I’m not really sure what all the flap is about the NDAA/2012 being passed.
The NDAA is a bill that’s passed every year, granting funds for national defense and specifying how those funds may or may not be used.
The only thing different I see this year is that it spells out foreign terrorists part of a terrorist organization who have been caught planning or carrying out a terrorist attack are to be treated as war criminals rather than “simple” criminals. An example would be the Christmas Day Bomber.
There’s also a specific exemption for U.S. citizens.
As far as I’m aware, only U.S. citizens are granted the privileges of U.S. Constitutional rights. That’s kinda the whole point of being a “citizen.” But even if we were to grant those same rights to non-citizens, I really don’t have a problem with terrorists being treated as war criminals rather than “simple” criminals - particularly given our civilian legal system where so many criminals get off easy. People who blow up (or try to blow up) other people should not get off on a “technicality.”
Here’s the House summary, if you’d like to check it out.
… yeah, except you missed the part where a common citizen can be counted as a terrorist over minor technicalities. Missing fingers? You’re a suspect. Giving relief aid in a foreign nation? You are potentially a suspect. Are you a law-abiding, church-attending, taxpayer with minimal political empathy? You are still a potential suspect.
This particular NDAA is kind of (jusssssssst slightly) different from the others because it suddenly defines the United States of America as a battleground. A battleground.
Also, we could go on and on all day about how we treat our foreign criminals; let’s use this quote by Ron Paul to sum up my personal feelings:
“You have to have strength in doing the right thing. I think secret military prisons, keeping people there for years and years without due process is not a characteristic of a republic that believes in freedom. It is just not the process. It’s more typical of an authoritarian government to have secret prisons.” Ron Paul, 2011
[Fears about 4th Amendment encroachments, privacy, and infringements on individual liberty] are not, as the Court would have it, solely the lot of the guilty. To be law abiding is not necessarily to be spotless, and even the most virtuous can be unlucky. Unwanted attention from the police need not be less discomforting simply because one’s secrets are not the stuff of criminal prosecutions.
Moreover, those who have found - by reason of prejudice or misfortune - that encounters with the police may become adversarial or unpleasant without good cause will have grounds for worrying at any stop designed to elicit signs of suspicious behavior. Being stopped by the police is distressing even when it should not be terrifying, and what begins mildly may by happenstance turn severe.
Obama will sign the National Defense Authorization Act.
Civil liberties as they are currently known will cease to exist.
Thanks, Obama. This is some amazing hope and change right here.