Tag Archives: ndaa

Bill to Block NDAA Indefinite Detention Provisions Passes Ariz. Senate Committee

A bill that would prevent federal officials from enforcing the indefinite detention provisions found in sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 within Arizona has passed a key committee of the Arizona State Senate.

On Tuesday, Senate Bill 1437 passed the Senate Federalism, Mandates and Fiscal Responsibility Committee with 4 voting in favor and 2 voting against. The bill would prohibit federal officials from indefinitely detaining civilian residents in the state. It would also prohibit extrajudicial executions of any person or resident in Arizona.

Bill sponsor Sen. Judy Burges (R-Sun City West), who said that the NDAA indefinite detention provisions are a threat to civil liberties, told The Arizona Daily Star, “We’re trying to push back against federal overreach.

[RELATED: California Nullifies NDAA Indefinite Detention]

The bill states, “The legislature finds that this state is not a battlefield subject to the laws of war, and that neither Congress nor the President of the United States can constitutionally authorize the detention or disposition of any person in this state or a resident of this state within the United States under the law of war who is not serving in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service during a time of war or public danger.”

Under the proposal, those who violate the prohibitions against unlawful detentions or executions would face prosecution.

[RELATED: Exclusive: Idaho County votes to prohibit NDAA – VIDEO]

People Against the NDAA founder Dan Johnson told the Tenth Amendment Center, “Justice Antonin Scalia said we would be kidding ourselves if we didn’t think the Supreme Court would approve another WWII, Japanese-American style, internment. Arizona has a chance to join several states to head this off and avoid repeating a dark part of American history.

Now that the bill has passed the Senate Federalism, Mandates and Fiscal Responsibility Committee, it must pass another vote before the Rules Committee before it can face a vote by the full State Senate.

If it were to become law, Arizona would become the fifth state with a law on the books limiting military detentions by the federal government, joining California, Alaska, Virginia, and Michigan.

The American Civil Liberties Union said of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, which was signed into law by President Obama, “The law is an historic threat because it codifies indefinite military detention without charge or trial into law for the first time in American history. It could permit the president – and all future presidents – to order the military to imprison indefinitely civilians captured far from any battlefield without charge or trial.

The ACLU added, “There is substantial public debate and uncertainty around whether Sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA could be read even to repeal the Posse Comitatus Act and authorize indefinite military detention without charge or trial within the United States.

BROZE: Obama Vetoes 2016 Defense Budget Bill

President Obama used his veto power on Thursday to reject the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2016. The NDAA is the annual military budget and has recently been the subject of much debate.

Critics, including Obama, say the bill would limit the transfer of detainees from the military prison at Guantamano Bay, Cuba to the United States. As a result of the veto the White House has said they will use an emergency overseas contingency operations account to cover the shortfall until an agreement is reached.

“The president believes that the men and women who serve in our armed forces deserve adequate and responsible funding, not through a gimmick or not through a slush fund but one that would — could withstand scrutiny,” said White House spokesman Eric Schultz.

President Obama is calling for non-defense and defense spending limits to be raised while the majority of Republicans want to raise limits for defense but not for non-defense spending. President Obama seeks to raise both areas to around $38 billion.

Just days before the veto Senator John McCain criticized the president. “It is a dangerous move for [Obama] to veto the NDAA. We need 21st-century weapons, not last century,” McCain said.

Obama has also stated that he opposes limits on how to transfer Guantanamo prisoners. One of the early promises of Obama’s presidential campaign was shutting down the infamous prison. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, 657 prisoners have been transferred while 9 have died.

Despite President Obama’s current posturing, he had no problem signing the NDAA in 2012 which legalized the indefinite detention of American citizens suspected of ties to terrorism. Without a doubt Guantanamo Bay is a despicable prison and needs to be shut down. Many of the detainees have been cleared of any wrong doing yet remain imprisoned without a trial.

However, when you look closer at what Obama is doing, you see he is actually voting in line with the rest of the war hawks. He is not demanding the military budget be cut, or that the United States begin winding down the global American empire. No, President Obama is simply asking for more money to continue to launch wars of aggression based on lies and fear.

There is one more problem with the NDAA 2016 that will not be covered by the corporate media. The current edition of the NDAA will continue to involve the United States in the conflict in eastern Ukraine by offering lethal aid to the Ukrainians fighting off Russia’s advances in Crimea.

Section 1251 of the Senate version of the bill authorizes the Department of Defense to “provide security assistance and intelligence support to military and other security forces of the government of Ukraine.”

Section 1253 “requires DOD to report to Congress on options for expanding the presence of U.S. ground forces of the size of a Brigade Combat Team in Eastern Europe to respond to the security challenges posed by Russia and increase the combat capability of forces able to respond to unconventional or hybrid warfare tactics such as those used by the Russian Federation in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine.”

Section 1532 of the House bill gives the DOD permission to “provide assistance and sustainment to the military and national security forces of Ukraine through FY2016, including providing lethal weapons of a defensive nature to the security forces of Ukraine.”

So while the media focuses on the battle between the White House and the Republicans, take note that all of the current versions of the NDAA 2016 will continue the proxy-war between the United States and Russia, and possibly accelerate the push towards outright conflict.

“Apache Stronghold” Arrives in Washington D.C. to Protest Sale of Sacred Land

On Tuesday the Apache Stronghold activist community arrived in Washington D.C. for two days of ceremony and protest in front of the White House. The Apache Stronghold is made up of members of the San Carlos Apache tribe as well as supporters from across the country.

The tribal members are protesting the sale of 2400 acres of sacred land at the Oakflat campground in Arizona. The sale was done under the Southeast Arizona land exchange, a bill that has failed several times over the last few years but was ultimately attached to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015. The NDAA 2015 was passed into law by the U.S. House and Senate with the support of Arizona Representatives Paul Gosar and Ann Kirkpatrick, as well as Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake.

Under the NDAA 2015 a land exchange was approved which will allow a new project by Australian company Resolution Copper Mining. The Apache Stronghold is determined to stop the sale and destruction of land that they consider to be sacred to their people and way of life. The group says the copper mine would leave a crater nearly 2 miles wide and threaten streams, springs and wildlife habitats.

Earlier this month the activists began a cross-country caravan from Arizona to New York and Washington D.C. The group stopped at Native reservations along the way to drum up support for their cause.

On Tuesday they gathered in front of the White House and marched to the capitol for a “spiritual run” and ceremonial prayers and songs. Wednesday morning a second round of protests and demonstrations were underway.

“Today is our day. Today is our ceremony. We’re not here looking at this Capitol like it’s in charge of us,” tribe councilman Wendsler Nosie told Reuters.

Resolution spokeswoman Jennifer Russo told Reuters that they are committed to working with tribal members. The company claims the project will bring about 3,700 jobs to the area.

The Oakflat area is especially important to the San Carlos Apaches as it is near the Apache Leap cliffs where Apaches jumped to their death to avoid capture by American troops during the 1870’s. Protesters set up camp on the site in February, promising not to leave until the deal is repealed.

Rand Sounds Off On Indefinite Detention- Next POTUS Must Support the Entire Bill of Rights

Kentucky Senator and possible presidential candidate Rand Paul met potential voters at Fulchino Vineyard in Hollis, New Hampshire on Saturday, March 21st. Republican New Hampshire State Senator Kevin Avard, a Paul supporter, emceed the event that attracted over 100 “First in the Nation” primary voters.

The potential GOP field seeking the party’s nomination is expected to be wide. With Chris Christie, Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham making recent visits to the state, Paul presented his case with what he says sets his campaign apart from others: a strict adherence to the entire Bill of Rights. Paul stated that, as a group, elected GOP lawmakers support the 2nd amendment but that wasn’t enough.

“But you want to defend the whole Bill of Rights. You can’t defend the 2nd amendment if you don’t support the 1st amendment. You can’t defend the 2nd amendment if you don’t defend the 4th amendment,” Paul said.

Regarding the 4th amendment, Paul turned to the National Defense Authorization Act’s “Indefinite Detention” clause found in section 1021 which reads:

c) …. The disposition of a person under the law of war… may include the following:
(1) Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force…

Paul said: “We now have a law on our books called ‘Indefinite Detention.’ An American citizen can be detained without a trial… You want to know what the President said? He said ‘I’m signing this, I’m troubled by this, but I’m signing this but look at me, I’m a good man and will never use this.’ We won’t get into the discussion of whether that is true or not but the thing is laws are not about one individual, but who comes after them.”

When asked for comment, PANDA (People Against National Defense Authorization Act) Jason Casella  had this to say about Paul’s remarks: “Though it’s excellent to see the Indefinite detention provisions and laws of war now contained in the NDAA are finally a topic of discussion for presidential hopefuls, the rest of the country has been taking action for years. It remains to be seen if the discussion moves to action in the 2016 races, but time and again it has been proven that if the people of America want their rights protected, it will be the people themselves to do it.”

Some of Senator Paul’s potential primary opponents have also weighed in on the NDAA:

Ted Cruz (S-TX), also a vocal opponent of the provision, stated this in his reasoning for voting against the 2014 NDAA:

“I voted against the National Defense Authorization Act. I am deeply concerned that Congress still has not prohibited President Obama’s ability to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens arrested on American soil without trial or due process.”

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on U.S. citizens suspected of having ties with Al Qaeda under NDAA section 1021 guidelines: “And when they say, ‘I want my lawyer,’ you tell them: ‘Shut up. You don’t get a lawyer.” (Source)

NH State Senator Kevin Avard had this to say about Senator Paul’s presentation:

“We need to be the party that defends not only the 2nd amendment but the 1st and 4th and 5th, meaning all the Bill of Rights and reach out to all groups in our society. National defense is the highest priority but so also is our national debt which is as much a part of our security.”

The most recent poll (NBC News/Marist) taken in New Hampshire has Senator Paul in 3rd place at 14% behind current Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at 15% and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at 18%.

While the Senator has libertarian leaning roots, some in the Libertarian Party are split on Paul’s GOP candidacy. According to The Daily Beast, Nevada LP Chair Brett H. Pojunis stated that “‘Libertarian’ is now just a buzzword for Republicans like the Kentucky Senator. If Senator Paul was a libertarian: Well, OK then—join the Libertarian Party!”

With many undecided voters lingering in the Granite State, Paul’s presentation made this impression on NH resident Keith DeSantis:

“Senator Rand Paul emphasized not only the importance of the Bill of Rights, but why the Bill of Rights are important. His platform is focused on defending the entire Bill of Rights, instead of a single right or issue. It’s the message I think that appeals to a lot of people on both sides of the political spectrum.”

Main Stream Press Silent on Indefinite Detention’s threat to every American

One of the most under reported issues of 2014 has been Indefinite Detention.

So kudos to the Pontiac Tribune for featuring a story about PANDA, People Against The NDAA.

The goal of the group is stop and raise awareness about the NDAA, National Defense Authorization Act.

“The NDAA was actually declared unconstitutional by Federal Judge Katherine Forrest in Hedges v Obama.  Judge Katherine Forrest was appointed by the Obama administration, by the way…  The very next day, the Obama administration requested an emergency stay and it was granted by another judge. As a result, the NDAA is still in full swing today. This is just another example of how the courts have failed us and it is up to us locally to stop this,” wrote the Pontiac Tribune.

PANDA has done an incredible job in 2014 to educate the public about the NDAA and activate activists nationwide.

Cook recently asked Jason Casella, Idaho PANDA leader, about his thoughts on how the main stream press covered the NDAA. 

Cook asked, “Do you think that the main stream press under reported issues pertaining to NDAA?”

“I can count the number of times I have heard about the NDAA on main stream news,” said Casella.

This spring Casella successfully lobbied his county to ban the NDAA. That victory has been used as a template for other activists to do the same throughout the U.S. Listen to the exclusive interview here.

BenSwann.com will continue to report on this issue which is being under reported in the main stream press.

Supreme Court Denies NDAA Lawsuit

Contact: presschief@pandaunite.org

BOWLING GREEN – On September 12th, 2012, Federal District Judge Katherine B. Forrest issued a permanent injunction against enforcement of Section 1021 of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. In July 2013, the 2nd Circuit ruled the plaintiffs did not have standing to challenge that law.

Monday, the Supreme Court put the final nail in this suit by denying to hear the case, without comment.

The lawsuit at issue, Hedges v. Obama, was brought in early 2012 by a group of journalists, scholars and activists. Containing such noted figures as Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, journalist Chris Hedges, and others, this “Freedom 7” challenged Section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA as unconstitutionally overbroad.

This section determines who is covered by the 2012 NDAA, and contains such vague terms as “substantial support” “direct support,” and “belligerent act” and, if one falls under one of these terms, they could be subject to indefinite military detention without charge or trial.

Dan Johnson, PANDA National Director, said:

“In 1944 the Supreme Court approved the pre-emptive detention of over 110,000 Japanese-Americans. The Court’s denial 70 years later proves that we cannot rely on 9 people in black robes to defend our freedom.

It is now up to the states, cities, counties, and people of this nation to show the Supreme Court that it is not the final arbiter of our human rights. As 5 cities have already done so, I urge Americans across the country to begin action to ban these sections in their communities, raise awareness, and push back against this denial. If Washington D.C. thinks this is the last they will hear from us, they are very, very wrong.”

In a statement on the outcome of this denial, lead plaintiff Tangerine Bolen wrote:

“We are no longer a nation ruled by laws. We are nation ruled by men who have so steeped themselves in a false narrative that at the same time they are exponentially increasing the ranks of terrorists, they are destroying the rule of law itself. It is madness upon madness – the classic tale of becoming the evil you purport to fight while believing you remain righteous. “

If the outcome of this lawsuit does not cement the fact that the courts will not defend the Constitution, nor our rights with it, there is little more evidence to be presented. The Federal tier has failed us. The states, localities, and eventually the people, are where we will stand. As we resist, the work of the plaintiffs will not be forgotten.

Grab the packet and start taking back your city: http://pandaunite.org/takeback/

Invite others to get breaking news from the NDAA Resistance: https://tinyletter.com/pandaunite

PANDA “Take Back” Update by Dan Johnson
P.O. Box 653 Bowling Green, Ohio 43402 USA

Idaho Town Does the Honors of Banning Federal NDAA Indefinite Detention

Detaining Americans indefinitely, without trial, through the use of military force is well established. Every year since its inception in 2012, President Obama has re-extended the provisions. The idea of American military members detaining you without a trial, for an indefinite amount of time, is eye opening to some, and that’s exactly why states have begun to slowly but surely nullify federal detention.

The state legislature isn’t the only body that can reject NDAA powers. There are also the county bodies: both the states along with their divided counties have been on the offensive. Having success most recently are Idaho’s council members in Emmett who passed NDAA-blocking legislation by a count of 5 to 1. The “Restoring Constitutional Governance Resolution” effectively rejects the enforcement of indefinite detention.

Emmett’s legislation recommends to the Idaho state body a similar legislative bill that would bar federal officials from detaining an Idahoan without trial. The resolution states, “…it is unconstitutional, and therefore unlawful for any person to: a. arrest or capture any person in Emmett, or citizen of Emmett, within the United States, with the intent of “detention under the law of war,” or b. actually subject a person in Emmett, to “disposition under the law of war,” or c. subject any person to targeted killing in Emmett, or citizen of Emmett, within the United States,” pushing federal agents away from the county, specifically.

An advocacy group that’s specializing in the fight against NDAA powers is People Against the National Defense Authorization Act (PANDA), which celebrated the victory in Emmett. PANDA called the passage a growth to the “tidal wave of cities banning provisions” regarding the NDAA’s indefinite detention power. Areas such as Albany, New York, and Webster Maine have also taken part in the movement.

The Idaho coordinator and leader for PANDA, Jason Casella told readers in a statement, “Once you stop and do your own research, you find how egregious this truly is and how this is not about ‘left’ or ‘right;’ this is about freedom vs. tyranny.” Casella’s message isn’t a shy one either, nor is it lonesome. Americans from state to state are realizing the possible dangerous provisions held by Obama’s administration, and find it in their best interest to block those measures locally.

When the town of Emmett decided in favor of blocking the NDAA’s detainment powers, town onlookers erupted in applause for the efforts by their elected members. Just recently, Michigan also decided to push the ban on federal officials practicing trial-less detainment. What’s become a clear message by locals around the country has yet to be heard through the shallow walls of Washington, though.

New Hampshire Lawmakers Hopeful to Nullify NDAA Indefinite Detention

Two years ago when President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law, civil libertarians were put to the test in terms of government overstep. Of course, indefinite detention provisions that allow the military to detain any American without trial were included in the 2012 NDAA package. Libertarians have taken their work at combating what they believe is totalitarianism to the state level.

Backed by civil libertarian advocacy groups, dozens of state lawmakers have not only started the process of introducing anti-indefinite detention legislation to their bodies, but have also began changing government power conversation, completely. The most recent legislator to embrace anti-indefinite detention legislation is Timothy O’Flaherty of New Hampshire. Other legislators, both Republican and Democrat, have also sponsored it.

The Liberty Preservation Act, prescribed by the Tenth Amendment Center (TAC), would nullify federal provisions pertaining to NDAA detention in the “Live Free or Die” state.

Specifically, the legislation reads: “No New Hampshire agency, political subdivision, or employee of either acting in his or her official capacity, and no member of the New Hampshire national guard when such member is serving in the national guard, may knowingly engage in any activity that aids an agency of or the armed forces of the United States in the execution of 50 U.S.C. section 1541 as provided by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, Public Law 112-18, section 1021 or any other similar law, order or regulation.”

Once back in session on January 8th, the House Committee on State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs will debate and hear further arguments for the passage of O’Flaherty’s bill. New Hampshire hasn’t been the only state in the past year to introduce anti-indefinite detention legislation. Other states include California, Montana, Virginia and New York, to name a few, where some have failed and others have passed into law.

Obama Extends Indefinite Detention into 2014 while Parading Gitmo “Reform”

Article submitted by guest contributor Ezra Van Auken.


On the last day of 2011, President Obama signed into law a massive military budget for the 2012 fiscal year. He also approved new provisions that gave power to the military branch. Although the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has hardly received mainstream attention for its lengthy spending receipts, after the 2012 NDAA was passed, it seemed the infamous acronym was catching on quickly.

Inside 2012’s NDAA legislation were two new provisions: 1021 and 1022, both of which are currently valid. The first, provision 1021, hands and affirms the President’s authority to detain American citizens on the grounds that the acting citizens had been involved with belligerent acts against US interests. While that legislative move alone sounds simple and reasonable, it only gets worse – as if civil libertarian-backers haven’t already become disgruntled.

In addition to the President being able to detain any American on the assumption that they’re involved with belligerent acts, he assumed the power to detain the citizen without trial.

Overlooking habeas corpus, the military branch can detain Americans without any due process, and only after the end of hostilities does the government have to allow a trial. And, provision 1022 doesn’t get much better.

Provision 1022 states that the right to detain a person in military custody does not extend to US citizens, and that requirement to detain a person in custody under the section doesn’t extend to lawful residents of the US, except when permitted by the Constitution. In other words, the administration isn’t required to keep a citizen in custody, but it doesn’t have to release the detained citizen either.

Those opposed to the NDAA, including civil libertarians and other Constitutional advocates, are calling Obama’s signing the first step into an unknown legal space of totalitarianism. Groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Tenth Amendment Center (TAC) have called the move everything from “dangerous” and “illegal”, and have even said that policymakers dropped the ball, allowing the Executive branch to “kidnap” Americans.

Despite the controversy over the government power grab, President Obama didn’t hesitate to sign into law the 2014 NDAA, extending both of these provisions. The President signed the 2014 NDAA provisions into law without an ounce of indication that provisions 1021 and 1022 would be eliminated, debated or refined. Instead, Obama transferred attention to the reformation of Guantanamo Bay’s policies.

Admitting that secret detentions without trial cause harm to international relations, President Obama said the 2014 provisions regarding Gitmo are “an improvement over current law and [are] a welcome step toward closing the facility” while recognizing that Gitmo really isn’t close at all to being closed – something on which Obama campaigned heavily in 2008.

Overall, the administration acquires more workability and command with returning detainees to their native countries; however, it doesn’t change the ban for transferring detainees to American facilities. The likelihood of this process accelerating at all is grim, due to the loose connections with foreign countries such as Yemen. “The detention facility at Guantanamo continues to impose significant costs on the American people,” Obama concluded.
So, while the President unrolls his administration’s bread and circus for the minor Gitmo policy move, which likely won’t even play a productive role in streamlining the process of returning detainees to their home countries, the President remains quiet on other provisions that are showing significant costs on the American people – namely provisions 1021 and 1022 – policy changes that no one in the White House seems to want to address or even discuss.

Breaking: Michigan nullifies NDAA Indefinite Detention

Guantanamo Bay Prison

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) signed into law yesterday SB0094. The bill attempts to nullify Section 1021 of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Michigan joins other states who have sought to nullify the NDAA’s controversial indefinite detention clause.

SB0094 sponsor Michigan Senator Rick Jones (R) told us:

“Historically Michigan first asserted 10th Amendment rights in 1855 when we passed a law to block the Fugitive Slave Act. I thought of this great history as I pushed the bill to nullify the NDAA. No US citizen should have to fear being thrown into jail or prison without charges. I got support from both sides of the political spectrum. With the Governor’s signature, Michigan states no local police, state police, sheriff or Michigan National Guard will assist the feds with holding a US citizen without Habeas Corpus.”

Senate Bill No. 94 reads:

  • AN ACT to prohibit any agency of this state, any political subdivision of this state, any employee of any agency of this state or any political subdivision of this state, or any member of the Michigan national guard from assisting an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the investigation, prosecution, or detainment of any citizen of the United States under certain circumstances.
  • No agency of this state, no political subdivision of this state, no employee of an agency of this state or a political subdivision of this state acting in his or her official capacity, and no member of the Michigan national guard on active state service shall aid an agency of the armed forces of the United States in any investigation, prosecution, or detention of any person pursuant to section 1021 of the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2012, if such aid would place that state agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the Michigan national guard in violation of the United States constitution, the state constitution of 1963, or any law of this state… (Read the rest of the bill HERE)

According to Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey:

“This is a great step forward in protecting the basic due process rights of people in Michigan and gives activists there something to build on. Moving forward, I would love to see the Michigan legislature expand the policy in two ways. First, I would like to see it include protection for all people, not just U.S. citizens. After all, every person has a right to basic due process, no matter who they are or where they are from. Second, I would like to see a bill expanding the ban on cooperation to any future federal law or regulation that purports to allow indefinite detention. No federal act can justify kidnapping. None.”

Maharrey does note that the bill needs some work. He calls it “a fantastic start.”

“By including a caveat – “if such aid would place that state agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the Michigan national guard in violation of the United States constitution, the state constitution of 1963, or any law of this state”  – the bill is not an express prohibition.  Rather, since no official determination has been made on such constitutionality as of yet, it leaves the decision of constitutionality to discretion. But, the new law does provide legal backing for those sheriffs, law enforcement officers, and other agencies and employees, who refuse to assist the federal government in such activities based on their own constitutional determination.”

The bill’s bite is rooted is anti-commandeering doctrine. This doctrine, which has been well established by the United States Supreme Court (Printz v. United States), dictates that the federal government cannot force state legislatures to enforce federal laws.

According to Justice Scalia’s majority opinion in Printz v. United States, state legislatures are not subject to federal direction. Although Congress may enforce its own laws, they may not force the states to carry out their duties in such laws. According to the Court, the Constitution establishes a system of dual sovereignty where states and the federal government exercise concurrent authority. Giving Congress the power to force states in to service would greatly enhance federal power, and the Court ruled this could not stand.

Follow Michael Lotfi on Facebook & on Twitter @MichaelLotfi

NSA, NDAA, Real ID Act | Rep. Justin Amash says Congress must correct dangerous path

Leaders in Washington are fighting direct threats to liberty: the NDAA, the Real ID act, and NSA programs.

In an interview with the DailyCaller.com, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) said, “I think it’s scary the direction the government is going, regardless of whether you have a Republican President or a Democratic President. We have an executive branch that is getting way too powerful, and President Obama is setting the stage for something very dangerous in the future.”

“I think as a Congress we have to step up and point out when the President is going beyond his constitutional powers, which is frequent, and we have got to do something about it and we haven’t done that as a Congress,” he said.


Sen. Ted Cruz (R – T.X.), echoed Amash’s concern when he released a statement regarding the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):

“I voted against the National Defense Authorization Act. I am deeply concerned that Congress still has not prohibited President Obama’s ability to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens arrested on American soil without trial or due process.”

“I hope that next year the Senate and the House can come together in a bipartisan way to recognize the importance of our constitutional rights even in the face of ongoing terrorist threats and national security challenges. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Senate Armed Services Committee toward this common goal.”

According to Joe Wolverton, II, J.D, the new version of the NDAA expands federal powers even further.

“The NDAA included provisions that purported to authorize the president of the United States to deploy the U.S. military to apprehend and indefinitely detain any person (including an American citizen) who he believes “represent[s] an enduring security threat to the United States,” said Wolverton.

The Real ID is a big concern, as well. Though some states have nullified the law, 21 states are already compliant, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Earlier this year, Sen. Rand Paul (R – K.Y.) spoke against a National ID.

“Forcing Americans to carry around an identification card to affirmatively prove citizenship offends our basic concept of freedom. Wanting to avoid a “papers, please” culture in our country is also why conservatives oppose federal universal gun background checks. We oppose such measures not because we don’t believe in common-sense rules or regulation — but because we are wary of giving the federal government this kind of centralized power over our daily lives,” said Paul.

Despite Paul’s protest, the Department of Homeland Security will begin enforcing REAL ID in 2014.

According to HStoday.com, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the enforcement of the REAL ID Act will begin in April, 2014.  The enforcement will start in steps within restricted areas of DHS headquarters, followed by a phased approach with substantial enforcement in 2016.

Critics of Real ID compare the proposed “papers, please” culture to Nazi Germany. Scenes in movies like The Pianist and Schindler’s List show citizens forced to produce identity cards to authorities.

This week, Michael Morell, the former acting director of the CIA and a member of President Obama’s task force on surveillance, insisted that the NSA is not spying on Americans. Yet, he is now calling for the expansion of surveillance that targets emails.

“I would argue that what effectiveness we have seen to date is totally irrelevant to how effective it might be in the future,” he said. “This program, 215 (a section under the Patriot Act), has the ability to stop the next 9/11 and if you added emails in there it would make it even more effective. Had it been in place in 2000 and 2001, I think that probably 9/11 would not have happened.” Morell told the National Journal.

As reported by Benswann.com’s Michael Lotfi, a federal judge ruled that the National Security Agency’s (NSA) collection of information on all phone calls likely violates the Constitution.

President Obama, members of the Republican Party and unelected bureaucrats continue to usurp the rights of Americans, but Amash, Cruz and Paul continue to resist the abuse of federal powers.

This year Sen. Harry Reid (D – N.V.) called them “tea party anarchists” and Sen. John McCain (R – A.Z.) called them, “wacko birds,” but many Americans called them heroes because they fought for limited government and civil liberties. Leaders like Cruz and Paul are soaring in popularity and building a broad-based coalition, but will it be enough to correct the “dangerous path” Amash warns us about?


Mom Passionately Pleads Against the NDAA

In a typical government meeting, public comments are near the beginning. At this particular Clark County (Nevada) Commission meeting, there were two sets of comments: the beginning and the end of the meeting.

Daphne Lee had to wait to the end of the meeting, which was 8 hours including a 1-hour lunch break.

Needless to say, when she was finally given the chance to be heard by her elected officials, she was visibly shaken, but what followed were passionate words against the National Defense Authorization Act.

Her goal was to persuade the commissioners to vote on a resolution, which had already passed the Las Vegas City Council. If it passed, it would be the first Joint City/County Resolution passed in response to the NDAA.

“I don’t understand why I’m being ignored on this. It’s serious,” she pleaded. The resolution would help in “protecting the rights of due process, asking the police department to not assist in a federal agent coming in and taking someone without the right of due process.”

She explained in the bill, passed on Dec. 31, 2011, tucked away gave our government permission for the indefinite detention of any person merely suspected of, not convicted, of committing a belligerent act against our government, including United State citizens.

“Senator Graham defended those provisions by saying that our country is part of the battle. He now believes that the United States is part of the battlefield and that the laws of war should apply here in our country, because we’re fighting an endless, nameless war on terror,” she said.

She finished by explaining that the resolution was not perfect, since it was just voicing dissent and not prohibiting the invasion of U.S. citizen’s personal freedoms.


Two Cities Stop NDAA Indefinite Detention, Even for Feds

On December 31st, 2011, President Barack Obama signed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which, besides providing funding for our troops, authorized the indefinite detention of any person, including American citizens, on U.S. soil.

Some cities however, aren’t taking that lying down.

Last week, two cities, Albany, NY and Oxford, MA, passed resolutions clarifying that the “law of war,” and anything associated with it under Section 1021 (c) of the 2012 NDAA or otherwise, is unlawful to implement by any person…which includes everyone from international police forces (such as INTERPOL) and Federal agents to state and local police.

The Oxford, MA resolution states:

“…it is unconstitutional, and therefore unlawful for any person to:

a. arrest or capture any person in Oxford, or citizen of Oxford, within the United States, with the intent of “detention under the law of war,” or

b. actually subject a person in Oxford, to “disposition under the law of war,” or

c. subject any person to targeted killing in Oxford, or citizen of Oxford, within the United States;…”

Although one might expect a resolution targeted at the actions within the 2012 NDAA to specifically mention the law, the result of these resolutions is interposition against the “law of war,” the backbone of indefinite military detention, torture, and extrajudicial execution in America. The result of these resolutions is not just noncompliance, but interposition.

In Oxford, MA and Albany, NY, no local, state, federal, or international agent can now implement the 2012 NDAA, any federal or international law, or any state law that attempts to apply the law of war, except to those serving in the military which it is typically applied to, inside the city. If they attempt to, local officers must intervene, or “interpose,” to stop the citizen’s Constitutional rights from being violated.

Both resolutions passed with overwhelming support from a vast nonpartisan coalition of activists, supported by People Against the NDAA (PANDA), including the Patriot Coalition, Project SALAM, Occupy Albany, the Worcester Tea Party, Campaign for Liberty New York, and many other organizations. In Oxford, the people voted overwhelmingly for this “Restoring Constitutional Governance (RCG)” resolution, and the Albany Common Council voted a similar resolution in 11-0.

PANDA Massachusetts State Team Leader Benjamin Selecky noted that the job is not quite done:

“As we celebrate the victory, let us not lose sight of the long road ahead of us.  There is work that still needs to be done, but together, we will restore constitutional governance to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

He is right. Legislatively, the job is accomplished. However, a resolution, like any law, is just a piece of paper unless it is enforced. PANDA plans to not only approach local peace officers with the resolution, but to set up a citizen-based “Rapid Response Team” in both cities to watch over the implementation of this resolution.

This approach of defying unConstitutional Federal authority is now starting to take hold across the nation. Just last month, Klamath County, Oregon issued a proclamation using the exact same language as the RCG resolution, and over the next few weeks it will be introduced in several towns and cities in Massachusetts, Oregon, and around the country.

This tidal wave of cities standing up for their citizens’ rights is part of PANDA’s Take Back the Town Campaign, a decentralized approach to blocking one of the most egregious laws in America. This “Take Back” packet, provided by PANDA, gives any person all the tools they need, including the support of the leading Anti-NDAA organization in America, to stop NDAA indefinite detention in their own city.

You can download that packet here: http://pandaunite.org/takeback/

Whether through NSA wiretaps or extrajudicial executions, the United States government continues to overstep its boundaries. Yet if this fight against the NDAA is any indication, America’s cities might not take it lying down.


California Governor Jerry Brown Signs NDAA Indefinite Detention Nullification Bill Into Law
California Governor Jerry Brown Signs NDAA Indefinite Detention Nullification Bill Into Law

Assembly Bill (AB) 351 was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown yesterday. California is the third state to have passed legislation, which nullifies the unpopular federal provision. A selection of  AB 351 reads:

The United States Constitution and the California Constitution provide for various civil liberties and other individual rights for a citizen of the United States and the State of California, including the right of habeas corpus, the right to due process, the right to a speedy and public trial, and the right to be informed of criminal charges brought against him or her.

Certain provisions of federal law affirm the authority of the President of the United States to use all necessary and appropriate force to detain specified persons who engaged in terrorist activities.
This bill would prohibit an agency in the State of California, a political subdivision of this state, an employee of an agency or a political subdivision of this state, as specified, or a member of the California National Guard, on official state duty, from knowingly aiding an agency of the Armed Forces of the United States in any investigation, prosecution, or detention of a person within California pursuant to (1) Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA), (2) the federal law known as the Authorization for Use of Military Force, enacted in 2001, or (3) any other federal law, except as specified, if the state agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the California National Guard would violate the United States Constitution, the California Constitution, or any law of this state by providing that aid. The bill would also prohibit local entities from knowingly using state funds and funds allocated by the state to those local entities on and after January 1, 2013, to engage in any activity that aids an agency of the Armed Forces of the United States in the detention of any person within California for purposes of implementing Sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA or the federal law known as the Authorization for Use of Military Force , if that activity would violate the United States Constitution, the California Constitution, or any law of this state, as specified.

The bill’s common name is “The California Liberty Preservation Act.” California’s legislation takes things a step further than other states, which have implemented nullification legislation with regard to the NDAA.

The bill specifically states:
It is the policy of this state to refuse to provide material support for or to participate in any way with the implementation within this state of any federal law that purports to authorize indefinite detention of a person within California. (emphasis added)

This meaning the legislation takes aim at not only the NDAA provision, but any federal law, which seeks to disregard one’s constitutional rights.

Democrats and republicans worked together to sponsor and pass the legislation. The bill was introduced by ultra-conservative Tim Donnelly, and managed by San Francisco liberal-democrat Mark Leno.

Nullification has broken barriers in the political world not seen since Reagan won every state in the country in 1984 except Minnesota, home of challenger Mondale (D).

Nullification is able to do this because the federal government has put its hands in far too many pies. Liberals passionate about marijuana legalization and privacy rights find refuge in nullification. Meanwhile, conservatives passionate about the federal reserve, taxes and guns find refuge as well.

The Tenth Amendment Center stands in as the moderator working to nullify all unconstitutional laws in every state. They have provided model legislation to nullify indefinite detention in each state.

Tenth Amendment Center’s national communications director Mike Mike Maharrey tells us-
“Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle came together and passed legislation to protect against federal kidnapping,” adding that, “by saying, ‘No!’ to indefinite detention and refusing any state cooperation, the California legislature and Gov. Brown just ensured it will be very hard to whisk somebody away in the dead of night and hold them without due process.”

Exclusive: Albany New York’s City Council Attempting To Block NDAA

Attempts to block or end indefinite detention of U.S. citizens simply suspected of association with terrorism, has come to Albany, New York. For well over a year I have reported on the enormous Constitutional problems with the National Defense Authorization Act’s Section 1021. That section of the bill, which funds military operations, allows for the indefinite detention of any American simply accused of terrorism until the end of the “hostilities between the United States and Al Qaeda, the Taliban or associated forces.”

Despite the lack of political will by the U.S. Congress to intervene and declare this provision of the NDAA as unconstitutional, there is a new battlefront for those who oppose indefinite detention… the local level.

Albany, New York has just become the center of that fight. One week ago, Ward 11 Common Councilman Anton Konev introduced a resolution “OPPOSING THE INDEFINITE MILITARY DETENTION WITHOUT TRIAL OF ANY PERSON, INCLUDING US CITIZENS”

I talked with Konev who says that under this resolution, Albany’s local law enforcement would be banned from assisting federal authorities in enforcing military detention of U.S. and non-U.S. citizens.

“Here in Albany we believe in protecting civil liberties and rights of our residents. The resolution specifically opposes indefinite military detention without trial of any person who is a resident of the city of Albany or is simply visiting the city of Albany.” says Konev.

The resolution has seven co-sponsors and only needs an eighth in order to be passed and become law in the capital of New York. The language would make it the toughest local NDAA ordinance in the nation. The resolution in part reads:

“Instruct all our public agencies to decline requests by federal agencies acting under detention powers granted by the NDAA, or similar law or authority that could infringe upon residents’ freedom of speech, religion, assembly, privacy, or rights to counsel;

Expect all federal and state law enforcement officials acting within the City to work in accordance with local law, and in cooperation with the Albany Police Department, by allowing any detainees not serving “in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger” among Albany’s residents or visitors access to a trial, counsel and due process, including under Article III, the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments of the Constitution of the United States;”

The due process clause, Councilman Konev says, is what this resolution is all about. He believes that in order to protect the Constitutional rights of the people of Albany, council must be willing to take stand.

“As somebody with a Russian background who was born in the Soviet Union, I know that there is such a thing as “no rights” and I am proud to be an American citizen and proud to be an elected official in the the capital of the state of New York. This is about protecting our residents.”


Konev, who has been working with Dan Johnson and the organization PANDA, says that he is encouraged by the number of council members who currently support the resolution. In fact, he expects an eighth member of council will sign on by the time the issue comes up for a vote on October 7, 2013. On October 2nd council will take up this resolution for discussion.

“I believe we have three members who are very close to signing on and I believe that we have only four members who are leaning toward voting against this resolution. Unfortunately, we have some people on council who have bought into the propaganda that the NDAA is constitutional and a right of government to be able to detain somebody somewhere under some special powers and they say that the NDAA is constitutional. But here in the city of Albany it is clear that we must protect these rights.”

You can learn more about this fight over the NDAA at www.takebackalbany.com