Does Section 1029 Of The NDAA Guarantee Americans Their Constitutional Rights To Trial?
Well, it’s been one year to the day when Barack Hussein Obama signed into law the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and it’s assumed he will sign the new 2013 version of the NDAA sometime today, keeping the signing under the radar as he did last year. The questions surrounding this year’s NDAA has been over whether or not proposed amendments to it would, in fact, provide protections for Americans under the Constitution, guaranteeing them their Sixth Amendment rights.
But wasn’t there another provision in the NDAA that guarantees an American’s right to trial is upheld? Well, there is Section 1029, which is referred to as the Gohmert Amendment. The amendment was written by Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX). The amendment has claimed to protect the rights of U.S. citizens if they are arrested and suspected of terrorism. Here is the text of Section 1029 of the 2013 NDAA:
“Nothing in the Authorization for Use of Military Force or the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 shall be construed to deny the availability of the writ of habeas corpus or to deny any Constitutional rights in a court ordained or established by or under Article III of the Constitution for any person who is lawfully in the United States when detained pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force and who is otherwise entitled to the availability of such writ or such rights.”
It sounds like it is guaranteeing to protect American citizens rights, doesn’t it? I mean it’s pretty straight forward. But is it?
According to Dan Johnson, with PANDA (People Against the NDAA) the problem is in the language, particularly the guarantee to a trial in an Article III court. He writes:
“The Gohmert Amendment only says that if you get a trial in an Article III court that you won’t be denied your constitutional rights in that court, but there’s no guarantee that you get any trial, let alone one in an Article III court. This language is deceptive in that it implies Congress can pick and choose who gets Constitutional Rights. It also does not recognize or protect the Constitutional Rights of U.S. citizens travelling abroad.”
In other words, Section 1029 does nothing to protect your right to a trial in an Article III court. In fact, lawmakers have declared that America is a “battlefield.” This means that anyone detained under the 2001 (You read that right, that’s George W. Bush) Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which was strengthened further by the 2012 NDAA, would be subject to a military trial, not a trial in an Article III court.
Johnson goes on affirm this stating that “Anyone detained under the 2001 AUMF as modified by the 2012 NDAA is subject to the laws of war.”
My friends you need to understand that this applies based simply on the “suspicion” of being a terrorist or being involved with terrorists by either the President or anyone under his command! This means they would not get the Article III court, but rather would be subject to an Article I court, or we commonly refer to them as a Military Tribunal or a Courts-Martial.
Dan Johnson goes further to explain that “The 2009 Military Commissions Act gave military commissions/tribunals (also know as courts-martial) the statutory authority to choose whether or not they had jurisdiction. In laymen’s terms, that means a Military commission (an Article I Court) can decide themselves whether or not they will take “jurisdiction” over cases involving AUMF/NDAA “covered persons.”
So while the language of the Gohmert amendment sounds good, it does absolutely nothing to guarantee you a trial in an Article III court. You can still be indefinitely detained based on the White House saying you are a terrorist. Additionally, if you do get a trial, it may be in a military tribunal and not a civilian court of law. However, should you actually get into an Article III court, then your rights would be honored….”unless otherwise entitled.”
All this comes down to those final two words, “otherwise entitled.” The statement is basically saying that you are not “otherwise enetitled” even though the Constitution says you are. Under both Bush and Obama, if they deemed you a terrorist, you had no right to a trial, because in their words, you are an “enemy combatant.” If you don’t believe that our representatives think the same thing, listen to Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) as he was interviewed and asked about his statement “Shut up! You don’t get a lawyer!” Hear him state these exact words.
Don’t forget while you are celebrating tonight that Obama just may be doing some celebrating of his own by signing this unconstitutional, tyrannical bill into law, further endangering you and me and our children.