No More Pernicious Doctrine

Educating ourselves on the gravity of this breach of Constitutional Law is vital as we face the coming year. BOTH parties are complicit. Both parties have either been bought into supporting S 1867, National Defense Authorization Act, now signed into Law. it is another one of those over-sized, stuffed bills that apparently no one bothered to read – beside the US Constitution – to determine its Constitutionality. FAIL! We need to pay attention, friends, and do what we can do!

from the Oathkeepers website

The NDAA of 2012 is the single most dangerous and destructive anti-constitutional piece of legislation to ever pass through Congress since it strikes at the very heart of our Constitution and especially at our Bill of Rights, stripping away not just the ancient right of habeas corpus, but also directly violating the right to jury trial guaranteed by both Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution and by the Sixth Amendment, and also directly violating the Treason Clause of Article III, Section 3, which defines the crime of treason, stating:

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

Thus Article III clearly establishes what must be done with any Americans accused of making war against the United States or aiding the enemy – those Americans must be tried in an Article III civilian court, before a jury of their peers, and there must be two witnesses to the overt act or a confession in open court (extra evidentiary hurdles) before their lives or liberty can be taken from them, as Justices Scalia and Stevens aptly pointed out in their dissent in Hamdi.

Despite that clear constitutional trial remedy for the only crime defined by the Constitution itself, with its extra due process protections for accused Americans, the NDAA purports to instead subject Americans to indefinite military detention without trial for the duration of the war on terrorism – which may last forever – or trial before a military commission, rather than before a civilian jury as Article III plainly demands whenever any American is accused of being a traitor.

GITMO Liberation Camp

The NDAA detention provisions also directly violate the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. There is no more unreasonable seizure of a U.S. citizen or lawful resident than having them black-bagged and “disappeared” by the U.S. military on the mere say so of the President or some subordinate within the Executive Branch, without a showing of probable cause in support of arrest before a neutral judge, and without an indictment by a Grand Jury as is required by the Fifth Amendment. And as already noted, the right to jury trial clearly mandated by Article III and by the Sixth Amendment is grossly violated. Such arbitrary indefinite military detention and military trial of civilians are the hallmarks of repressive dictatorships throughout history.

This act by Congress is but the latest in a long train of abuses begun by the Bush Administration and carried forward by the Obama Administration. The Bush Administration began the assault on the Bill of Rights by using arbitrary military detention on two American citizens, Yaser Hamdi and Jose Padilla, with Padilla “captured” at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport and detained at a military brig in the United States for three and a half years. The Bush Administration based those detentions on a flawed World War II decision, Ex Parte Quirin (1942), wherein the same Supreme Court that gave us the horrendous Korematsu decision ruled, for the first time in U.S. history, upheld as “constitutional” the military detention and trial of American citizens as “unlawful combatants” under the laws of war rather than a trial for treason, in a civilian court, before a jury of their peers, as our Constitution demands whenever any American is accused of making war against the United States or aiding the enemy in wartime… READ MORE

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