Filed under Civil Liberties
Liberty Republicans Stand Against Military Detention
National media outlets join legislators in ignoring the pleas
of a people crying out for the preservation of their rights
AUSTIN, TX – “We have taken our concerns to Congress and now we must take them to the press,” said Republican Liberty Caucus National Chairman Dave Nalle. “The disconnect between our party’s leadership and the interests of the grassroots has never been demonstrated more clearly than in their failure to hear our concerns over the issue of indefinite military detention of civilians in the National Defense Authorization Act.”
The Republican Liberty Caucus has been heavily involved in the effort to get Congress to modify sections 1031 and 1032 of the NDAA to remove the provision for indefinite detention of citizens without due process of law by the military. We have generated thousands of letters and emails and thousands more phonecalls to the House and Senate, but all those efforts and the efforts of other groups like the ACLU seem to have had no effect. Now we are making a final push to try to influence the conference committee handling reconciliation, but they don’t seem to be listening either.
New Hampshire State Representative Andrew Manuse (R-Derry) wrote to Congress, “We now have a government that is making war with the very citizens it was formed to protect. We have a government that is making it impossible for citizens to be lawful, and thus, they will become increasingly lawless and I fear even greater conflict between the government and the citizens, who are the rulers of themselves, will result.”
Representative Justin Amash (R-MI) has put together a bipartisan coalition in Congress opposing these provisions of the NDAA and wrote in their open letter to their colleagues, “Our Constitution does not permit the federal government to detain American citizens indefinitely without charge or trial. We strongly believe in protecting the country’s security and equipping our Armed Forces with the tools they need to defeat our enemies. But we cannot support measures that, in the name of security, violate Americans’ constitutional rights.”
“Voters are not stupid. They understand the difference between ‘not required’ and ‘not authorized’ in the language of this bill,” said RLC Chairman Dave Nalle. “In all our activism efforts I don’t think I’ve seen grassroots Republicans as angry and as vocal about an issue as I have with this one. They still strongly oppose terrorism, but everyone except members of Congress seems to be able to understand that these enforcement measures are going too far.”
As this bill comes out of reconciliation tomorrow all indications are that the offending language will not have been removed and it will continue to authorize the military to act in violation of Posse Comitatus and Habeas Corpus – powers which military leaders have expressly indicated they do not wish to be given. The only recourse left to citizens who believe that liberty should not be sacrificed to the paranoia and opportunism of political leaders who do not listen to the people, will be to demand that the entire National Defense Authorization Act be voted down and rewritten.
To date the media has been surprisingly silent on this issue, but it is time to pay attention and speak up. Journalists are citizens too and their rights are as endangered or even more threatened if we set aside our traditional legal protections and give government and the military this unprecedented authority.
The Republican Liberty Caucus is a nationwide grassroots organization which promotes individual liberty and limited government within the Republican Party. You can find more information about the Republican Liberty Caucus at www.rlc.org
Prior Action Alerts on this issue and articles addressing our concerns can be found at http://www.rlc.org/opinons