Dear Takoma Park City Council,
Please find attached a draft resolution…
- urging the repeal of the indefinite detention provisions of the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA),
- calling for the expiration of the Authorization of Use of Military Force (AUMF) upon cessation of combat operations in Afghanistan,
- instructing city agencies to see to it that any detainees in Takoma Park have access to a trial, counsel, and due process, and to decline federal agency requests under color of NDAA that would infringe on constitutionally guaranteed rights,
- stating the sense of the City Council that neither the NDAA nor the AUMF can authorize US armed forces to arrest, detain, or try persons within the US, or militarily detain without trial civilians captured anywhere, and
- requesting that our Congressman and Senators monitor the implementation of of the NDAA and work for its repeal.
The draft incorporates wording developed by the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). My friends in the Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition and I hope you will study and adopt it, and we look forward to discussing it with all of you.
While the resolution provides a number of justifications for both actions, I will add a few of my own. The NDAA indefinite detention provisions are a blot on the rule of law in this country, and must be reversed as quickly as possible. Indefinite detention without trial is something that was forbidden by the Magna Carta; it’s a travesty that our country that prides itself as the protector of freedom should have undone that ancient rule, and it’s a travesty that so little has been done to reverse that mistake. When our national government fails to protect our freedoms, it must be up to other democratic institutions in our country to advocate them. I hope that you will.
Thank you very much for your attention to this matter.
Takoma Park, Maryland
March 12, 2012
UPDATE: please visit our NDAA resource page with links to the resolution, national campaign links, and background information.