(Dec. 19, 2012) – History dealt out a delicious bit of irony yesterday.

Lawmakers hammering out a compromise version of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act dropped the so-called Feinstein amendment from the bill. According to a report at Politico.com, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) told reporters that the provision and language the House proposed to insert instead was ultimately replaced with language that indicates that last year’s NDAA shouldn’t be interpreted to preclude Habeas Corpus suits by persons detained in the U.S.

In essence, the weak language of the Feinstein amendment was replaced with even weaker language.

Indefinite detention stays.

The irony?

Yesterday also marked the 68th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in  Korematsu v. United States. That ruling upheld the power of the president to create “exclusion zones” under executive order 9066.

With the order, President Roosevelt vested in himself the authority to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restrictions the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion. The Secretary of War is hereby authorized to provide for residents of any such area who are excluded therefrom, such transportation, food, shelter, and other accommodations as may be necessary, in the judgment of the Secretary of War or the said Military Commander, and until other arrangements are made, to accomplish the purpose of this order.”

The exclusion areas eventually covered nearly one-third of the United States and resulted in the caging of about 110,000 Japanese Americans.

Fred Korematsu refused to comply with the directive and remained in San Leandro, Calif. Authorities arrested and convicted the Japanese-American. Korematsu challenged the constitutionality of the order, and on Dec. 18, 1944, in a 6-3 decision, the infallible and all-powerful Supreme Court decided excluding certain people from certain parts of the country was cool.

Korematsu was not excluded from the Military Area because of hostility to him or his race. He was excluded because we are at war with the Japanese Empire, because the properly constituted military authorities feared an invasion of our West Coast and felt constrained to take proper security measures, because they decided that the military urgency of the situation demanded that all citizens of Japanese ancestry be segregated from the West Coast temporarily, and, finally, because Congress, reposing its confidence in this time of war in our military leaders — as inevitably it must — determined that they should have the power to do just this.

A poignant reminder for those who naïvely claim that NDAA detention provisions will only apply to the “terrorists” and the federal government would never use it to cage innocent people.

Clearly, Congress has no intention of actually limiting the “authority” of the president to indefinitely detain people on American soil without due process. Lawmakers may well come up with some obtuse language before it’s all said and done, and then they will run around claiming Americans remain “safe.”

Meanwhile, the government will still claim the authority to kidnap you.

That’s why it remains vitally important that state and local governments take action to block any attempts to indefinitely detain people without due process. We simply cannot count on the DC’vers to limit their own power.

ACTION ITEMS

Encourage your state lawmakers to introduce a liberty preservation act in your state. You can find model legislation HERE.

If your state already has legislation introduced, begin lobbying legislators NOW and demand that they get the bill passed. You can track liberty preservation legislation across the U.S. HERE.


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Small things grow great by concord...

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