Officials oppose controversial sections of national defense act

Elk County Commissioners on Tuesday adopted a resolution Tuesday proclaiming their opposition to two controversial sections of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.Officials said Tuesday that the sections in question, Sections 1021 and 1022, "as proposed, in limited circumstances," allows an American citizen to be "detained by our own United States government and by our Armed Forces" and detention "could last without trial until the end of the hostilities currently authorized by the authorization for use of military force."The document also reportedly jeopardizes the "fundamental rights of American citizens to remain free from detention without due process and the right to habeas corpus in direct contravention of the guarantees of the Bill of Rights of the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions.""It is indisputable that the threat of homeland and international terrorism is both real and viable, and that the full force of appropriate and constitutional law must be used to defeat this threat so that terror never wins," said Elk County Commissioner Daniel R. Freeburg as he read the resolution. "However, winning the war against terror cannot come at the great expense of jeopardizing basic fundamental constitutional rights through unreasonable rules, laws, regulations or executive orders."The Board of County Commissioners of Elk County, Pennsylvania, wholeheartedly supports the United States military and dutifully recognizes the importance the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 as an appropriations bill and as a bill necessary to support the efforts of our military to both serve and protect the people of this great nation-- with the exclusion of Sections 1021 and 1022."Officials reported that the county's sheriff's office also is "in agreement with this resolution and the goals and purposes stated and agrees to undertake all appropriate efforts to honor and protect the constitutional rights of all citizens."Pick up a copy of the Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.Next meeting:Elk County Board of CommissionersWhen: Tuesday, Feb. 21Where: Conference Room No. 2, Courthouse AnnexTime: 10 a.m.