Saturday, December 29, 2012

The NDAA Debate is Over: House-1 Constitution-0







By Richard D. Fry (PANDA Legal Team) on December 21st, 2012:


The debate on the NDAA conference bill has just ended. The House will now vote on the bill and no doubt it will pass.

Earlier this morning a D.C. insider indicated to us that leadership had maneuvered to keep opponents from speaking against the bill. Apparently they were successful as only three Representatives rose to speak against it: Nadler (D-NY) Thornberry (R-TX) and Franks (D-MA). Once again “conservative” Republicans are conspicuous in their absence.

Recall that a proposed GOP resolution against the NDAA was killed at the August convention with the help of our own Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Romney supporter and advisor. (It’s on tape.) Romney indicated on two separate occasions that he would have signed the 2012 NDAA.

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler from Missouri spoke in favor of the NDAA. She was grateful for the bacon it was sending to Missouri. Several of the supporters noted the money that the NDAA would put into their states. What unabashed corruption.

Earlier this month House Speaker Boehner’s hatchet committee removed four conservative Congressmen from their respective committees: Tim Huelskamp (KS – Budget Committee), Justin Amash (MI – Budget Committee) and Walter Jones (NH – Financial Services Committee) and David Schweikert (AZ – Financial Services Committee). One thing these four conservatives have in common is that they voted against the NDAA 2012. I guess party comes before the Constitution with Party boys like Boehner and his handers.

The NDAA went to the conference committee with the Feinstein- Lee Amendment but it was stripped out of the bill and a rewrite of Texas Representative Louie Gohmert was slipped into the final conference bill. Feinstein said: “I was saddened and disappointed that we could not take a step forward to ensure at the very least American citizens and legal residents could not be held in detention without charge or trial. To me that was a no-brainer.”

Representative Gohmert in his speech in support of the bill acknowledged that it did not protect U.S. citizens’ constitutional rights including Habeas Corpus when they are outside the country. He said that was a bill for another day. Yes, he supported a bill he acknowledged as being unconstitutional.

Recall that last year Kansas’ Lynn Jenkins sent a joint letter to the conference committee telling then the citizen detention provisions of the 2012 NDAA were unconstitutional and advising them to remove such. Of course the unconstitutional provisions were left in. Yet Jenkins still voted for a bill she knew to be unconstitutional. Subsequently at a 9-12 meeting in Topeka she acknowledged the bill had problems but felt “the Supreme Court will straighten it out…”

The only member of the Kansas federal delegation to stand up for the Constitution has been Tim Heulskamp. The rest including your Senators voted against your bill of rights.

Below is the current status of the NDAA with this provision:

1. By the NDAA and this amendment Congress is asserting it has the authority to deny American citizens and others in the U.S. their constitutional rights, that is false, 

2. This amendment does not protect anyone from being detain on mere suspicion, 

3. This amendment does not ensure a detainee will get any trial let alone a civilian trial, 

4. It implies that U.S. citizens do not have or Congress can take away citizens’ constitutional rights when they are outside the U.S., 

5. It is up to the President and those under his command whether a detainee is simply held, goes before a military commission or is transferred to the civilian authorities for a civilian trail, in the latter event this amendment kicks in, 

6. The Habeas Corpus issue is a red herring as that issue was resolved before the NDAA, 

7. These provisions provide coverage for the President’s assertion he has independent authority to indefinitely detain and assassinate U.S. citizens as the Supreme Court has deferred this issue and decided based on statutory provisions.

What is wrong with our elected officials who either do not understand what their oath to protect the Constitution requires of them or simply disregard such? More to the point what is wrong with “We the People” that allow them to commit what Chief Justice John Marshal called “treason to the Constitution” and then vote for them again.

We are the agents of our own demise.

The NDAA Debate is Over: House-1 Constitution-0

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