Indefinite Detention and the NDAA: The rise of America’s imperial presidency

HONOLULU, December 7, 2012 – In the eleven years since the terrorist attacks on 9/11, America has effectively lived under a perpetual state of emergency. Last year, President Barack Obama while vacationing in Hawaii signed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act which included an embedded provision allowing the presidency what some have termed as indefinite detention powers.

The political firestorm and continuing controversy over both the Global War on Terror and the NDAA has led many American citizens to wonder just what all of this means for their individual freedom. Though the Senate just recently passed the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act along with a provision allegedly protecting American citizens from indefinite detention, many legal experts say not so fast and worry the NDAA might be worse in its current proposed form.

To find out just what exactly the NDAA is and isn’t, I sought out the Tenth Amendment Center’s Blake Filippi who recently authored a column on the Feinstein Amendment. In our interview, I was shocked to learn that the erosion of civil rights and Constitutional protections under both the NDAA and other recent mandates was much worse than many of us had initially thought. Here now is a transcript, with minor edits for clarity.


Danny de Gracia: A lot of our readers out there aren’t familiar with what exactly the NDAA does or how it potentially impacts the way U.S. citizens will be treated by law enforcement or by intelligence agencies. Could you tell us for clarification what the current, status quo framework does and what it means in terms of the big picture for the average American?

Blake Filippi: It is a pleasure, Danny. I’m glad you all facilitate discussion of this most important topic. The short of it is that the USA has essentially been declared an active war zone with regard to allegations of supporting terrorism; where our most fundamental constitutional rights are undercut. What this means is that the President has been granted powers over the domestic citizenry that are normally reserved for active battlefields. To understand why this is so complex, please bear with me.

Indefinite Detention and the NDAA: The rise of America’s imperial presidency [continued]


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