Ron Paul Slams NDAA on the House Floor (Indefinite Detention for U.S. Citizens Act)

Statement Introducing Repeal of Sec. 1021 of National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012

18 January 2012

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce a very simple piece of legislation to repeal the infamous Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act, quietly signed into law by the president on New Year’s Day.

Section 1021 essentially codifies into law the very dubious claim of presidential authority under the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force to indefinitely detain American citizens without access to legal representation or due process of law. Section 1021 provides for the possibility of the US military acting as a kind of police force on US soil, apprehending terror suspects – including Americans — and whisking them off to an undisclosed location indefinitely. No right to attorney, no right to trial, no day in court.

This is precisely the kind of egregious distortion of justice that Americans have always ridiculed in so many dictatorships overseas. A great man named Solzhenitsyn became the hero of so many of us when he exposed the Soviet Union’s extensive gulag system. Is this really the kind of United States we want to create in the name of fighting terrorism?

Some have argued that nothing in Section 1021 explicitly mandates holding Americans without trial, but it employs vague language radically expanding the detention authority to include anyone who has “substantially supported” certain terrorist groups or “associated forces.” No one has defined what those two terms mean. What is an “associated force”?

Sadly, too many of my colleagues are too willing to undermine our Constitution to support such outrageous legislation. One senator even said about American citizens picked up under this section of the NDAA, “When they say, ‘I want my lawyer,’ you tell them, ‘Shut up. You don’t get a lawyer.'” Is this acceptable in someone one who has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution?

Mr. Speaker, of course I recognize how critical it is that we identify and apprehend those who are suspected of plotting attacks against Americans. But why do we have so little faith in our justice system? Have we not tried in civilian court and won convictions of hundreds of individuals for terrorist or related activities? I fully support our continuing to do so, but let us not abandon what is so unique and special about our system of government in the process.

I hope my colleagues will join my effort to overturn the shameful Section 1021.


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  • Bill

    The POS Senator who said to tell them to SHUT UP when they ask for a lawyer was none other than the war mongering liberty killing Lindsey Graham…

  • ErinB

    Thanks for speaking out! How can we help you in convining your fellow colleaugues?

  • Jason King

    This comment was removed because it is in violation of SOPA

  • Michael Eden

    Things like this just reinforce my belief that Ron Paul is the only True candidate that cares about We The People!

  • Is Ron Paul the only one who is fighting this act in the floor? Where is the rest of congress? Where is my congressman? Why so many sold out and paid for congressman except for Ron Paul in our system?

    God bless Ron Paul
    ****Ron Paul 2012****

  • BantheScan

    The Nationwide NDAA 2012 Congressional Protest is Feb. 3rd. Please spread the word!

  • sharkcity

    so who is the senator that said shut up you don’t get a lawyer -we need to send hin back to Great Britain so he can get on his knees before the king -seriously we need to defeat this senator in the next election

  • Stop NDAA

    Go Ron! No, during the Fox Debate in SC, Romney got booed very loudly by the audience.

  • Tumpuh
  • Tumpuh
  • Mackathne

    Pretty sure it’s section 1031…

  • JohnnyCocheroo

    Anyone catch during the last debate (I am sure you have) that Romney supports this bill!!

    He says that we just have to trust that the Presidents will understand this power and use it wisely. Unreal & I think the crowd cheered after he said it. Good point to remember when trying to convince others to join our cause.

    Also remember – we are trying to win people over, not win online debates. Insults do not win people over!!! Solid reasoning with kindness has the best chance. Be nice, even when others are wrong.

    The free podcasts are en excellent way for people to listen to Paul’s views, while jogging or walking.

    Ron Paul 2012!!

  • XaivChang

    Can’t believe anyone would vote for anyone else… Ron Paul is the only person deserving and qualified for the oath of office.Take this poll to help expose the other GOP candidates!