Unimaginable – the very idea that troops would turn on American citizens, arrest them, and imprison them without warrants or due process. Yet, there he was in room 101, living out his worst fear. Unlike the character Winston in George Orwell’s 1984, Rafael was neither strapped to a chair nor immobilized. Nonetheless, he was living out his worst fear that a grandchild, a member of the US Army would arrest her own grandparents. “I’m just doing my job, Grandpa.” she explained.
After sometime, an interrogator quickly opened the door, entered briskly, read from a file, then looked over his glasses to ask, “Rafael Mendoza?” “Yes” he replied, “I am Rafael Mendoza. Why am I being held against my will and by what authority do you incarcerate me?”
“You are an enemy of the state, Rafael. This report I hold says you have a history of threatening the President of the United States. We know this because of cell phone records and comments made on your Facebook page. The government suspects you are a member of al-Qaida or similar enemy group.” the interrogator dispassionately stated.
Astonished, head reeling from the charges, Rafael responds, “How can this be? I’m a loyal American citizen of more than fifty years, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, a pastor of a small church. Which of my actions would suggest otherwise?”
“Rafael, you were recorded on video demonstrating outside the gates of Fort Hood. Do you remember? Several people worked with you to distribute literature critical of the United States of America. How do you plead?” the interrogator asked.
“Plead? This is America. We have First Amendment rights to speak against government policies with which we disagree. I know my rights and I know you have no authority to hold me. I demand my Constitutional rights!” said Rafael, angrily.
“Enemy combatants don’t have Constitutional rights, Mr. Mendoza. You’re being held under authority of Sections 1031 and 1032 of the NDAA – the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011. We have legal authority to hold you indefinitely without charges and,” he added “The Department of Defense will try your case.”
Could Rafael’s Story Become Your Story?
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is “must pass” legislation in the U.S. Senate right now. If enacted as-is, sections 1031 and 1032 would
1) Explicitly authorize the federal government to indefinitely imprison without charge or trial American citizens and others picked up inside and outside the United States;
2) Mandate military detention of some civilians who would otherwise be outside of military control, including civilians picked up within the United States itself; and
(3) Transfer to the Department of Defense core prosecutorial, investigative, law enforcement, penal, and custodial authority and responsibility now held by the Department of Justice.
Your US Senators need to hear from you now. Tell them to OPPOSE Sections 1031 and 1032 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Use this convenient contact form provided by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU.
Fill out all the required fields and the ACLU will automatically send electronic messages to your two US Senators.
Keep in mind that this bill is so bad even President Obama and Eric Holder oppose it.
All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men (and women) to do nothing.