Skip to comments.Constitutional experts: pro-life ‘terrorists’ could be permanently detained without trial under law
Posted on 01/04/2012 4:29:55 PM PST by wagglebee
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 3, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) Constitutional experts warn a new law that allows the president to permanently detain U.S. citizens without trial could be used against pro-life activists, who have already been defined as potential terrorists in documents by some government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security.
This law can apply to pro-lifers, yes, said John W. Whitehead, a constitutional attorney and founder of The Rutherford Institute. Whitehead told LifeSiteNews.com the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA) would allow the military to show up at your door if youre a potential terrorist, and put you in military detention where seeing a lawyer is difficult.
The NDAA, which President Barack Obama signed on December 31, allows the president to hold enemy combatants in military detention facilities without trial until the end of hostilities, if the person substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners. The law allows the president to determine which groups may be considered terrorists without judicial or congressional oversight, although Secretary of Defense is required to regularly brief Congress about covered persons.
Sen. Carl Levin, D-MI, said the Obama administration specifically asked senators for the power to permanently detain American citizens without trial and to remove the language which says that U.S. citizens and lawful residents would not be subject to this section.
Although Section 1022 states, The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States, many contend the law allows detention as an option for Americans captured abroad. Glenn Greenwald of Salon summarized, For foreign nationals accused of being members of Al Qaeda, military detention is mandatory; for U.S. citizens, it is optional.
Dana Cody, president and executive director of Life Legal Defense Foundation, said pro-life activists already are classified as domestic terrorists on some FBI lists. She said that on one occasion the manager of a Kansas City, Kansas, abortion clinic slammed her client, Mary Ann Sause, to the ground and told the peaceful pro-life demonstrator he was photographing her license plate so he could report her to the FBI.
Cody, who told LifeSiteNews.com her organization is currently studying the NDAA, added that the law states enemy territory is anywhere. The Senate rejected an amendment from Dianne Feinstein limiting permanent detention to those captured abroad.
If its within the discretion of the government under the National Defense Authorization Act, of course it will be used by the government to intimidate and silence pro-life people, especially those who are in the public forum, Cody said.
In his signing statement, President Obama wrote, I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation. [sic.]
The signing statement means nothing, Whitehead said. The signing statement is a political thing he hoped would settle the fears of the ACLU. If you give the president the power to come get you, hes going to do it if he needs to, or if the corporations funding him say you are a potential terrorist.
Whitehead said one of his clients, street preacher Michael Marcavage, has become the target of an FBI terrorist investigation. Whitehead wrote a letter to FBI director Robert Mueller asking why Marcavage is being investigated for preaching the Gospel. The FBI has not responded.
Under this administration, the Department of Homeland Security has listed pro-life organizations as potential domestic terrorists and held joint training sessions with the FBI to monitor pro-life websites.
An April 2009 DHS report entitled Rightwing [sic.] Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment, identified as likely terrorists groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration, or who would be antagonistic toward the new presidential administration and its perceived stance on a range of issues. Such groups, the report concluded, are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States. The DHS later pulled the report.
However, last August DHS and FBI agents attended a terrorism training seminar hosted by Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Federation, and the Feminist Majority Foundation that equated free speech and distributing literature with violence. An 84-page resource guide listed three pages of potential extremist websites including Priests for Life, National Right to Life, the American Life League, Concerned Women for America, Human Life International, the American Center for Law and Justice, and the Christian Broadcasting Network.
In 1994-6, the Clinton administrations Justice Department subpoenaed longtime pro-life activists in hopes of uncovering a terrorist conspiracy to kill abortionists. The Violence Against Abortion Providers Conspiracy (VAAPCON) program compiled a vast database of information on anti-abortion groups and individuals, including the National Right to Life Committee, the late John Cardinal OConnor of New York, the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, Concerned Women for America, the Christian Coalition, Feminists for Life, and the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, which condemned the secret database.
Whitehead warns the NDAA is a threat to anybody causing trouble that means exercising your rights.
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President Obama wrote, I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens.
The “finite” detention on the other hand will be
authorized in a heart beat.
The Constitution and Bill of Rights does not allow a citizen to be held without a speedy right to trial. This law will collapse with the first trial of any kind. It means nothing!
Here is a list of the members of the US Senate who voted for NDAA and in favor of giving President Obama the power to detain Pro Life activists in prison without trial.
Sen. Daniel Akaka [D, HI]
Sen. Lamar Alexander [R, TN]
Sen. Kelly Ayotte [R, NH]
Sen. John Barrasso [R, WY]
Sen. Max Baucus [D, MT]
Sen. Mark Begich [D, AK]
Sen. Michael Bennet [D, CO]
Sen. Jeff Bingaman [D, NM]
Sen. Richard Blumenthal [D, CT]
Sen. Roy Blunt [R, MO]
Sen. John Boozman [R, AR]
Sen. Barbara Boxer [D, CA]
Sen. Scott Brown [R, MA]
Sen. Sherrod Brown [D, OH]
Sen. Richard Burr [R, NC]
Sen. Maria Cantwell [D, WA]
Sen. Thomas Carper [D, DE]
Sen. Robert Casey [D, PA]
Sen. Saxby Chambliss [R, GA]
Sen. Daniel Coats [R, IN]
Sen. Thad Cochran [R, MS]
Sen. Susan Collins [R, ME]
Sen. Kent Conrad [D, ND]
Sen. Chris Coons [D, DE]
Sen. Bob Corker [R, TN]
Sen. John Cornyn [R, TX]
Sen. Michael Enzi [R, WY]
Sen. Dianne Feinstein [D, CA]
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand [D, NY]
Sen. Lindsey Graham [R, SC]
Sen. Charles Grassley [R, IA]
Sen. Kay Hagan [D, NC]
Sen. Orrin Hatch [R, UT]
Sen. Dean Heller [R, NV]
Sen. John Hoeven [R, ND]
Sen. Kay Hutchison [R, TX]
Sen. James Inhofe [R, OK]
Sen. Daniel Inouye [D, HI]
Sen. John Isakson [R, GA]
Sen. Mike Johanns [R, NE]
Sen. Ron Johnson [R, WI]
Sen. Tim Johnson [D, SD]
Sen. John Kerry [D, MA]
Sen. Mark Kirk [R, IL]
Sen. Amy Klobuchar [D, MN]
Sen. Herbert Kohl [D, WI]
Sen. Jon Kyl [R, AZ]
Sen. Mary Landrieu [D, LA]
Sen. Frank Lautenberg [D, NJ]
Sen. Patrick Leahy [D, VT]
Sen. Carl Levin [D, MI]
Sen. Joseph Lieberman [I, CT]
Sen. Richard Lugar [R, IN]
Sen. Joe Manchin [D, WV]
Sen. John McCain [R, AZ]
Sen. Claire McCaskill [D, MO]
Sen. Mitch McConnell [R, KY]
Sen. Robert Menéndez [D, NJ]
Sen. Barbara Mikulski [D, MD]
Sen. Jerry Moran [R, KS]
Sen. Lisa Murkowski [R, AK]
Sen. Patty Murray [D, WA]
Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE]
Sen. Bill Nelson [D, FL]
Sen. Robert Portman [R, OH]
Sen. Mark Pryor [D, AR]
Sen. John Reed [D, RI]
Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV]
Sen. Pat Roberts [R, KS]
Sen. John Rockefeller [D, WV]
Sen. Marco Rubio [R, FL]
Sen. Charles Schumer [D, NY]
Sen. Jefferson Sessions [R, AL]
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen [D, NH]
Sen. Richard Shelby [R, AL]
Sen. Olympia Snowe [R, ME]
Sen. Debbie Ann Stabenow [D, MI]
Sen. Jon Tester [D, MT]
Sen. John Thune [R, SD]
Sen. Patrick Toomey [R, PA]
Sen. Tom Udall [D, NM]
Sen. Mark Udall [D, CO]
Sen. David Vitter [R, LA]
Sen. Mark Warner [D, VA]
Sen. Jim Webb [D, VA]
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse [D, RI]
Sen. Roger Wicker [R, MS]
Haven’t any of these congressional freaks ever read the Constitution?????? I guess they can’t read...they don’t read most of the bills they pass. Tools to Tyranny!
“Constitutional experts warn a new law that allows the president to permanently detain U.S. citizens without trial could be used against pro-life activists, who have already been defined as potential terrorists in documents by some government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security.”
It’s not a stretch for Obama or some other President name the Tea Party as “potential terrorists”.
What's the problem here?
Everybody involved with this forum could be considered a threat under this new legislation!
Even my least favorite terrorist sympathizer, one who has been palling around with terrorists since he was a child receiving affection from one, deserves a trial and a specific prison sentence. This law is shockingly, disgustingly wrong.
I believe this would qualify as a suspension of Habeaus Corpus.
This was what I was worried about when I first read the Patriot Act. The amount of things that defined a ‘terrorist’ sure didn’t sound like it was aimed at foreign enemies.
It looked like it was made to eventually round up christian conservatives. The fact that it was supported by the people who would eventually be imprisoned by it just stunned me.
Look at who homeland security says are terrorists, people who are pro constitution and returning war vets. Look who the TSA molests.
They are getting us to build our own cages - using our own patriotism to destroy us.
wagglebee, this article is not true. These “constitutional scholars” are just yanking your chain.
The article itself quotes the language of the bill that specifically excludes US citizens, and that it applies only to Al-Qaeda.
It in fact doesn’t give any power to the Presidents that they don’t already have, and Senators like Rubio and DeMint would not have voted for it if it in anyway would lead to detention without trial of American dissidents.
This is simply crying wolf.
There are too many real threats from Obama to waste time on something like this, but day after day, it keeps surfacing on FR.
You are exactly right. There are, no doubt, disingenuous lawyers who would argue otherwise for the right price, but they should be ashamed of themselves. This is a clear and unforgivable violation of the Constitution and should not be tolerated, whether the citizen whose rights are being trampled is an Islamic terrorist, a peaceful pro-life protester, or a Manchurian Candidate leading "Occupy the White House". This is the United States, not North Korea, and we should act like Americans.
The speech Lindsey Graham and John McCain made will make you puke. I’m sure it’s on youtube. Lets go arrest them.
If you read the report’s description of terrorists, the occupy folks and latest governor walker protestors would be called terrorists.
Are there any pro-life Christians who meet the criteria?
The NDAA, which President Barack Obama signed on December 31, allows the president to hold enemy combatants in military detention facilities without trial until the end of hostilities, if the person substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.
Are pro-life protestors frequently seen in the company of Al Qaeda, the Taliban or associated forces?
As could “Second Amendment Terrorists”, or “Taco Stand Terrorists”.
Ramping up. Where will it end?
As much as he is decried here, Ron Paul voted against this legislation. But he’s a wackadoodle, right?
Ron Paul voted against this legislation and good for him for doing so. Unfortunately, for unrelated reasons he is, in fact, a “wackadoodle” and a certifiable crackpot. Broken clock, right twice a day, etc.
Perhaps you should have written what you did in huge red letters, or pinged every poster on this thread.
Is there a convention for this on FR like a huge stop sign graphic? I’ve seen this situation occur before with Freepers getting up in arms over a hoax, with the lone but correct naysayer (not me) buried in the noise. Maybe a convention should BE established.
Here’s a decent article that breaks down the intentionally vague and confusing language of NDAA 2012
Two questions A.Hun for you since you think this is a all about nothing situation.
1. Why did the Obama admin specifically ask that the language protecting US citizens from any of this be specifically removed before he would consider signing it?
2. Why would the President after signing it have to release a special statement saying he wouldn’t target American citizens since parts of the NDAA 2012 he has reservations with, sec 1021 to be exact?
There’s more than a few FReepers who have their heads way down in the sand on this one and think its nothing to worry about. This admin will be coming for our guns soon, and of course that will be nothing to worry about also right???
To make space for us.
Are pro-life protestors frequently seen in the company of Al Qaeda, the Taliban or associated forces?
step by step ... just wait for V1.01 to be enacted (buried on P 1074 of an appropriations bill).
Obama will classify the Tea Party and any gathering of and for the Tea Party as acts of sedition.
I see Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted for this, she shows her true colors.
I guess the “coalition parner” in this case would be this administration’s partner, Planned Parenthood. This is sick!
Because it limits his power, actually. FDR detained indefinitely thousands of US citizens after Pearl Harbor, and it was legal under the Constitution.
2. Why would the President after signing it have to release a special statement saying he wouldnt target American citizens since parts of the NDAA 2012 he has reservations with, sec 1021 to be exact?
Probably to cover himself with his base. They don't believe a President should have any war powers. Thats just a guess...I have no idea wth Obama is thinking.
Its a tempest in a teapot for crackpots.
Sigh, if only the gov’t would realize that, we’d be much better off.
That verbage is not in the law, that is an interpretation. Merely the most current, acceptable interpretation. We’ll see what changes. I hope you are right, but do not believe that you are.
So can environmental terrorists.
Congressman Allen West supported this crap, too, and then he went on Glenn Beck’s radio show to defend his position.
I wouldn’t bet much on that.
If you haven’t noticed, the US Constitution doesn’t mean much these days.
I see your point but that headline writes a check that the article simply does not cash. Lying is a sin, no matter the reason.
Well I can understand why you feel that way, but I just wish there was some consistency with those who protested so violently and are so up in arms over this. I wonder how many of them actually felt the same way when Bush was trying to detain suspects in a markedly similar manner. In fact, for all of the problems surrounding Obama on domestic and foreign policies, his interpretation of who can be detained and arrested under AUMF, which this bill was meant to reaffirm, has essentially been the same as that of Bush. And so this law is basically saying Congress agrees with Ex President Bush. That’s it. That’s the whole purpose of it.
And I do not claim that is not an important and serious issue, something I tried to reiterate in previous debates on this. Shifting the balance of power on something this controversial is a potential big problem. But what we need is a true understanding of current law, interpretation of current law, reevaluation of interpretations and pressure on govt to reevaluate it as well. Insisting that Obama designed this as a sort of grand scheme to expand his power to lock up pro life protesters does not help. Oh yes, and let’s not forget that the provisions were initially created by members of Congress and passed Congress with enough of a majority that a pocket veto was Obama’s only option. And that vetoing this bill, which has the military budget contained in it, would have left our military and other employees without pay for at least several months, making it even less of an option.
No different than bombing Catholic churches in Nigeria, IMO.
No wonder the kids in school cannot read-—apparently neither can the Senate.
I am ashamed there are two names from Wyoming on this list, vote against every single one!
I am not reading your posts as dismissing this, nor do I read this stupid, immoral law as an Obama power grab. Rather, I see this as a symptom of the big government inside the Beltway perspective that expanding government is always the answer regardless of the question. Except in cases of invasion or insurrection, as specified in the Constitution, our Congress should not attempt to work around habeus corpus. There simply is no time when an American citizen should be detained indefinitely without charge and without trial as permitted by the letter of this law. If a trial is awkward, that's unfortunate, but that is the only means that should permit our government to hold even a terrorist captured on the battlefield if that terrorist is a citizen. The rules for non-citizens can be different, but allowing indefinite detention of Americans crosses a line that should never be crossed.
I do understand that perfectly that point of view. But it does require American people as a whole to understand this history of law and the interpretation of the Constitution and what that document allows and demanding our Congress and SCOTUS reevaluate it as well. Because Presidents have claimed that there are exceptions for detaining Americans without trial, possibly indefinitely, since the Civil War.
Given the exact words in Constitution: The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it, indefinite detention without trial was at least plausibly constitutional during the Civil War. What we are facing today is neither an insurrection nor what the Founding Fathers meant by an "invasion". Too much dependence on evolving rulings and precedents can lead to an interpretation that is clearly contradictory to the actual words of the Constitution. I prefer to defer to the specific words, with any reference to history merely a guide to how those words have been understood. I have no problem at all with holding trials for treason and executing every evil slime who takes up arms to support the Taliban and Al Qaeda, but if they are citizens then their right to a trial is not subject to congressional infringement.