Head of Japanese American Citizens League warns that bill has echoes of World War II-style internment without charge
by Paul Joseph Watson
With the bill expected to be up for a vote within 48 hours, Senator Rand Paul has offered an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that will kill a provision allowing the military to detain individuals, including American citizens, without trial or due process.
The “indefinite detention” sections of the NDAA bill would turn the whole of the United States into a “battlefield” and hand the executive branch the power to have the military arrest U.S. citizens and hold them without trial.
The provision is merely an update to the “parallel legal system” had been in place under the auspices of the war on terror for over a decade, “In which terrorism suspects — U.S. citizens and noncitizens alike — may be investigated, jailed, interrogated, tried and punished without legal protections guaranteed by the ordinary system,” as the Washington Post reported in December 2002.
In attempt to kill the indefinite detention provision of the legislation, Senator Rand Paul aims to strike Section 1031 from the bill, which reads as follows.
“Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force…includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons…Detention under the law of war without trial”.
The amendment is seen as having more teeth than a change offered by Colorado Senator Mark Udall which the ACLU has urged voters to support. “There are other similar Amendments too, however none of them completely eliminate the Constitutionally offensive section,” reports the Tennessee Campaign for Liberty website.
Writing in the Washington Post today, Udall emphasizes the fact that the bill does affect American citizens.
“The provisions would require the military to dedicate a significant number of personnel to capturing and holding terrorism suspects — in some cases indefinitely — even those apprehended on U.S. soil. And they authorize the military to do so regardless of an accused terrorist’s citizenship, even if he or she is an American captured in a U.S. city,” writes Udall.
Republican Congressman Justin Amash also warned that the bill had been “carefully crafted to mislead the public,” in suggesting that the indefinite detention provision didn’t apply to American citizens when it clearly does.
“Note that it does not preclude U.S. citizens from being detained indefinitely, without charge or trial, it simply makes such detention discretionary,” Amash wrote on his Facebook page.
As we documented yesterday, every single piece of legislation passed in the name of catching terrorists has been used against American citizens on countless occasions.
In an op-ed for the SIlicon Valley Mercury News, S. Floyd Mori, national executive director of the Japanese American Citizens League, warns that the legislation would create the legal framework for internment without trial on a similar scale to how Japanese-Americans were held in concentration camps during World War II.
“Indefinite detentions based on fear-driven and unlawfully substantiated national security grounds, where individuals are neither duly charged nor fairly tried, violate the essence of U.S. law and the most fundamental values upon which this country was built,” he writes.
The National Defense Authorization Act is set for a procedural vote at midday on Wednesday.
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