Occupy and Tea Party Join Forces to Defeat NDAA
Activist Post— In what many activists have been hoping to see for quite a while, it appears that some in the Occupy movement and the Tea Party have finally found a bit of common ground.
Although, over the past year we have seen increasing hostility between the two organizations, loose as they may be, the action in Medford Oregon between Occupy Medford and WakeUp America Southern Oregon, (a group of Conservatives, Libertarians, and Tea Party members) just might the start of a building of bridges over the fault lines between the two movements created by the establishment political system and the mainstream media.
Although the Occupy and Tea Party movements will obviously continue to disagree with one another over issues such as the economy, the fact is that a large portion of both movements can agree that our civil liberties are under threat. After close to a year of bickering and attacking each other, however, it appears that at least some members of both sides are ready to work together on the issues where they both agree. In this instance, it is the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA) – the bill that gives the President the authority to detain American citizens indefinitely without trial by way of the U.S. military.
As Occupy Medford accurately summed up in their press release, published by OpEdNews, on February 12, 2012,
The indefinite detention clauses (sections 1021 and 1022) within this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (signed into law 31 December 2011) are a direct attack upon the civil rights of all Americans, and represent another step taken toward eroding the freedoms which lay at the foundation of our society.
The detention sections of the NDAA begin by “affirm[ing]” that the authority of the President under the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), a joint resolution passed in the immediate aftermath of the September 11th 2001 attacks, includes the power to detain, via the Armed Forces, any person “who was 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,” and anyone who commits a “belligerent act” against the U.S. or its coalition allies in aid of such enemy forces, under the law of war, “without trial, until the end of the hostilities…”. The text also authorizes trial by military tribunal, or “transfer to the custody or control of the person’s country of origin,” or transfer to “any other foreign country, or any other foreign entity.”
After signing the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 into law, President Obama issued a statement on it that addressed “certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of terrorism suspects.” In the statement Obama maintained that “the legislation does nothing more than confirm authorities that the Federal courts have recognized as lawful under the 2001 AUMF. I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens.” The only provision from which U.S. citizens are exempted here is the “requirement” of military detention. For foreign nationals accused of being members of Al Qaeda, military detention is mandatory; for U.S. citizens, it is optional. This section does not exempt U.S citizens from the presidential power of detention [by the military OR civilian agencies such as the CIA/DHS/FBI etc.]: only from the requirement of military detention.