NDAA, Freedom and 5th grade Recess
The NDAA is short the National Defense Authorization Act. It is a United States federal law specifying the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defense.Each year’s act also includes other provisions.
The provisions signed into law by President Obama in the year 2012 make it hard to believe we live in free society. To give you an example of what this law can impose upon Amercians, I’ve written a short story below. Enjoy.
Fifth Grade Recess and the NDAA
Imagine being in fifth grade again. It’s time for recess and you are walking outside towards the playground with the rest of the class. As you enter the playground, you watch some of your classmates run. Some of them run to the swings and some go over to the monkey bars. Recess is the time where you get to play and do what you want.
That’s when you notice the new kid. He has a different color than you. He also talks in a different language. He is sitting alone. You decide to go talk to him.
His English sounds a little comical, but you can understand what he is saying. The next thing you know you are telling each other jokes and having a good time. That’s when you glance across the playground and see someone else staring at you.
As he looks at you from across the playground he waves his hand for you to come over. You know who he is. He has said things about the new kid that are not very nice. You say goodbye to your new friend and start walking across the playground.
As you walk towards the monkey bars to meet him, you see him joking with some other friends. Some classmates do not like him. They think he is a bully. You know him as the “enforcer.” You know if you don’t go see him, it will somehow get you in trouble.
When you get there you feel something strange is going to happen. He asks you what you were doing with the new kid. You tell him you were just talking. That’s when the others grab you and put you into the monkey bars.
“Why are you doing this?” you ask. “Because you were talking with the new kid” is the reply from the enforcer. You are scared and say that you want to talk to the teacher. “No, you will not talk to anyone. You are my prisoner.” Says the bully.
You are trapped in the monkey bars. What was once an area of fun, has now become a makeshift prison for you. No one is allowed to speak to you. Your friends, your family, your teacher cannot talk to you. You are all alone.
This fifth grade scenario is a real life threat to the American people. Under the new NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) that was signed into law by President Obama, Americans can now be arrested and held without trial if they are suspected of “hostile” acts.
Imagine being locked up in jail with no chance of proving your innocence. You have to sit in your jail cell until your captors decide what to do with you. No one can visit you. No lawyers. No friends. No family.
As you sit there you start to wonder things like, “How can this be?”
The NDAA of 2012 makes this a possibility. While you were off playing, the “enforcer” of these United States decided to change the rules. Now Americans can be arrested and held forever. Not being able to speak to anyone.
The right to a trial by jury. This is what is missing. The right to prove your innocence before a jury of your peers. Even while at war, we must maintain our Bill of Rights if we are truly going to protect ourselves. If we don’t, we leave it up to the bully’s to decide what happens to us.
I am not saying that U.S. government is a bully. What I am saying is that not having a right to a trial by jury can ruin American lives and liberties. Mistakes happen. The right to a trial by jury is just one way we ensure someone is not wrongly charged of a crime.
How many American lives will be ruined before we want to change the NDAA? Will it be too late to because protesting the NDAA is now considered a “hostile” act?
These are real questions we must ask ourselves. The right to a trial by jury should never be erased. No matter how bad things are. We need this basic right to protect us from injustices that can occur.
The current NDAA should be cancelled. It needs to include the right to a trial for someone who is suspected of hostile acts. There is too much room for mistakes without it. Mistakes that can ruin people’s lives. Not just the people being accused, but their friends and family as well.
Imagine sitting in the monkey bars for the entire recess. As a fifth grader, it would seem like an eternity. Yet, for some Americans, this eternity could be a reality.