Wednesday, April 11, 2012

CRUSH NDAA: Virginia first state to challenge this law

'I don't know why any legislature would give unfettered power to a Chief Executive. A key supporter of a Virginia bill that would prevent state employees from assisting the federal government’s “unlimited detention” of U.S. citizens is urging the governor to sign the legislation into law.

John W. Whitehead 
John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, is calling on Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell to sign legislation which requires that agencies of the Commonwealth of Virginia, including the Virginia National Guard, not violate the USConstitution and the Constitution of Virginia by helping the armed forces arrest American citizens.

The analysis focuses on several obscure sections of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, which were signed into law by Barack Obama in December. Those sections appear to allow unlimited detentions by U.S. military forces and federal law enforcement agencies of even U.S. citizens without charges or a court hearing. Whitehead points out in a letter to McDonnell that he is in the unique position to affirm the Commonwealth’s commitment to liberty and the rule of law. Moreover, the legislation has broad support from across the political spectrum and the near unanimous support of the Virginia legislature.

Governor Bob McDonnell
As has been observed over the past ten years, the federal government has taken a keen interest in erecting a state of surveillance and compliance, which is evidenced by events such as the passage of the PATRIOT Act, the erection of a massive domestic surveillance network under the authority of the National Security Agency, and most recently, legislation authorizing the use of aerial drones to scan the skies of America,” said Whitehead. “The provision of the NDAA 2012 allowing for the indefinite detention of Americans is one in a long line of federal government abuses in the years since 9/11 and Virginians have had enough.”

While acknowledging that President Obama has claimed that he will not exercise the power of arbitrary military detention of American citizens as allowed in the NDAA 2012, Whitehead insists that the President’s unease is no cure for the systemic dismantling of Americans’ civil liberties currently taking place at the federal level. If enacted, HB 1160 would ensure that the Commonwealth of Virginia would take no part in the slow erosion of Americans’ cherished civil liberties.
Delegate Bob Marshall

The legislation, penned by Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall, has wide support in the Commonwealth. “Interest groups as politically diverse as the American Civil Liberties Union and the John Birch Society are in opposition to the offending provision of the NDAA 2012, said Whitehead. “To veto the measure would not only be a disservice to the Constitutional rights of Virginians, but would go against the popular will of the people of Virginia.”

Marshall contends the law deprives citizens of the rights they are guaranteed under the U.S. and Virginia constitutions. Virginia’s detention prevention bill was adopted by wide margins, 37-1 and 96-4, in both houses of the general assembly.
Herbert W. Titus

The analysis Marshall forwarded was prepared by Herbert W. Titus, a former law school professor and recognized expert on constitutional issues. He currently is on counsel at the Vienna, Va., law firm of William J. Olson, who is former chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Party.

Titus concluded: “Since the governor’s oath includes upholding the constitutions of both the United States and the Commonwealth …. and since both documents secure to the people the rights to a speedy and public trial, confrontation of witnesses, jury trial, and due process of law, it seems reasonable to expect that the governor will sign HB 1160.”

He continued, “In so doing, he would fulfill the historic role of the states as being guardians of the people from usurpations of authority from the central government.” However, he noted that a possible complication for McDonnell is the fact that he was appointed by Barack Obama to the Council of Governors, which was set up in 2010 to help the federal government “on matters related to the National Guard and civil support missions.”

The organization’s duties include sharing information and advice relating to “homeland defense” as well as “synchronization and integration of state and federal military activities within the United States.”

The analysis explains the governor “certainly has the authority to make his own assessment of the federal statute’s constitutionality now, without having to wait for a judicial decision after some person is denied the very rights that the constitution is designed to protect.”
Police Surveillance Drone

Titus concludes, “Thus, it would appear that the only reason why the governor reasonably would veto HB 1160 would be that he believes that NDAA is constitutional – and we certainly trust that is not the case.”

Among the federal law’s section 1021, “which purports to authorize the president of the United States to use the armed forces of the United States to detain American citizens who the president suspects are or have been substantial supports of al-Qaida, the Taliban, or associated forces, and to hold such citizens indefinitely,” according to an analysis of the federal law.

In short, Section 1021 authorizes the president to dispose of American citizens suspected of supporting ‘terrorism’ according to the laws of war, as if the United States soil was a battlefield and her citizens enemy combatants, not entitled to the protections of the Bill of Rights, including the rights to trial by jury, representation by counsel, confrontation of witnesses, and due process of law administered by impartial judges,” the analysis said.

The writ of Habeas Corpus in our Constitution (Article 1, Section 9) is what separates America from dictatorships around the world. Giving anyone the unfettered power to ‘detain’ American citizens without trial, counsel, specific charges, or a public record of such proceedings is unwise, imprudent and at fundamental odds with the assumptions of our government and legal traditions. For an ever more in-depth of "Writ Of Habeas Corpus" please watch video provided below.

In refusing to cooperate with NDAA, the Virginia General Assembly is performing its historic role as explained by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 26 as ‘not only vigilant but suspicious and jealous guardians of the rights of the citizens, against encroachments from the federal government [who] will constantly have their attention awake to the conduct of the national rules and will be ready enough, if anything improper appears, to sound the alarm to the people and not only to be the VOICE but, if necessary, the ARM of their discontent.

The bill (HR 1160) was passed by lawmakers after a large contingent of Japanese-Americans weighed in on the controversial federal plan, which critics say allows the president to detain American citizens without charges or court hearings.
Floyd Mori

Floyd Mori, chief of the Japanese American CitizensLeague, sent a letter to legislators.

During World War II the Japanese American community was targeted as ‘suspected enemy aliens’ and by authority of Presidential Executive Order 9066, over 110,000 people were rounded up and put into concentration camps at 10 desolate locations under the notion that they could be suspects,” he told lawmakers in Virginia.
Japanese Detained During World War II

“This period of indefinite detention lasted until the war ended, and there was no due process as guaranteed by the Constitution. A congressional commission later, through a number of public hearings, found that this was an unjustified act of the government due to war hysteria, racism, and poor government leadership at the time. The government was ordered by an act of Congress to apologize and provide redress in order to learn a lesson that this should never again happen. If there were more who stood up to this injustice, much heartache and economic loss could have been avoided and this apology would not have been needed,” he said.

“Today we face a similar situation. The so-called ‘War on Terror’ has led to the same kind of hysteria and racist actions by government. I can also say that we have lacked the political leadership to identify that this kind of forced indefinite detention is a repeat of what happened during WWII,” he said.

The American people needs to stand up against this injustice. HB 1160 is a tool that does just that; it stands up for the American people by respecting the basic principles of the Constitution.” The Tenth Amendment Center, which is monitoring developments on the issue, reported, “Even President Obama had questions about the bill, when he promised the American people that he would not use the unrestrained powers it granted him – but why should we trust any president with such powers?” Especially this President??

A state agency, and later the Department of Homeland Security, offered warnings that returning veterans, those who oppose abortion and others who advocate conservative issues (Like Myself) could pose a danger to the nation.

The Bill of Rights Defense Committee noted that during the first few weeks of 2012, at least six local jurisdictions have enacted local resolutions opposing the military detention provisions of the NDAA, and a number of states began considering legislation similar to Virginia’s.

The Bill of Rights Defense Committee is working with the Tenth Amendment Center as well as Demand Progress on a campaign to make people aware of the situation.

Among the states that have begun addressing the issue, along with Virginia, are Arizona, Rhode Island, Maryland, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Washington.

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