Earlier this week, Klamath County, Oregon, took the first step toward nullifying indefinite detention.
Congress codified indefinite detention into law in sections 1021 and 1022 of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. Despite assurances from administration officials and members of Congress that it applies “only to the terrorists,” a federal judge ruled it unconstitutional because of broad language that could apply to pretty much anybody. And the Obama administration has fought hard to overturn that ruling. (Read more about indefinite detention HERE and HERE.)
The Klamath County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution condemning indefinite detention under not only the NDAA, but also under “an authorization for use of military force or any similar law or authority claimed by Congress or the Office of the President,” calling it “unconstitutional and therefore unlawful.” The resolution also calls on the Oregon legislature to interpose on behalf of the citizens.
Klamath County requests the Oregon State Legislature recognize the duty of the state of Oregon to interpose itself between unconstitutional usurpations by the federal government or its agents and the people of this state, as well as the duty to defend the unalienable natural rights of the people, all of which is consistent with out oaths to defend the Constitution of the United States and the constitution of Oregon against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Klamath County joins Coos County in condemning federal kidnapping and calling on Salem to act against it. These Oregon counties join a chorus of local governments across the U.S. opposing indefinite detention.
The Klamath County Commission took a strong first step. The resolution sends an emphatic message to Salem, where state lawmakers have struggled to move state level indefinite detention nullification through the legislature. But the county can do more. The resolution does not carry the force of law, but merely declares the county’s position. Now activists need to seize the momentum and push for a binding ordinance prohibiting any county cooperation with federal indefinite detention. And other counties and cities in Oregon need to follow suit.
Counties and cities can refuse to assist any federal attempts at indefinite detention in their jurisdictions. These measures will not only provide practical protections for their citizens, they will send a strong message to state legislators and put the pressure on to nullify federal kidnapping at the state level in the next legislative session.
Local governments won’t act without citizen input and grassroots pressure. The good news is a few dedicated individuals can make a difference at the local level.
That’s where you can step up to the plate.
Talk with your local representatives, local law enforcement, and even National Guard members. These local coalitions can stop indefinite detention through education, activism, and vigilance. Then nullify locally. Encourage your city, town, municipality and county to pass ordinances refusing to aid, enforce, or give resources to the military, DHS, or any other federal agency attempting detention under the NDAA.
You can find a model ordinance HERE.
The most important thing you can do right now: act locally. On a local level, you have a far greater chance of finding an elected politician who will listen to you and work to pass this legislation.