Indefinite detention in the United Police States of America

Congress attempted to pass the National Defense Authorization Act as nothing more than a defense spending bill, an extension of the Pentagon’s budget for the next quarter. However, for the second quarter in a row, this bill contained an eerie, military state-like provision which conjures images of a potential 1984 world.

The 1031 provision shocked activists, NGOs, human rights organizations, and average citizens as a frightening expansion of power in the wake of massive international upheaval.

In its original form, the 1031 provision would allow the government to indefinitely detain, without trial or charge, anyone who had been determined a terrorist or to have aided a terrorist. It sounds like a sequel to the PATRIOT Act, but NDAA’s broad language does not define what qualifies as terrorism, nor does it define what would be considered aiding a terrorist, or if a person would be guilty of aiding a terrorist if they had no knowledge of their classification as such.

ACLU summarizes most concerns about the 1031 provision:

The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield.

Though the intended version stated that any person, citizen or foreign, could be detained under NDAA, the final passed version stated that only non-US citizens are subject to the law. This is consistent with a previous defense spending bill which contained a provision which essentially declared endless, worldwide war. NDAA allows the US to detain those who are deemed enemies.

A new, separate bill, the Enemy Expatriation Act, is fighting to fill in the gaps of  the edited version of NDAA. If passed, EEA would strip any American who is deemed a terrorist of their citizenship, allowing them to be detained under NDAA, because technically, they are no longer citizens.

These bills are not intended to protect Americans from terrorists or ensuring national security. Their only goal is to attempt to stabilize a regime whose domestic support is crumbling and whose international legitimacy is far from certain.

Under NDAA & EEA, we are all Bradley Manning.

-a. dare

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About astriddare

I’m 18. Sometimes I go to a podunk high school. My heart beats for punk rock. I can play both sides of a debate and you’ll never know which one I’m really on – the clinical diagnosis is Borderline, but most people just call it manipulative. Most of the time it helps, but sometimes it's an identity crisis.

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