I admire the President Obama for much of what he does –and seems to value. But twice now he has warned he would veto, then signed the bill anyway. His “signing statement” added to the 2012 NDAA offered us his “word” that he won’t abuse the extraordinary powers granted.

But a signing statement is not legally binding. Furthermore, his 2013 signing statement features no such assurances as were added in 2012. Even in the absence of immediate mishaps, a future president’s behavior cannot be predicted. History offers no comfort when it comes to the corrupting, if gradual, influence of unchecked power.

I thought it was silly of me to worry, and silly of me to write this post. I’m no legal expert. Just a citizen and creative person who values my freedom.

Then I discovered some of our journalists have already experienced a “freezing affect” on their work, due to this bill. In fact, one group felt so threatened that they filed suit against the Obama administration in 2012.

Judge Katherine Forrest of the Southern District of New York, an Obama appointee, ruled that statute 1021(b)(2) of the NDAA law violates the 1st, 5th and 14th Amendments. She stated that former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges and four other plaintiffs “testified credibly to having an actual and reasonable fear that their activities will subject them to indefinite military detention” under the law.

Then I discovered that the Obama administration appealed the ruling and fought to put the statute back on the books. Why?

Are you also confused? If so, please join me by following these VIDEO links. They clarify what’s at stake, not for journalists alone, but to each and every American.

The louder and more public the conversation becomes, the safer we will be. Fighting the issue transparently will hugely increase the odds we will strike the proper balance between national security and individual liberty.

1) Plaintiff Chris Hedges describes the troublesome the bill and notes how thin its coverage has been in the media.
Chris Hedges Interview.

2) Judge Forrest strikes down the indefinite detention provision – conservatives and liberals alike are against the bill.
Plaintiff Chris Hedges Interview on Democracy Now

3) The Obama administration appeals.
Chris Hedges explains

4.) Diane Feinstein offered an Amendment to to 2013 version of the bill that would guarantee Americans the right to trial. It was plucked out of the legislation. –Many say it did not go far enough anyway.

More: Senator Rand Paul: a rare Washington official speaking out clearly and eloquently on behalf of the right to trial under the U.S. Constitution.
Rand Paul on the NDAA

More: Representative Kucinich states his concerns about NDAA:

Rep. Dennis Kucinich on NDAA

See Multimedia Content below for more interviews that bring texture to the discussion:


Multimedia Content

  • Interview with Stuart Rhodes, Yale Law School Graduate and former aid to Ron Paul

    The Loop Interview



Check out this Action Opportunities Link for specifics about NDAA:


Action Opportunities





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What is your position on this issue? Do you or anyone you know feel threatened by the provisions of the NDAA?


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Filed under Culture  |  Comments: 0 | Posted on Sunday, January 6th, 2013

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