COMMENTARY | Undoubtedly, the original American patriots would more than cringe at passage of the National Defense Authorization Act by the Senate and by the House of Representatives this week. As it is, present-day civil rights groups are up in arms about the statutes within the NDAA that allow for the indefinite detention of American citizens by the military.
I agree with the civil rights advocates -- and FBI Director Robert Mueller.
In a case of patriotic irony, the Senate voted 86 to 13 today in passage of the NDAA; today being the official anniversary of the passage of the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights, which constitute the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, guarantee due process of law to citizens, something the statutes within the NDAA threaten.
Even with the passage of the NDAA by the two bodies of Congress, I was feeling safe because President Obama had promised to veto the legislation. Today, White House press secretary Jay Carney revealed that Obama no longer intends to veto the measure. It turns out the statutes relating to indefinite detention of U.S. civilians weren't the statutes President Obama opposed; his interest lay in measures that he and his senior advisers felt limited presidential power in regards to counter-terrorism measures.
According to the Huffington Post Mueller of the FBI stated his concerns with the lack of clarity in the statutes. My concern, mirrored by legislators such as Mark Udall, Dianne Feinstein and Patrick Leahy, is that although the intent of the statute seems to be terrorists connected directly with al-Qaida or similar groups, the wording is open to interpretation. Present or future presidents may interpret the statutes more liberally, using the ability to indefinitely detain Americans who oppose governmental actions or activities -- even groups such as the present Occupy movement.
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.