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Testimony Prepared by: Dr. Mudusar Raza & Robert McCaw
Council on American Islamic Relations Maryland
Phone: (301) 660-7640
Chairman Hammen and Ranking Member Elliott, the Council on American-Islamic Relations Maryland (CAIR Maryland) respectfully submits this testimony in demonstration of our strong support for H.B. 0558, the Maryland Liberty Preservation Act of 2013.
I respectfully ask that my entire statement be entered into the record of this hearing.
CAIR Maryland commends Delegate Dwyer and the ten co-sponsors of the Maryland Liberty Preservation Act, and urges the House Health & Government Operations Committee to approve the act without delay.
This act would essentially prohibit an agency of the State or a member of the Maryland National Guard or the Maryland Defense Force, acting on official State duty, to knowingly aid an agency of the United States in the detention of a person in accordance with sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA).
Signed into law on December 31, 2011, the NDAA authorizes the U.S. military to carry out domestic anti-terrorism operations and indefinitely detain Americans and others suspected of terrorism without charge or trial.
While proponents of sections 1021 and 1022 maintain that they are indispensable to national security, CAIR Maryland and the civil rights community believe that these provisions come at the expense of the rights, liberties, and values that this country was founded upon and has been proud to uphold for over two centuries.
Simply put, it is unconstitutional for our military to act as a police force, empowered to hold Americans indefinitely, based on suspicion alone, without the right to trial or even to hear the charges brought against them. Since the NDAA was signed into law, Congress has been unable or unwilling to repeal sections 1021 and 1022 or address the issue of unlawful indefinite detention.
It is now up to the Maryland Assembly to adopt the Maryland Liberty Preservation Act, thereby preserving the due process rights of all persons within the U.S., or at least those within its state borders. No agency of the state or member of the Maryland National Guard or the Maryland Defense Force, acting on official State duty, should be required to contradict the U.S. Constitution.
In review of Sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA:
There are a number of good, sound, constitutional reasons to support the Maryland Liberty Preservation Act:
Once again, CAIR Maryland commends Delegate Dwyer for introducing the Maryland Liberty Preservation Act, and urges the House Health & Government Operations Committee to protect our rights and civil liberties by approving the act without delay.
National Defense Authorization Act of 2012
Public Law No: 112-81
TITLE X--GENERAL PROVISIONS
Sec. 1022. Military custody for foreign al-Qaeda terrorists.
Section 1022 of the NDAA authorizes the indefinite military detention of Americans. While under this section the requirement to detain a person in military custody does not apply to U.S. citizens, CAIR legal counsel believes that the authority or option to do so remains.