Ron Paul was not present to vote on the NDAA this month. Apparently Ron Paul has not taken any time to read the relevant portions of the bill because he is now warning us that the NDAA is our next step on the road to totalitarianism. I guess he also does not employ any staff who read the law because if he did, he would not have made these statements: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/gop-presidential-primary/201335-rep-paul-says-defense-bill-assures-descent-into-totalitarianism
I know there is a lot of misinformation about this bill pertaining to the detainee language but it does not allow the military to take custody of U.S. citizens! It gives the military jurisdiction over terrorists caught outside the United States. Why? Because this way the Obama Administration cannot even attempt to bring terrorists caught in foreign countries to the U.S., give them Constitutional rights and a trial in civilian courts!
In regards to the NDAA detainee language. The detainee language in the NDAA does not allow for the detention of U.S. Citizens by the military. If you read the relevant portions of the bill that pertain to detainees, it does specify Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Section 1021 says:
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 forces that 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.
Therefore, the detainee language that people are concerned about, only pertains to the people who were involved in the 9/11/01 attacks; Al-Qaeda; Taliban; or associated forces (groups like Haqqani Network or al-Shabab). Also, to ensure that “associated forces,” cannot be understood or interpreted to include U.S. Citizens, subparagraph (e) of the same section states:
(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.
The next section of the NDAA is entitled, “Section 1022: Military Custody for Foreign Al-Qaeda Terrorists.” The people who can be held in military custody are those defined as “Covered Persons,” that I quoted above. Within section 1022 it states:
(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.
(2) LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS.—The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.
This section explicitly states that a U.S. Citizen cannot be detained in military custody. Nor can lawful resident aliens. Any U.S. Citizens who engages in terrorism, or any other type of criminal activity are entitled to the rights enumerated in the Constitution. Specifically the 5th Amendment states that no person can be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. Every citizen is entitled to due process and nobody, not even the President, can waive this. A U.S. Citizen cannot be detained indefinitely.
Also, in regards to the military arresting people. Federal Law, 18 U.S.C. 1935, also known as the Posse Comitatus Act, prevents the military from conducting law enforcement activities within the United States unless it is allowed by the Constitution or an Act of Congress. Congress has made no such act. The NDAA does not allow the military to operate in a law enforcement capacity within the U.S, that is the job of the FBI and domestic law enforcement.
This bill does not limit any citizen’s rights, it merely allows the military to detain Al-Qaeda, Taliban, and other foreign terrorists that they capture on foreign soil. Groups like the ACLU and Amnesty International who oppose the military detaining terrorists have spread rumors about this NDAA in order to scare people. The ACLU want people opposed to the NDAA detainee language because they think terrorists captured in Afghanistan should be brought to the U.S. and tried in our civilian courts and given all the rights and privileges that the Constitution affords.
Conclusion: Ron Paul is an idiot.