Another City Cries "Liberty!" Salem, MA Unanimously Passes Anti-NDAA ResolutionSubmitted by Sue4theBillofrights on Mon, 04/15/2013 - 00:54
The following is a press release from Massachusetts People Against the NDAA (Massachusetts PANDA). MA is leading the nation in pushing for state legislation which would impose fines and penalties on officers acting under the unconstitutional NDAA. See Digital Journal "Anti-NDAA bill in MA would punish officers, treat NDAA as illegal"
Salem Stands Up For the Constitution, Says “NO” To Indefinite Detention
28 March 2013
The Salem City Council voted unanimously on Thursday, March 28 to pass a resolution titled “The Liberty Preservation Act”. This resolution was brought before the council by Mr. Benjamin Selecky, a Salem born resident, who is also the Massachusetts State Team Leader for a nationwide organization called PANDA, (People Against the NDAA). The resolution will now head to the city solicitor for review before it comes before the council for final approval. This resolution seeks to restore the Constitutionally protected right to a trial by jury for all persons in Salem.
Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2012 allow for the indefinite military detention without trial of any person based on ‘suspicion’ of some sort of yet undefined affiliation with ‘terrorism’. The language used in the NDAA 2012 officially declares the United States part of the battlefield, and allows for the law of war to be applied to United States citizens. Under the law of war, a person may be transferred to a ‘foreign entity’ and remain held there until the ‘end of hostilities’. This is troubling since the current ‘War on Terror’ has no definable end.
On Tuesday evening at the meeting of the committee of the whole, the sentiment, of the seven members present, was near unanimous. In dissent, Councillor Legault expressed skepticism over the need for the resolution. “I’m not a fan of conspiracy theories, and it seems to me that maybe there’s a little of that in play here. But the fact of the matter is that sometimes there is malicious intent in some of this legislation [NDAA 2012].”, the newest elected councillor said. Addressing Mr. Selecky, he went on to say, “So you may be onto something here, but I’m not so sure.” Councillor Legault did not reveal whether he would vote in support of the resolution, saying that further research was needed.
Councillor Sosnowski expressed mixed feelings on the subject. His comments Tuesday night suggest a struggle in trying to find the balance between protecting the people of this country and defending the Constitution. “I, in my heart, want to defend the Constitution. I’ve been sworn to defend the Constitution. I fought to defend the Constitution, and yet, I know that we are the only ones playing by the rules.” After additional comments weighing both sides of the issue, he concluded, “To be held without trial, I think that’s a complete violation of the Constitution. We need to defend the Constitution. Period.”
The Posse Comitatus Act is a longstanding law that limits the powers of the federal government in using federal military personnel to enforce the State laws. Sections 1021 and 1022 are in clear violation of this longstanding law. “What we are talking about is the difference between police matters and military matters. And I would prefer that we stick to the Constitution and not have the military operating on American soil.”, Councillor Turiel said in support of the resolution. He continued by saying that, “This is a job for good strong police work at its best.”
Councillor Prevey expressed similar feelings, saying that “We can do things lawfully. Because in the end, when we give broad sweeping powers, who gets to make those decisions? I see this [resolution] as a good thing. I’m completely in support of it.”
Regarding the possibility of being detained without a trial, Councillor Sargent recalls that, “It seems like the kind of thing we started that little Revolution about way back, over a couple hundred years ago.” He went on to remind the council, “...about the story of the Japanese parents and families put in detention camps in World War II after Pearl Harbor. Whole families put in detention camps.”
While many claimed this was necessary at the time, it is now looked back upon as a shameful part of our past. History will repeat itself if we fail to acknowledge the mistakes we made and take steps necessary to prevent future occurrences.
It is important for the cities and towns of Massachusetts to pass local resolutions to protect the rights of the people from an overreaching federal government. “We took an Oath to defend the Constitution.” said Councillor Sosnowski. “I have no problems supporting this whatsoever.”, Councillor Turiel said, affirming his support of this resolution. Councillor Prevey addressed Mr. Selecky, “So until it [indefinite detention] is repealed, until enough communities like us, through your resolution, lend our voice to our representatives at the State House and in Congress, it will continue. I certainly applaud you for bringing this forward and shedding the light that needs to be shed on it.”
Mr. Selecky concluded proceedings about the resolution by saying, “While I do recognize that in times of great national emergency or tragedy, that those are often the times that the nation is most scared, and most willing to give up liberty for the promise of safety and security. In times of great crisis, while it may be tempting to suspend the Constitution, or violate parts of the Constitution, that is the time when we should be turning to the Constitution the most. If we don’t have trial by jury, we don’t have a Bill of Rights.”
Benjamin Selecky can be contacted at MA@PandaUnite.org, and PANDA’s website address is www.PANDAUnite.org. If you would like any information about resolutions in other cities, or about the active legislation on Beacon Hill, please contact him at the email address above. The Massachusetts team is growing. They need your support.
Founder of Massachusetts People Against the NDAA (PANDA) Explains His fight for the Constitution