ACLU-MD legislative director Melissa Goemann notes:
The ACLU of Maryland is proud to work with the Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition to pass this resolution in Takoma Park. We believe that NDAA is a historic threat because it codifies indefinite military detention without charge or trial into law for the first time in American history. It could permit the president – and all future presidents – to order the military to imprison indefinitely civilians captured far from any battlefield without charge or trial.
This kind of sweeping detention power is completely at odds with our American values, violates the Constitution, and corrodes our Nation’s commitment to the rule of law, which generations have fought to preserve.
Mike Mage of the Montgomery County ACLU adds, “Congratulations to the Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition for having the resolve to coordinate this extremely important resolution in defense of our most fundamental rights.“
In addition to language taken from the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC) model NDAA resolution, the MCCRC Takoma Park proposal incorporates provisions drawn from a similar one by the ACLU, calling for the expiration of the 2001 Authorization of Use of Military Force (AUMF) on the end of combat in Afghanistan. The AUMF has been advanced — however wrongly — as legal justification for civil liberties infringements including detention without trial, perhaps most notoriously in the case of Jose Padilla. So it’s important for this authorization to expire.
Other organizations endorsing the proposed Takoma Park NDAA/AUMF resolution include the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Defending Dissent Foundation, and South Asian Americans Leading Together. In addition, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the ACLU of Montgomery County are joining in co-sponsoring the upcoming April 26th forum on the NDAA, featuring Heather Hurlburt of the National Security Network and Shahid Buttar of BORDC and moderated by Takoma/Silver Spring Voice editor Eric Bond.