Breaking the major news media's blackout on the most radical elimination of American rights in U.S. history, Professor of Law Jonathan Turley speaks to BBC on the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 (NDAA), which allows for the indefinite military detention of US citizens without charge or trial in violation of the right to a jury trial guaranteed by the Constitution.
Professor Turley addresses Obama's NDAA "signing statement" which seeks to downplay this broad new claim of authority, and the entire context of government encroachment on American rights since 9/11. He points out Obama's recent claim of presidential authority to order any American citizen assassinated without charge or trial when deemed suspected of terrorism, and the veil of secrecy which surrounds government proceedings for deciding who is and who is not a "terrorist."
For more information on NDAA go to
NDAA Primer, Pertinent Sections with Commentary
(b) COVERED PERSONS.—A covered person under this section is any person as follows:
(1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks.
(2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forcesthat are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.
COMMENT: "Substantial support" of an "associated force" may imply citizens engaged in innocuous, First Amendment activities. Direct support of such hostilities in aid of enemy forces may be construed as free speech opposition to U.S. government policies, aid to civilians, or acts of civil disobedience. Rep. Tom McClintock opposed the bill on the House floor saying it: "specifically affirms that the President has the authority to deny due process to any American it charges with "substantially supporting al Qaeda, the Taliban or any 'associated forces'" — whatever that means. Would "substantial support" of an "associated force," mean linking a web-site to a web-site that links to a web-site affiliated with al-Qaeda? We don't know."
(c) DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR.—The disposition of a person under the law of war as described in subsection (a) 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.
(2) Trial under chapter 47A of title 10, United States Code (as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2009 (title XVIII of Public Law 111-- 84)).
(3) Transfer for trial by an alternative court or competent tribunal having lawful jurisdiction.
(4) Transfer to the custody or control of the person's country of origin, any other foreign country, or any other foreign entity.
(d) CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this section is intended to limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.
(e) AUTHORITIES.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.
COMMENT: "Existing law" is Fourth Circuit in Jose Padilla.
Section 1022 "(b) APPLICABILITY TO UNITED STATES CITIZENS AND LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS":
(1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS.—The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.
COMMENT: Even if US citizens are not "required" to be detained by the military in terrorism cases, it is still "allowed."