President Barack Obama’s recent decision to not veto a controversial defense spending bill is troubling to many advocates for civil rights, human rights and the rule of law. The House of Representatives voted to pass the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a bill that contains harmful provisions that some legislators have said could authorize the U.S. military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians, including American citizens, anywhere in the world.
The defense spending bill codifies indefinite detention without trial into US law and further expands the military’s role in holding terrorism suspects. Earlier, the Obama administration had threatened to veto the 2012 NDAA over these controversial detainee provisions, but on December 14, it issued a statement indicating the president would likely sign the legislation.
What does the NDAA do and why is it a big deal, you ask?
The NDAA allows the government to detain any person on U.S. soil, including U.S citizens, for an indefinite time and without any charge or trial, if the person is suspected of supporting or engaging in terrorist activity or organization either directly or indirectly in the past, present or future. It’s a brave, new, horrifying world for civil liberties.
And if that wasn’t enough, please also note that leadership from all the major intelligence agencies (the Secretary of Defense, the Director of the FBI, the Director of National Intelligence, the White House Advisor for Counterterrorism, and the DOJ National Security Division head) have all spoken out in opposition to the bill and its indefinite detention authority.
If we believe in the importance of an intersectional feminism, we have to push back against this kind of assault against civil liberties; the kind that targets communities of color and divides them. As we know, detention and deportation affect families and communities far beyond the people who are detained.
Here’s a way to take action: let POTUS know that you don’t support this facturing of our rights and our families.