January 18, 2012
Rep. Ron Paul left the campaign trail on Wednesday to speak on the House floor about the National Defense Authorization Act, which was signed into law on the first day of the new year by Obama.
Paul introduced legislation to strike the NDAA’s Section 1021, the discretionary detention provision authorizing the President to detain persons accused by the government of supporting terrorism.
Ron Paul has serious reservations despite Obama’s issuing a signing statement declaring that he will not use the law to detain Americans. In December, Paul said the bill will accelerate the country’s “slip into tyranny” and virtually assures “our descent into totalitarianism.”
The Texas congressman and presidential candidate said on Wednesday the bill “provides for the possibility of the U.S. military acting as a kind of police force on U.S. soil, apprehending terror suspects, including Americans, and whisking them off to an undisclosed location indefinitely.”
He then criticized his fellow lawmakers. “Sadly, too many of my colleagues are too willing to undermine our constitution to support such outrageous legislation. One senator even said, about American citizens being picked up under this section of the NDAA, ‘When they say ‘I want my lawyer,’ you tell them, ‘Shut up. You don’t get a lawyer.'”
“Is this acceptable in someone who has taken an oath to uphold the constitution?” Paul asked.
The Senator Paul left unnamed is Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). Graham has compared the war on terror to the Second World War and believes suspected enemies should be stripped of constitutional protections (see video below). The so-called war on terror – including the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan – was not declared by Congress. Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution makes it clear only Congress can declare war and the president is authorized to wage it.