by Suzanne Eovaldi, staff writer
“This measure has a chilling impact on First Amendment Rights,” states Federal District Judge Katherine Forrest according to a flyer being distributed by the New Citizens’ Initiative to repeal the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). (1) People Against the NDAA (PandaUNITE.org) is gearing up for a nationwide fight in 2013 to nullify this very controversial act that uses national security as window dressing to take away six freedoms guaranteed to all citizens in our Constitution’s Bill of Rights! PANDA warns that the following six Bill of Rights amendments are being violated: First Amendment: FREE SPEECH; Second Amendment: RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS: Fourth Amendment: UNLAWFUL SEARCH AND SEIZURE; Fifth Amendment: DUE PROCESS; Sixth Amendment SPEEDY AND PUBLIC TRIAL; Eighth Amendment: CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT! (2)
Dangers of the NDAA signed into federal law on December 31, 2011 include: 1. Arrest and indefinite detainment powers given to the President based on his mere allegation that “you are a threat or terrorist!” 2. Right to legal representation–even so much as a to call your attorney or a family member is denied! 3. American citizens and legal permanent residents “can be held for life without being convicted of a crime!” 4. The right to trial by jury of your peers is taken away! 5. “You can literally be executed without being convicted of a crime!”
At a recent informational meeting held in Florida, speakers detailed lost freedoms which include no longer being permitted to speak out against the federal government; the discussion of anything which may be deemed an “extreme view;” speaking in favor of what some NDAA advocates call our national symbols and “unacceptable” attire or language at protest gatherings. Remember the seven Hutaree militia members in Michigan who were arrested and charged. Even though they eventually were acquitted, the trial sent a chill through left and right wing circles across America.
Aims of the citizens’ initiative are threefold: Nonviolent nullification or repeal of the indefinite detention sections of the NDAA; an end to laws that trade our liberty for “National Security” and engaging a younger generation in American politics so this can NEVER happen again! (3)
“Nothing that happens in Washington will be fixed there, so it’s time to stop fixating on them.” The commenter who made this observation believes local resistance must rise up and indeed, Utah is leading the charge by introducing legislation on December 19, 2012 to deal with the NDAA. Another person comments: “Wake up America; we’re losing our rights and they’re doing it behind Americans’ back…freedoms are being slowly taken away…and they’re doing it with deception and disrespect to all that served. It’s a disgrace!” (2)
The annual National Defense Authorization Acts signed by Obama are indeed a disgrace and the upcoming 2013 version promises to be no better as an amendment which would have limited Obama’s powers of unconstitutional incarceration was defeated in the House. It appears that the continued liberty of the American people will depend upon the courage of individual state legislators and governors.