COMMENTARY | The Senate is poised to vote on the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2012. Most of the sections of the bill relate to providing funds to the military. Sections 1031 and 1032, though, address something else altogether: Naming not only the entire world but also the U.S. as the military's battleground, as reported by The Washington Post.
It's not unusual for legislators to add sections to bills intended for other uses. It is unusual when these two small sections would, in my opinion, bring America one step closer to becoming a police state.
On the surface, these provisions to allow the military to detain anyone deemed to be a threat to national security by the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State and Director of National Intelligence. "Anyone" includes American citizens living in the U.S. "Anyone" can be detained indefinitely without charges filed or a trial conducted.
Read the bill and see if you don't feel some trepidation at the implications of the military taking over what is currently handled by the civilian justice system. Proponents of sections 1031 and 1032 explain the provisions are included to curtail homemade terrorists. We already have a system to do that.
How difficult is it to imagine people involved in criticism of the federal government such as the Occupy movement can be viewed as a threat to national security? If this provision had been law in the days of the civil rights movement, those active in the movement might have been imprisoned indefinitely under the threat to national security. The same might likely have occurred with the Chicago Seven in the late 1960s.
One of an American citizen's most basic rights is that of a fair trial and representation; locking citizens away without this right brings to mind the Secret Police of Hitler's and Stalin's eras.
Smack dab in the middle of the baby boomer generation , L.L. Woodard is a proud resident of "The Red Man" state. With what he hopes is an everyman's view of life's concerns both in his state and throughout the nation, Woodard presents facts and opinions based on common-sense solutions.