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Protest at Rep. Duncan Hunter’s Office Over NDAA

A varied group of 25 people protests outside Rep. Hunter’s office Friday.

Protesters picketed outside Rep. Duncan Hunter’s office in El Cajon on Friday, calling for members of Congress to repeal the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2012 or resign.

The NDAA is the law authorizing the military budget each year. Both liberals and conservatives have attacked the version for this year’s budget, which contains elements about arresting and detaining terrorism suspects. Opponents fear that the military now has the authority to arrest American citizens within the United States and that arrestees can be detained indefinitely without due process.

There were approximately 30 people there, including five who went to support Hunter, according to Ramona Forum President Dave Patterson. Protesters included people from the Occupy Movement, Tea Party, Ramona Forum—a liberal progressive group—and a group called Kill the NDAA, he said. Among them were (Republican), (Democrat) and Michael Benoit, (Libertarian), all running for Hunter's seat. Several people spoke, including Eric Andersen (Republican) from La Mesa, Patterson said.

Hunter, speaking in Ramona on Monday, said the concerns about the NDAA are unfounded.

“You can’t trump the Constitution,” he said of the legislation, while speaking to the Intermountain Republican Women Federated.

Hunter was on the conference committee that reviewed the House and Senate bills that laid the foundation for the NDAA. President Barack Obama signed the final bill (HR1540) into law on Dec. 31, 2011. To see a full copy of the law and to read a statement about it issued by Hunter, .

The conference committee included 29 House members and 26 senators, according to Hunter aide Joe Kasper in Washington. Kasper told Patch that the detainee provisions originated in the Senate and were “ironed out” in the conference committee. He said the NDAA puts into law procedures that were already being used.

“When something isn’t codified, there can be broad interpretations,” he said. “Putting it into law strengthens it and makes it consistent. There’s 100 percent clarity on the detainee process now. Congress can go back and address any changes that might need to be made down the line. This is commonly done.”

Kasper said there’s nothing in the NDAA to say the U.S. military can arrest citizens within US borders.

“Nothing can be construed as that,” he said.

He said the claims from opponents are “over the top.”

“We’re in campaign season, so this protest should be seen in that light,” Kasper said.

“Precedent has been set that shows that a U.S. citizen overseas who is captured as a collaborator still is entitled to due process,” he said.

Kasper said Hunter “feels very strongly about this stuff.”

“If (the NDAA) had given military domestic authority to arrest, he wouldn’t have voted for it. We always have to be very careful about extending federal powers.”

Hunter served in the Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Things I Learned February 05, 2012 at 08:08 PM
In our Constitutional framework the Senate's purpose is to protect majority rule which explains why Senate Democrats haven't used the nuclear AKA "constitutional" option to eliminate the filibuster with 51 votes. Senate Democrats are so intimidated at the prospect of having to debate their fiscal ideas that Senate Republicans are able to unfairly use the mere threat of a filibuster to keep them from even proposing a budget since April 29, 2009 even though they found time to pass Obamacare which had the effect of reducing their majority below the number to prevent future filibusters like the one when Bernie Sanders (commie-VT) tried to prevent Barack Obama and the Republicans from compromising on taxes.
David B Secor February 06, 2012 at 06:36 AM
Do you support the language in question in the NDAA? Duncan Hunter does. If you do, too, then you condone violations of the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments to the Constitution. Mr Hunter is supposed to be the Keeper of the Flame for this district, and in voting to allow any of his constituents, and potentialy himself, if found "suspicious," to be arrested and detained in violation of at least these three Amendments, is a violation of his oath to protect and defend the Constitution from enemies both foreign AND DOMESTIC. Ron Paul on the Right and Bernie Sanders on the Left had no difficulty in seeing this. But Hunter, who wraps himself in God, the flag and Constitution when it suits him, not only voted for this language, he was ON THE COMMITTEE THAT REVIEWED THE BILLS. He "looked hard at this," and still saw no problems! I know this district is Republican, but if you can vote for a man who would have no problem with YOU being "disappeared" for activity considered "suspicious" by "someone," then you need to stop demanding your Constitutional protections on other issues, because, with eyes wide open, you voted FOR THE VERY PERSON WHO WOULD DENY THEM TO YOU. You do not have to join the forces of evil and vote Dem. There are Libertarian and Tea Party candidates for this office, both of whom were at the NDAA protest, and would demand your rights be protected. Vote for them, but not for Hunter, who "looks hard," but can't see. (You may now change the subject to Obama)
Komfort February 06, 2012 at 03:41 PM
What does Obama have to do with this?
Things I Learned February 06, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Aside from signing the NDAA that Representative Susan Davis (forces of evil--CA) voted for despite both taking the same oath as Duncan Hunter (fine young man--America), nothing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVYezww7AEs&feature=related
Komfort February 06, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Wait. What?! Then why isn't David upset with them? I don't know if I could vote for a partisan candidate to replace a partisan candidate.

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