BOWLING GREEN – In a vote of 2-1, the Gem County, Idaho Commission voted to prohibit the application of the laws of war, including under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, and any similar law or authority, in Gem County.
One commissioner, even, did it on accident.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is an annual Federal law which typically authorizes funding for the armed forces. However, in 2012, two sections, Section 1021 and 1022, were slipped in. These sections authorize the President of the United States to order the military to detain any person, indefinitely, without charge or trial, and apply the laws of war to U.S. soil.
People Against the NDAA (PANDA) has been facilitating local and state level resistance to the 2012 NDAA for over two years. Founded in January 2012, PANDA has introduced or pushed over 18 pieces of state legislation, including 2014 legislation in Arizona, Idaho, and Wyoming. On the local level, PANDA has helped NDAA Resistance leaders in 4 cities, including the Capitol of New York, prohibit the NDAA’s detention provisions and the laws of war in their city.
When PANDA Idaho showed up with over 40 people to a Gem County, ID Commissioners meeting on Monday, the Chair of the Commission, Carlos Bilbao, ordered over 30 people to leave. PANDA Idaho’s Jason Casella was there:
“Concerned and vigilant citizens came to the county commission at 4pm on a Monday leaving work early or completely missing work to ensure their rights are protected. They were blindsided when they showed up in support of the RCG and shuffled into a room upstairs where they could hardly hear what was happening. When citizens informed commissioner Carlos Bilbao that ‘the clerk has an open courtroom and we can use that’ the commissioner responded that “he is in charge, not her.”
In the video below, you can hear muffled complaints from the people in attendance, asking to use the upstairs room, the hallway, or another place where they could meet and still see the meeting in progress. The Commission refused.
After unceremoniously kicking their citizens out of the meeting, the commission debated sending a letter to Congress as well as voting on the resolution. This resolution, drafted by the Patriot Coalition, would go further than a simple letter in that it would recognize the laws of war, including under the NDAA, as unConstitutional and therefore unlawful in their County. This would prohibit its use, and require local, state and Federal law enforcement to prevent its application in Gem County.
Regardless of the actions of the chair, thanks to the leadership of Commissioner Mark Rekow and Jason Casella, the Restoring Constitutional Governance Resolution (RCG) passed 2-1.
The best part?
Chair Bilbao accidentally voted ”yes” on the resolution.
While assuming he was voting on a letter to Congress, Chair Bilbao accidentally voted to pass the RCG Resolution. Toward the end of the video below, you can see him completely confused as to his vote, and, after Jason asks if they voted on the Resolution, he doesn’t realize he voted yes on both. Yet he did, and whether by accident or on purpose, liberty, civil rights, and the unalienable right to a fair trial will take hold in Gem County, Idaho.
By passing the RCG Resolution, Gem County, Idaho become the first county in the nation to completely ban the laws of war, including the NDAA, in its jurisdiction. PANDA Idaho’s Jason Casella noted:
“I want to thank all of the great citizens of gem counting for acting on the issue and making the sacrifice to be at the courthouse on a Monday afternoon.”
There are many things coming down the pipeline as the national security state, and the militarization of America, continues. But when it comes to the NDAA, 2 years of concentrated effort is starting to pay off.
Albany, NY – Oct 7th, 2013
Oxford, MA – Oct 9th, 2013
Webster, MA – Oct 21st, 2013
Emmett, ID – Dec 17th, 2013
Gem County, ID – February 24th, 2014
On this issue, at least, the tide has turned in our favor.
PANDA Idaho is working with citizens in over 10 cities and counties in the state to defeat the NDAA at a local level, while over 60 cities are considering it nationwide. Grab your packet and start taking back your county/city HERE: http://pandaunite.org/takeback/
DONATE and support the 2014 Take Back Tour to help us take this message across the nation, and ensure more victories like this in the future: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/panda-take-back-concert-tour/x/6276168
Dan Johnson is the Founder and National Director of People Against the NDAA. Invite him to speak to your group here: https://alternetmedia.com/panda/aboutus/contactus/
NDAA is passed every year, as part of the US Discretionary Budget, and is mandated by the US Constitution ( Article One, Section Eight).
The Executive Powers, in Article Two utline the President’s powers as “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.”
The NDAA Statute of Section 1021 and 1022, in question, notes Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C.
1541 ratified nearly unanimousely, (2(D) and 2(R) not voting and 1(D) voted nay).
This statute does NOT give the President power “to order the military to detain any person, indefinitely, without charge or trial, and apply the laws of war to U.S. soil.”
That person has to meet very specific criteria. The author of this article is confusing a commonplace criminal with a prisoner of war who is to be detained, under the laws of war “until hostilities cease”.
These prisoners of war fit the criteria of spy, sabotuer, guerilla and terrorist – who are not granted protections under the Geneva Conventions, as conventional fighters, but are classified as illegal enemy combatants or war criminals.
Section 1021 (c) states:
(c) Disposition Under Law of War.–The disposition of a person under
the law of war as described in subsection (a) may include the following:
(1) Detention under the law of war without trial until the
end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use
of Military Force.
(2) Trial under chapter 47A of title 10, United States Code
(as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2009 (title XVIII
of Public Law 111-84)).
(3) Transfer for trial by an alternative court or competent
tribunal having lawful jurisdiction.
(4) Transfer to the custody or control of the person’s
country of origin, any other foreign country, or any other
Article 4 (1)(2) of the Third Geneva Conventions sets the conditions thus:
“Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:
that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
that of carrying arms openly;
that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.”
Presently, the US abides, to the letter of the law, and our enemy does not.