Bill of Rights Defense Committee executive director Shahid Buttar began with a stark statement of his own: “At the moment, the right to trial and due process have effectively been statutorily suspended. We enjoy them because of the pleasure of the president. … every place in the world that has flirted with powers like these has descended into authoritarianism.
He added: “In fact, we once used military detention as a definition of authoritarianism.” (“Still do,” noted Ms. Hurlburt.) […] We adopted in the United States one of the same powers that the activists in Egypt were activating around. That was half the reason they were activists: because Mubarak had a detention authority that was arbitrary.”
Buttar warned that the scope of the detention provisions was elastic and dangerous: “Under the NDAA it’s not even the case that the state could prosecute you [for broadly drawn “terror” charges, i.e. eco-vandalism or animal rights protests]. You could just be detained. Period. And granted you’d still have habeas rights, but anyone who’s been watching the DC Circuit Court knows how tenuous habeas has become.”
Buttar had earlier pointed out that the first jurisdiction to pass a resolution against the NDAA’s Sections 1021 and 1022 was El Paso County, Colorado — home to five military bases including the Air Force Academy. He returned to the point with a long list of cities that had passed or were considering NDAA resolutions, from Dallas to Portland to Miami:
“All over the country, concerned Americans are raising their voices. And you have the opportunity to join them. And it’s very exciting that the Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition has raised that flag.”