An execrable ancestor

The execrable ancestor of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA) is the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Frederick Douglass protested, “Under this [Fugitive Slave] law the oaths of any two villains (the capturer and the claimant) are sufficient to confine a free man to slavery for life.” Under the NDAA, the suspicion of the president is sufficient to confine an American citizen to military detention for life without accusation or trial. The twin laws make for an alarming tale.

The Fugitive Slave Act passed with overwhelming congressional support. Only four members of Congress voted against it. The South clamored for its enactment even though very few slaves ever escaped from their owners.     …………………..

 

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