National Defense Authorization ActThe President signed into law on New Year’s Eve the National Defense Authorization Act. Liberals are not happy, Muslims are not happy, the ACLU is not happy.
All this probably means the country is going to be safe.
At issue is the ability of the U.S. government to allow indefinite detention of some prisoners and mandating military custody for others. The law expressly excludes American citizens from being held in such a manner. Americans – as Americans should – are protected by guaranteed rights under the Constitution. This law applies only to non-Americans out to destroy our country. In other words, we are treating sworn enemies of America as enemies.
These people are not criminals to be tried in court. They are not political activists who need a podium. They are not refugees seeking a new life. They are non-uniformed enemy combatants. Since terrorists do not fall under even the broadest interpretations of Article 4 of the Geneva Conventions – the United States is going above and beyond even the spirit of the law by treating them as humanely as we do. We could just as easily – and justifiably – shoot these terrorists as spies.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations – CAIR – predictably condemned the passage: “This ill-conceived and un-American legislation will forever be seen as a stain on our nation’s history — one that will ultimately be viewed with embarrassment and shame.” (MarketWatch) Since most of the detainees in question are Muslim – as are most of the terrorists in the world – I guess I can see why CAIR feels like it needs to take a stand. But since the Council is also suspected by the FBI as being in bed with Hamas and other terror groups – I could not really care less what CAIR says.
The Libertarian Party also opposes this law: “Now, in the latest National Defense Authorization Act, Congress is trying to give the president power to imprison Americans indefinitely, without charges or respect for habeas corpus, if he claims they are terrorists.” (Libertarian Party) Yet, article 1021 expressly states that nothing in this law pertains to “the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.” (NDAA) The Libertarian Party, though, believes that isolationism is the best way to combat terrorism:
The Libertarian Party opposes terrorism. We also believe our government should stop taking actions that provoke terrorism. We want to end military involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other countries…(Libertarian Party)
Unrealistic at best, stupid at worst.
But what is good is that this is an election year. In any other year, President Obama would have caved to CAIR, the ACLU, Human Rights Watch, and others. (I doubt very much he cares about the Libertarians) In election years, however, foreign policy is big – and the Democrats are perceived as being very bad at foreign policy. (Which they are – but it only counts every 4 years) Whatever his reasons, the President did the right thing.
Yes – we must maintain the integrity of the United States by treating all detainees as humanely as possible. Yes – we must be transparent in our detention of these prisoners. And yes – American terrorists must never be stripped of their rights as citizens.
But never should we lose sight of the fact that terrorists don’t care about this – or any – law of this country. They have no regard for rights, life, innocence, or freedom. They think nothing of strapping bombs to themselves, their wives, or their children. They carry out their holy war in the most unholy of manners. They have sacrificed their humanity for a cause only they believe in.
Let’s keep them locked up.