Pushing PANDA

PANDA is People Against the National Defense Authorization Act

by George Prentice
Boise Weekly
Apr 2, 2014

They’re called the “laws of war.”

Buried deep within the 1,000 pages that make up the National Defense Authorization Act is Subtitle D-Counterterrorism, containing a number of provisions which, among other things, allow the U.S. government to “use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the authorization of military force,” including detention without trial and trial by “an alternative court or competent tribunal having lawful jurisdiction.”

While much of the public would link such broad authorization to the federal government in dealing with al-Qaeda, the Taliban or other forces hostile to the United States, a growing number of communities, including some in Idaho, are drawing their own line in the sand against the NDAA.

“Under the NDAA, it says that anyone can be indefinitely detained, without charge or trial,” Jason Casella, a 30-year-old Gem County farmer told Boise Weekly. “So, that means no matter what you may feel strongly about, even education, health care, the Second Amendment, genetically modified foods, you could be indefinitely detained.”

Casella calls himself a “political atheist.”

“Honestly, I don’t believe in either major political party,” he said. “Right now, I’m working on PANDA and helping others do what I’ve been doing.”

He’s not alone. PANDA is People Against the NDAA, an organization founded by Ohio college students in 2012 and which has grown like wildfire in pushing anti-NDAA legislation in more than 20 states.


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