Dan Johnson of PANDA warns of the National Defense Authorization Act on 94.3FM The Talker
[Editor’s Note: Independent Gazette publisher Louis R. Jasikoff is known as “Libertarian Lou” on the Sanity Check radio show, airing Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. Together with “Tea Party Mike,” he addresses topics unlikely to receive attention elsewhere in local media. The following is an excerpt from the duo’s September 20 broadcast. Johnson is the founder of PANDA, People Against the NDAA.]
Dan Johnson: So I watched this [YouTube] video and it was about the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. . . . and I know history repeats itself, and the United States is no exception. So when I saw that the NDAA essentially legally declares America a battlefield in the War on Terror, which means the President can authorize the military to detain someone without a charge, without a trial, [or] to rendite someone to a foreign country, again, without a charge, without a trial, [or] to lock down an American city, just send the military in and do whatever he wants . . . Anything allowable on a foreign battlefield — and not just to the enemy, but to a spy — because you’re not even considered a POW on this foreign battlefield, you’re just considered a spy. The term most likely to be used would be “terrorist.” You’re considered a spy on this foreign battlefield, and if you’re a spy you have no protections under the Laws of War or, supposedly, the [US] Constitution.
So when I saw this I realized, and we realized, me and a couple college friends that I called up . . . We were like, look, we don’t want our children to live in a world where military men have AR15s standing outside their bedroom window. That’s not the type of world . . . that’s not freedom. Freedom’s just as essential to life as water, just as essential to life as air. So, how would we ever want our children to grow up in that kind of world, and we wanted to do what we could . . .
Lou: This is really amazing. Michael and [Mr.] X, I went on [Dan’s] site yesterday, and we have spoken about the NDAA here, and I’m going to encourage folks just to use your search engine and just put “panda.” Certainly, [Dan’s] site is pandaunite.org. . . . And I gotta tell you, as much as we think we know what’s going on it was really remarkable. You have a fantastic site there, and the resources that are there . . . I started to print stuff out and I have half a book here.
. . .
Dan: Usually when we go into a city or we train people up in a city or county to stop this in their area, what we find is we get a lot of support from the people, but we don’t get a lot of support from the status quo or the political class. So it seems to be a measure of defending the status quo . . . The people pushing for the NDAA [in Washington, DC], overall, is the Military-Industrial Complex. You follow the money, you figure out who would gain the most from military operations on US soil [and] it’s those who fund those military operations.
. . .
Dan: The 2012 NDAA, or National Defense Authorization Act, for those of you just joining us, uses the term “belligerent act” to define who can be detained, who’s considered a spy under this, and then the government in court refused to define that term. . . . We have all these categories where we set aside a group of people and we apply this label and we say, people with this label don’t have any rights. After 9/11 we allowed that to happen with Guantanamo Bay. We allowed them to say, oh, well, these people don’t have any rights, and yet we say, well, they’re natural, unalienable rights. If they’re unalienable rights, no government can take them, and no government can give them. . . . Now it’s coming back to haunt us.
. . .
Dan: What we count as a [PANDA] victory is when the State or a city or county — local government — passes a resolution saying, we’re not a battlefield, and if anyone comes in here to try to enforce the NDAA or any of the Laws of War, regardless of whether it’s under the NDAA or anything like that, they are violating the Constitution and therefore they’ll be arrested. It’s an interposition resolution. It’s not non-compliance. It’s not saying, oh, we’re going to sit back and drink our tequilas and lay back in our lawn chair while the federal government comes and detains you forever. We’re going to actually step up — we’re going to interpose.
. . .
Lou: When I brought this up to you, Dan, a little while ago and I said, what do you think about our two local congressmen here, Marino and Barletta, you said that some of these myths were written for them. . . .
Dan: A couple of the [PANDA NDAA] myths, including the one about “it doesn’t apply to American citizens” were written because when Barletta and Marino were confronted on this stuff, that was their number one [response] . . . “Well, it doesn’t say it applies to American citizens.” . . . Well, neither do any of our other laws that we pass. We just assume it applies to American citizens because Congress is passing it. . . . Both of your congressmen, Marino and Barletta, have violated their oath to the Constitution, and the Founders set up . . .
Lou: Whoah, whoah, whoah, you’re saying they violated their oath . . .
Dan: Yes, absolutely. Without a doubt. As if you guys didn’t know that.
Lou: I wanted that back on record. . . . In both Barletta’s and Marino’s [races] there are other candidates running, and, in fact, in Marino’s I believe there are three [candidates] . . . I have publicly come out and supported Andy Ostrowski [in his bid against Barletta] because I feel as though we do need a new voice in Barletta’s district. And, Michael, you remember, and I remember, when we were down at Luzerne County College [in April 2010] with Michael Harrison and the Tea Party and we warned [Barletta] and we said to [him], if you don’t follow your oath, we can’t support you. And that’s one of the reasons I am not supporting him this time around, because I feel as though we do need to send that message.
The full interview begins around the 17:20 mark: