Ben Swann Reality Check: Obama Administration Refuses To Tell Judge If NDAA Is Being Illegally Enforced [video and transcript]_Featured_, Big Brother, Videos, War on Terror Wednesday, August 15th, 2012
Ben Swann Reality Check takes a look at the fight between a federal judge and the Obama Administration over the NDAA’s indefinite detention clause.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) may be the most significant piece of legislation in the country when it comes to civil liberties, yet it is rarely mentioned by mainstream media. As a result, you’ve probably not heard that the Obama administration may be in violation of a federal court injunction that blocks the administration from locking up US citizens without trail.
Section 1021 of the NDAA bill gives the president the power to arrest and hold US citizens who are accused of terrorism or aiding terror groups. The following are some significant points about the NDAA that US citizens should be aware of:
- The NDAA does not require that the government prove you are working with terrorists.
- The NDAA does not require that you are given a trail.
- The NDAA allows you to be held by the government until the end of our war with “Al Qaeda, Taliban, or associated forces.” (It’s not clear who the “associated forces” might be.)
- The Indefinite Detention Clause means that you can be held in prison without one shred of proof that you have done anything wrong – until the end of our endless war on terror.
Days after President Obama signed the NDAA into law on December 31, 2011, the White House released the following statement:
“I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation.” – President Obama, January 5th, 2012
Senator Carl Levin stood on the Senate floor and explained that it was, in fact, the Obama Administration who in the first place specifically asked for the “indefinite detention” power.
Which one is it? Does the president want this power or not?
Earlier this year, a group of journalists and activists sued the government claiming that the indefinite detention clause violates the due process clause of the Constitution.
Judge Katherine Forrest agreed and issued an eight-page memorandum in which she said that indefinite detention cannot be used on any US citizens. Judge Forrest said, “In the face of what could be indeterminate military detention, due process requires more.”
Instead of abiding by the injunction, the White House has appealed the ruling.
Tangerine Bolen is an activist who voted for President Obama in 2008. She is also one of the plaintiffs suing the government over this issue. She recently wrote about the latest hearings on this issue, saying:
“Obama’s attorneys refused to assure the court, when questioned, that the NDAA’s provision – one that permits reporters and others who have not committed crimes to be detained without trial — has not been applied by the US government anywhere in the world — AFTER Judge Forrest’s injunction. In other words, they were saying to a US judge that they could not or would not state whether Obama’s government had complied with the legal injunction that she had lain down before them.
“To this, Judge Forrest responded that if the provision has indeed been applied, the United States government itself will be in contempt of court.”
What you need to know is this is not a political issue; it’s an issue of law. The NDAA indefinite detention clause according to a U.S. federal judge violates the rule of law in the U.S. Constitution. It violates freedom of speech, freedom of press, and the right to due process. But, rather than abiding by that, not only is the White House fighting it, the government’s own lawyers either can’t or won’t say whether the White House has abided by a federal order to stop indefinite detention around the world.
We have three separate, but equal branches of government for a reason. But, both parties are fighting to grow the power of the executive branch to overpower the other two.
Americans better wake up. If they don’t, then soon we won’t be electing a chief executive, we’ll be choosing one person to rule us all.
And, that is reality check.