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Make Mine Freedom

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Letter to Romney RE NDAA

17 January 2012

Mitt Romney for President
P.O. Box 149756
Boston, MA 02114-9756

RE: Fox News Debate 16 January 2012

Dear Mr. Romney,

I have been watching the debates on the Internet because I haven’t had television for some time now. I would gladly have voted for you four years ago because I considered John McCain to be a Democrat in Republican clothing.

Though I will vote for you in the general election should you be the nominee, I cannot vote for you in Idaho’s caucus unless you change your position on the following matter.

In my opinion, sir, you made a grave error with regard to the question concerning the NDAA’s inclusion of the measure permitting the President to use the Military to detain US Citizens without due process. It is inherently unconstitutional. As such, you would have been better served, in my opinion, answering as did Mr. Santorum by emphasizing the construct of the law prior to NDAA’s passage, and how you will treat it as President. He answered in a way that suggested he wasn’t really opposed to it but would not exploit it either. Still, if I understood both him and you correctly, you’re both wrong.

I understand and agree with your argument that US Citizens who take up arms against the US should not enjoy all of the rights law abiding citizens do. But then, that is rightly termed, “Treason” and has consequences already enshrined in law. Article III Section 3 of the Constitution says:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason,…
We could infer from this that Congress has declared indefinite detention without due process to be the punishment of treason; however, without a trial (due process), how do we justly convict anyone of Treason? Remember, “No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.” It requires the Testimony of two Witnesses or a confession in open court to convict an individual, including the President, of Treason. How is that going to happen without a trial?

The Defense Bill grants the power to the President of the United States to: “use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection (b)) pending disposition under the law of war.” Public Law 107-40 is the law that declares war against those who perpetrated the attacks of  11 September 2001.

However read the wording of the bill:
    (b) Covered Persons- A covered person under this section is any person as follows:
    (1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks.
    (2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.
    (c) Disposition Under Law of War- The disposition of a person under the law of war as described in subsection (a) may include the following:
    (1) Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.
    (2) Trial under chapter 47A of title 10, United States Code (as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2009 (title XVIII of Public Law 111-84)).
    (3) Transfer for trial by an alternative court or competent tribunal having lawful jurisdiction.
    (4) Transfer to the custody or control of the person's country of origin, any other foreign country, or any other foreign entity.
    (d) Construction- Nothing in this section is intended to limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.
    (e) Authorities- Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities, relating 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.
    (f) Requirement for Briefings of Congress- The Secretary of Defense shall regularly brief Congress regarding the application of the authority described in this section, including the organizations, entities, and individuals considered to be `covered persons' for purposes of subsection (b)(2).
“Associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States…” In context, we could infer that this refers to people who are not specifically members of al-Qaeda or the Taliban but support them and generally give them aid. However, words have meaning, and the more vague a word is, the more it can be misapplied and the law of which it is part gets abused.

From the Senate floor, PRIOR TO THE BILL’S PASSAGE, Senator Lindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina said, “[Section] 1031, the statement of authority to detain, does apply to American citizens and it designates the world as the battlefield, including the homeland.” In other words, the bill itself is written in such a way as to permit the President to use the military to arrest, interrogate and indefinitely detain US Citizens. Senator Graham neglected to remember that the authority to detain is not limited by due process or the Constitution.

You’re an aspiring President, Mr. Romney. As such, you should be able to apprehend the potential for unintended consequences despite the fact that politicians repeatedly have proven that this is a concept the regularly evades their understanding. Consider that “substantially supported” might include the grandmother in Cincinnati who regularly buys goods at a store not knowing that the store owner is an Al-Qaeda sympathizer.

Is it absolutely clear to you that say Republicans voicing their opinion about a deranged-socialist-wannabe king-who-may-not-even-be-constitutionally-eligible-democrat President are not, in fact, “associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States”?

Remember that Janet Napalitano has already identified the Tea Party as a "homegrown terrorist group" and others have classified Christianity as a terrorist organization. Consider that Obama and his ilk have deemed patriots as a threat to the peace of the United States. They have also identified Christians the same way. Under Obama, it is wrongheaded to cite the Constitution, for Pete’s sake! Of course it’s preposterous! But, that doesn’t mean it didn’t or won’t happen.

Are you absolutely certain that under a Republican President, the OWS crowd doesn’t also fit the definition as contained in Section 1031? While I’m more certain a Republican President will be more virtuous with such a power, I do not discount the fact that they are human and prone to weakness. I’m sorry, but this nation has ceased to be virtuous enough to entrust a President with so much vague and undefined power.

Benjamin Franklin said, "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." NDAA violates this principle ad infinitum. It does little to promote defense, but lays open the potential arrest of every individual who has an opposing point of view to whomever may sit in the White House as President, including you.

Furthermore, Article I Section 9 stipulates: “The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.”

We haven’t got any cases of Rebellion in the United States of America, nor do we have a case of invasion unless you consider the creeping growth of Islam and Sharia Law. But, then, you have to call Islam what it is in order to use it as an argument. It is not a religion, let alone one of peace. Islam is a theocracy with its own laws that have seeped into the US Judicial system thanks in large part to judicial activism and ignorance.

While I do not believe that Liberty and security need to be mutually exclusive, I take a hint from Franklin, and do not favor losing Liberty to security in any way including the 4th amendment violations constantly perpetrated by the TSA. In fact, I will fight not to do so.

The writing on the wall seems pretty clear to me. The Republic is almost dead. It has, for some time now been more of an oligarchy than a true republic, but at least, it has functioned as a Republic. With every piece of legislation that increases taxes, regulations, and the role of the Federal Government, the Republic slips that much closer to death.

More importantly, if I’m reading things correctly, US Citizens will not remain idle much longer. They will shake off the chains tyranny has stealthily placed on them and "[refresh the tree of Liberty] with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

If you win the Presidency, you will take an oath to “will…preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Apprehending and indefinitely detaining US Citizens without due process is a violation of everything the founders laid forth in the constitution, and consequently, a violation of your oath of office.

Keep in mind, the Declaration of Independence was written, at least in part, because King George III of England was doing many of these same things.

It’s no wonder, that the Declaration of Independence says,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

There are many enemies of the Republic who profess love for it within the walls of Congress, the White House, and the Judiciary. You need to find good allies (like Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Jim Demint, and Marco Rubio) and work tirelessly to restore the Republic our founders gave us and for which many patriots have given their all. That, Sir, will be your mandate to uphold your oath of office, defend the Constitution and Restore the Republic and the Liberty it offers.

I honestly fear for the future of this, the greatest nation on earth. It is on the precipice of oblivion. You are absolutely correct that this election is the battle for the soul of America. Please continue to fight for it, not the establishment policies that have gotten us here.