Laura W. Murphy / American Civil Liberties Union – 2011-12-17 00:53:08
WASHINGTON , DC (December 16, 2011) — There are moments in America when our freedoms depend on the willingness of a President to act firmly and decisively to sustain our fundamental values. This is one of those moments.
As I write this, the Defense Authorization bill is on its way to President Obama’s desk. The bill contains dangerous, sweeping worldwide indefinite detention provisions.
Leading members of Congress have already indicated that they believe that these provisions could be used by this and any future president to indefinitely detain people without charge or trial — even American citizens and others picked up within the borders of the United States.
According to reports, the President’s advisors are recommending that he not veto this legislation despite earlier promises to do so. We need to tell the President to listen to the American people.
President Obama must veto indefinite detention. Urge him to uphold the freedoms and values we cherish. (Do not forward: This link will open a page with your information already filled in.)
The ACLU and countless supporters like you worked hard to prevent this indefinite detention provision from making it into the National Defense Authorization Act in the first place. But now that it has, we must do everything in our power to stop it.
If we fail, this great nation will become a place where no one will ever be completely safe. Because once America has flouted basic rights like due process and a fair trial, what’s next? We can’t let “innocent until proven guilty” become “innocent unless suspected otherwise.”
We cannot allow our leaders to cross that dangerous line. The future of American freedom rests in President Obama’s hands. Let’s make sure he’s holding a veto stamp.
Tell President Obama you’re counting on him to veto indefinite detention and uphold the freedoms and values America was built on.
This moment will decide the course our nation takes for years to come. You and the ACLU have prevailed over far-reaching threats before, but this one is going to take all of us.
Laura W. Murphy is Director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office
To send an urgent appeal to the President, Click Here.
Right now, the National Defense Authorization Act is headed to President Obama’s desk. The bill contains a dangerous provision that could be read to authorize the military to detain anyone in our country, including US citizens, without charge or trial.
The President’s advisors are recommending that he not veto this legislation despite earlier promises to do so. Tell President Obama: Listen to the American people, not your advisors, and veto the NDAA.
A Sample Letter
You swore an oath to “protect and defend the Constitution.” You are bound by that oath of office to veto the NDAA’s call to shred the Bill of Rights and deny US citizens the protections of due process. Under the provisions of the NDAA, US citizens would be subjected to the same forfeiture of freedoms that the Pentagon currently inflicts on non-citizens, “enemy combatants” and foreigners suspected of engaging in or “aiding and abetting” terrorism.
As the President of our country, the American people look to you to uphold the freedoms and values America was built on. I am counting on you to uphold your earlier promises and veto indefinite detention.
If you fail to veto the bill, I call on you to publicly commit to limiting your use of this authority to actual battlefields only. We cannot let our country enshrine worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial, far from any battlefield, permanently into law.