Rep. Dan Gordon
RI House of Representatives

Rhode Island Representative to Introduce Resolution in Opposition to Federal Act

Portsmouth, RI January 12, 2012 Rhode Island State Representative Daniel P. Gordon Jr. has drafted a resolution to be submitted in opposition to the sections of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 that suspend habeas corpus and civil liberties of Rhode Island citizens. Sections 1021 and 1022 of the Act, signed into law on New Years Eve of 2011, provide for the indefinite detention of American citizens by the military on American soil, without charge, and without right to legal council and right to trial.

“Given the fact that the Constitution of Rhode Island and that of the United States are replete with guarantees of individual liberties, right to habeas corpus, and right to freedom of speech, the offending section of that law are repugnant to the sensibilities of anyone that has a basic understanding of the foundation of this Country”, Gordon said.

He cites Charles C. Krulak and Joseph P. Hoar, both retired 4 star Marine generals, who oppose the indefinite detention provisions. “Both of these distinguished gentlemen understand that the first obligation of military personnel is the oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Violation of that oath, constitutional provisions, and that of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 is a slippery slope to tyranny.”

Gordon also notes that last year, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed into law a bill that provides a “share of the spoils” to the Rhode Island National Guard for their participation in assisting state and local law enforcement, in reference to the practice of property confiscation in certain cases. “In the committee hearing, I questioned the National Guard’s legislative liaison as to what their role was in such activities. We were told it was ‘mostly providing intelligence’”, he stated.

Gordon concludes,“When I took the oath of office, I swore that I would support the Constitutions of Rhode Island and the United States. And before one single constituent of mine is snatched up in the dead of night, without due process under our laws, they’ll have to pry those documents from my cold dead hands.”