Letter: Writer agrees - 'Judge's ruling was proper and necessary'I would like to add my voice to that of Mr. Leroy Vetsch in thanking U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest.
By: Debra Hogenson, Brewster, Worthington Daily Globe
I would like to add my voice to that of Mr. Leroy Vetsch in thanking U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest.
In a recent letter published in your paper, Mr. Vetsch thanked Judge Forrest for her ruling blocking the indefinite detention of people designated by the government as terrorists under the National Defense Authorization Act. I could not agree more. The judge’s ruling was proper and necessary.
The Republican-controlled Congress placed the nation in a terrible position when they forced Section 102 of the Act into a defense funding bill despite President Obama’s strong objections. If the President vetoed the bill, critical defense funding would have been delayed or lost. Congress chose to purposely place the president in a very difficult position. President Obama chose to sign the bill, but explained that he did so only because “it authorizes funding for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad, crucial services for service members and their families, and vital national security programs that must be renewed.” The president went on to say he had serious reservations with provisions that “regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists.”
Thankfully, President Obama pledged to never use the provisions of the Act that Mr. Vetsch cited. But, as we know from our nation’s recent experience with President Bush and Vice President Cheney, presidential power is easily abused. And while I am grateful to President Obama for his pledge, I know that a pledge by an honorable president does not bind the next person who might hold the office.
As Mr. Vetsch rightly pointed out in his letter; our freedom depends on the protection of our constitutional right to due process of law. Our nation’s freedoms were made safer by Judge Forrest overturning a provision that Congress should never have placed in any bill, much less a bill that funds our nation’s defense.