The latest National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is nothing short of a disaster for human rights. Unfortunately, despite an outcry from activists like you, Congress has already more or less guaranteed that this bill — with its disturbing detention provisions — will soon reach President Obama’s desk.
We can’t take the risk that this legislation will ever become law.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that the rule of law and human rights in the United States as we know them are at stake. On its face, this bill is scary enough — it would keep Guantanamo open indefinitely, hinder federal trials of terrorism suspects, and would further entrench detention without charge in U.S. law.
Those provisions alone are a deep affront to human rights. But the broader implications are just as terrifying.
If the U.S. government has the foggiest belief that you might be associated with Al Qaeda or its allies, even a U.S. citizen within U.S. borders could be targeted. How would we know if that “belief” is justified, you may ask? Well, we don’t — there is no innocent until proven guilty on the battlefield. And this bill would bring the battlefield to U.S. soil.
Sweeping new powers for the U.S. president and military — based on “beliefs” alone — at the expense of individual liberty. This is not the America we believe in.
President Obama already has threatened to veto the NDAA if these odious provisions come across his desk. But he’s also promised to close Guantanamo, and we all know that hasn’t happened — we’re not even close. We must keep the pressure on.
Urge President Obama to keep his pledge to veto the NDAA — and to honor his promise to close Guantanamo and uphold human rights.
Director, Security with Human Rights Campaign
Amnesty International USA
P.S. Guantanamo has been open 10 years too many! Join us January 11, 2012 in Washington, DC for a day of action to close Guantanamo — sign up now.