Goshen News, Goshen, IN

January 30, 2013

'Security' at freedom's expense


— In 2011, President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act for the year 2012. Tucked away in that bill was a provision that allows for indefinite detention of American citizens. Now without warrant or trial, citizens of this nation can be thrown in Guantanamo. Has it really come to this? Have we become so weak, so frightened, that we will allow this to happen in the name of “security?” Will we simply turn away and hope that a president never uses this new power?

We are America, there is a reason that our Constitution protects the right to trial. Even the most terrible criminal gets a fair hearing; at bare minimum we should protect that right for our fellow citizens. The blame for this cannot be completely laid at the feet of our president. Both major parties came together to support this atrocious assault on our civil liberties.

Thankfully here in Indiana, there is something we can do. Senate Bill 400 introduced by state Sen. Jim Banks would nullify the indefinite detention provision. The bill would prohibit aiding anyone attempting to detain a person under the NDAA, and includes penalties for federal agents attempting to enforce the indefinite detention provision. We have seen how our “representatives” in Washington work, and we cannot trust them to work for us, we must stand for ourselves. I applaud Sen. Banks for introducing this legislation, and I urge our state legislators to join him in defending our constitutional rights. Please co-sponsor and support SB 400.

— Benjamin Rogers