Top tier presidential candidate Ron Paul has decried the ‘indefinite detention’ provision of the National Defense Authorization Act, warning that it represents an arrogant, bold and dangerous attempt to establish martial law in America.
Speaking with the Alex Jones Show today, Congressman Paul went on the offensive against the bill, which is set to be signed into law by President Obama later this week.
Section 1031 of the NDAA bill, which itself defines the entirety of the United States as a “battlefield,” allows American citizens to be snatched from the streets, carted off to a foreign detention camp and held indefinitely without trial. The bill states that “any person who has committed a belligerent act” faces indefinite detention, but no trial or evidence has to be presented, the White House merely needs to make the accusation.
Paul said he saw significance in “the announcement and the arrogance of it all,” making reference to the Obama administration’s claim that it can now assassinate American citizens anywhere in the world and noting that the passage of the NDAA bill is an effort to codify the policy into law.
“This is a giant step – this should be the biggest news going right now – literally legalizing martial law,” said Paul, noting that the subject did not come up at all in any of the Republican debates.
The Congressman also decried the “arrogance” of an attempt to push through via a voice vote an amendment that would have still authorized indefinite detention even if a detainee was found innocent after a trial. The amendment was narrowly defeated by his son, Senator Rand Paul.
“This is big,” emphasized Paul, adding “This step where they can literally arrest American citizens and put them away without trial is arrogant and bold and dangerous.”
Despite speculation that the Obama administration would veto the bill, it emerged yesterday that it was the White House itself which worked to remove language from the bill that would have protected American citizens from indefinite detention under Section 1031.
The administration has been working with lawmakers to alter a separate provision, Section 1032, which pertains to the military being required to take custody of individuals.
With the administration’s concerns over Section 1032 now largely resolved, a revised and final version of the bill could be signed into law before the end of the week.
“The conferees said they plan to bring the bill to the House floor for a vote as soon as Wednesday afternoon and to the Senate soon thereafter,” reports Politico.
Despite the revisions, the bill still contains language that allows Americans to be detained without trial at a detention center anywhere in the world.
Republican Congressman Justin Amash has again warned that lawmakers are attempting to mislead the American people by claiming U.S. citizens are exempt from the most dangerous provisions of the bill.
“Pres. Obama and many Members of Congress believe the President ALREADY has the authority the bill grants him. Legally, of course, he does not. This language was inserted to keep proponents and opponents of the bill appeased, while permitting the President to assert that the improper power he has claimed all along is now in statute,” writes Amash.
“They will say that American citizens are specifically exempted under the following language in Sec. 1032: “The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States. Don’t be fooled. All this says is that the President is not REQUIRED to indefinitely detain American citizens without charge or trial. It still PERMITS him to do so,” warns the Congressman.
Amash is encouraging Americans to contact their representatives and sign a petition expressing their opposition to the NDAA bill, calling it “one of the most anti-liberty pieces of legislation of our lifetime.”