FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 5, 2011
Contact: Mark Lloyd
Senate Set To Allow Arrest & Indefinite Detention of
Americans by U.S. Military In Continental U.S.
S.1867 assaults 4th, 5th & 6th Amendments, Posse Comitatus Act
(Richmond, VA) – The Senate is set to vote on S.1867, National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week. Section 1031 of this bill would define the whole of the United States as a “battlefield” and allow the U.S. Military to arrest American citizens in their own back yard without charge or trial.
The Senate will vote on whether Congress will give this president—and every future president — the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world. The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States.
The bill was drafted in secret by Senators Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), before being passed in a closed-door committee meeting without a single hearing. The language appears in sections 1031 of the NDAA bill.
Section 1031 essentially repeals the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 by authorizing the U.S. military to perform law enforcement functions on American soil.
This means that any American could be a declared domestic terrorist and thrown in a military brig with no recourse whatsoever. 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, such a provision would be wide open to abuse.
Under the National Defense Authorization Act bill, no declaration of martial law is necessary since Americans would now be subject to the same treatment as suspected insurgents in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. They could be sent to military prisons indefinitely without even being charged with a crime.
The Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation is outraged by this assault on our Constitutional Rights and supports the Paul Amendment No. 1062 to strike, in its entirety, Section 1031 of the National Defense Authorization Act.
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