Republican Congressman Amash warns that bill can be applied to U.S. citizens
by Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones
Controversy over whether or not Americans are exempt from a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act bill, set to be voted on this week by the Senate, which defines the the entirety of the United States as a battleground in the war on terror, has been addressed by Republican Congressman Justin Amash, who warns that the bill does apply to U.S. citizens.
That provoked concerns that American citizens could be targeted as terrorists and indefinitely detained without trial or charge.
“One section of these provisions, section 1031, would be interpreted as allowing the military to capture and indefinitely detain American citizens on U.S. soil. Section 1031 essentially repeals the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 by authorizing the U.S. military to perform law enforcement functions on American soil. That alone should alarm my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, but there are other problems with these provisions that must be resolved,” Colorado Senator Mark Udall said in a speech earlier this month.
Following an ACLU alert on the legislation, some pointed out that the text of the bill actually exempts Americans from being detained under the new “homeland battlefield” designation under the proviso that “the requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.”
However, as Republican Congressman Justin Amash told the The Grand Rapids Press today, the language of the bill is “carefully crafted to mislead the public.”
“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.
The controversy over whether or not the text of the bill suggests the legislation applies to U.S. citizens is largely inconsequential given the fact that every piece of anti-terror legislation passed since 9/11 has been used against Americans, both at home and abroad.
The Patriot Act was passed in the name of giving federal authorities the tools to catch terrorists, but it has been used in hundreds of cases against American citizens, often in cases that have no relation whatsoever to terrorism.
Furthermore, as Ron Paul has pointed out, Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen who has never been charged with any crime, was the victim of extrajudicial killing because of the same unconstitutional legalese that defines the entire globe as a “battlefield,” where the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens are declared null and void if they are designated as terrorists by the federal government.
Indeed, national intelligence director Dennis Blair openly stated last year that, “Being a U.S. citizen will not spare an American from getting assassinated by military or intelligence operatives.”
Recall that José Padilla, an American citizen, was held without charge for 3 and a half years as an “enemy combatant” and denied a trial in civilian court, after being accused of planning to detonate a “dirty bomb,” an accusation that was enough to keep Padilla in a military brig for over three years yet was never proven.
As far back as December 2002, the Washington Post reported that a “parallel legal system” had been put in place under the auspices of the war on terror, 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.”
The “battlefield” provision of the NDAA is nothing new, it is merely an updating of existing policy that has been applied to American citizens on numerous occasions over the last decade.
The difference is that the danger of American citizens being detained without trial as terrorists on frivolous pretexts is an even greater danger now given that the Department of Homeland Security has characterized behavior such as buying gold, owning guns, using a watch or binoculars, donating to charity, using the telephone or email to find information, using cash, and all manner of mundane behaviors as potential indicators of domestic terrorism.
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