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Military power goes too far

As United States citizens, we are often told about the horrors of the police state. Soldiers patrolling throughout cities, rifles at the ready to arrest and detain anyone engaging in suspicious behavior, with no one to answer to except for themselves.

Most of us would like to believe that this type of atrocious action could never occur on home soil. However, thanks to the recent passing of the National Defense Authorization Act, these ideas may hit closer to home than we would like.

The National Defense Authorization Act, which was recently passed in the Senate by a 93-7 majority, includes provisions for the military to detain American citizens without filing charges if they are simply suspected of being terrorists.

Many military figures, including FBI director Robert Mueller and Secretary of Defense Leon Paetta, have vehemently encouraged President Obama to veto this bill and have flat-out told the Senate that they do not want this power.

That is right. The U.S. Senate is giving the power of police to entities that do not want it.

Of course, these acts cannot be as heinous as some senators fear, right? Surely the constitution would protect anyone from being wrongfully harmed by unlawful imprisonment? Well, the problem with that is that this bill throws out so many Constitutional rights.

The right of those accused of treason to hear testimony from witnesses against them, as guaranteed in Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution? Gone. The protections against unreasonable search and seizure without probably cause (Fourth Amendement) and cruel and unusual punishment (Eighth Amendment)? Also gone. Same with the right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.

This bill moves the United States several steps closer to a police state. All it would take to imprison a U.S. citizen for terrorism would be the word of a high ranking military official, or even the president.

With the heavy-handed police response seen at recent Occupy encampments, is it very far-fetched to imagine the definition of “terrorism” to quickly expand? Look for escalation of the highest order to happen over time as the government finds more reasons to unlawfully, or make that now lawfully, lock away people.

President Obama has tentatively agreed to veto this bill, as per the demands of everyone in the country. However, because this has gone through Senate by such an enormous majority, it can still go into effect.

NDAA is the sort of act that really brings the terror that we have often heard, but never had to experience. There in lies the problem that most of these senators have not recognized. Do these people not realize “1984” was not supposed to be an instruction manual? At this rate we will not have to wait for terrorists to threaten our rights; we would already be destroying them ourselves.

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