Human rights attorney: Defense bill will ‘gut the Constitution’

By Eric W. Dolan
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 0:38 EDT
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Raha Wala, Advocacy Counsel for Human Rights First, told Countdown host Keith Olbermann on Tuesday night that a controversial provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012 would practically destroy habeas corpus — a guaranteed trial for those accused of a crime.

Sections 1031 and 1032 of the bill would authorize the military to indefinitely detain suspected terrorists anywhere in the world without charge or trial.

Obama has threatened to veto the entire bill, which has been considered must-pass legislation for 50 years, because of the provisions. Lawmakers have amended the legislation in hopes of preventing a presidential veto, but the current bill would still allow suspects to be detained indefinitely in military custody.

“We’re calling on everyone to contact the president and tell him that he needs to stand up for his promise and veto this bill,” said Wala.

He noted that if he did veto the bill, “the president would be stand with the FBI director, director of the CIA, the director of National Intelligence, [and] the Secretary of Defense.”

Wala claimed the NDAA, if passed, would “gut the Constitution.”

Watch video, courtesy of Current TV, below:

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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