According to a recent article, military custody is counterproductive and the numbers do not lie. The article is authored by Briant Michael Jenkins, who is an expert on terrorism and transportation security.
The National Defense Authorization Act enables the military to detain suspected terrorist indefinitely, which may or may not include United States citizens without the courts system involvement in any way. In sum, it will be treated as an act of war and US citizens can lose all rights because the government says so.
In looking at the bill, hypothesizing if it had been around since 2001, it does not appear it would have accomplished anything the court systems have already. Most suspected terrorists have gone through the court systems and are now serving extensive time in jail.
Jenkins then goes on to state:
The new bill could also adversely affect popular attitudes in the communities in which radicalization and jihadist recruitment occur. Since it applies only to suspects who are members of, or substantially support, al Qaeda, the Taliban, or other terrorist forces, the NDAA will alienate communities in the United States whose cooperation is vital. In more than a third of the jihadist cases since 9/11, the American Muslim community was the source of the initial tip that eventually led to an arrest. Given that such information could now lead to indefinite detention without trial on the basis of suspicion alone, that cooperation may decline.
The big question is when will the ‘war on terrorism’ end. Senator Lindsey Graham in a recent interview almost made it sound like it could never end. But what if it does it, what then? Well if a war ends and people have been detained by the military, they are released. Again this is a great point and is completely counterproductive to what most people think the National Defense Authorization Act will accomplish.
In all, this is the clearest argument against NDAA around besides the obvious points of it violating the Bill of Rights and Constitution. Bravo to Brian Michael Jenkins and hopefully Americans can wake up to the fact that not only have we lost our rights but we became a weaker nation because of it.
Brian Michael Jenkins in his article concerning NDAA poured through many of the arrests and revealed that they are doing the job without stripping American Citizens of their born rights. After citing several examples he says:
In sum, even in the absence of the NDAA, terrorists have not escaped punishment. In fact, prosecutors obtained convictions in almost 90 percent of the terrorism-related cases. And most of the men involved in terrorist plots are now in prison for the rest of their lives.
The legal process that put them there was entirely transparent. Stripped of their political pretensions, those charged with terrorism-related crimes have been brought before the courts as ordinary criminals. Judges and juries decide their guilt not on their basis of the defendants’ beliefs but on the basis of their actions. Whether indefinite detention without trial or military custody for the small number of accused would have produced a significantly better outcome is debatable.
By treating terrorists as special and making war crimes out of intent, you are creating heroes to the terrorist movement. If we put them through the courts, we would be showing they are not anything but thug criminals. Instead, we elevate their status and create poster boys aspiring terrorist thugs can look up to in hopes to carrying out a future attack. Like most things that restrict personal liberties, the blowback is much worse than any positive notions associated with indefinite detention.
The other pro NDAA argument goes that the United States loses out on valuable intelligence when a suspected terrorist is enabled to get a lawyer. But it turns out the opposite is true because when a criminal is arrested, the can plea bargain and release information for a lesser sentence. In addition, when local, state and federal authorities are involved it opens up cases to a number of investigators, which are stifled when the military steps in.