A Travesty of Justice!

The Slippery Slope of  Indefinite Detention!

On New Year’s eve, with press rooms closed and citizens partying, President Barack Obama signed into law the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act H.R. 1540.  NDAA directs $662 billion dollars towards war appropriations which are desperately needed for housing, jobs, health care, schools, etc. It also puts dangerous new sanctions on Iran in a widening war.  But NDAA does more.  With section 1021, it allows for military indefinite detention of people suspected of supporting terrorist groups or activities.  NDAA passed Congress with all four Hawaii delegates voting in favor of a bill that could result in the military round up people, in much the same way over 100,000 Japanese Americans were rounded up during WWII, and others during the McCarthy anti-communist era.   Shame on Dan Inouye, Mazie Hirono, and Colleen Hanabusa, all Japanese Americans, voting in favor of such a bill.  It appears that concern for human rights took a back seat to military appropriations in a highly militarized state.

Fifty one years ago, on  Jan. 17, 1961, Republican President, and retired Army General, Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his Farewell Address to the nation, warning U.S. Citizens of the rise in power of  “the military-industrial complex,” the “conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry (that) is new in the American experience…  We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.”

The power of the “military-industrial complex” has gown immeasurably since Eisenhower issued his warning. The U.S. is now in a state of endless war that is bankrupting the country while turning big profits for the arms makers. The power of the military-industrial complex influences every branch and level of government, and every aspect of our society.

President Obama has not stood up to the military-industrial complex.  Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union said: “President Obama’s action (signing NDAA H.R.1540) is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law.”

It is important to learn from history.  In 1933 Germany, the “Reichstag Fire Decree” for the “protection of people and the state” was used to repeal civil liberties.  One month later, “The Enabling Act” allowed the Nazi government of Chancellor Adolf Hitler to invoke de facto dictatorial powers.

In signing H.R. 1540, President Obama issued a “signing statement” in an attempt to soften the tone of his action.  But the signing statement is cosmetic and has no legal binding.  “The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield,” says the ACLU (http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-s…).

 Resist Tyranny! Defend Civil Liberties!

1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties. 4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, etc. 5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.
Contact: Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box AB Kurtistown, Hawai`i 96760.
Phone (808) 966-7622.  Email ja@malu-aina.org   http://www.malu-aina.org
Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (Jan. 6, 2011 – 537th week) – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office