Indefinite detention..

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/04/2011 ( 8 moms have responded )




Legislation passed by the Senate this week and headed for the House – and a possible presidential veto – could allow the US military to detain American citizens indefinitely.

The National Defense Authorization Act covering $662 billion in defense spending for the next fiscal year includes a provision requiring military custody of a terror suspect believed to be a member of Al Qaeda or its affiliates and involved in attacks on the United States. A last minute amendment allows the president to waive the authority based on national security and to hold a terror suspect in civilian rather than military custody. But the bill would deny US citizens suspected of being terrorists the right to trial, subjecting them to indefinite detention, and civil libertarians say the amendment essentially is meaningless.

“This bill puts military detention authority on steroids and makes it permanent,” Christopher Anders, senior legislative counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement. “If it becomes law, American citizens and others are at real risk of being locked away by the military without charge or trial.”

Libertarians and conservatives wary of big government are speaking out against the bill as well.

"If the president thinks you are a terrorist, let him present charges and evidence to a judge,” Libertarian Party Chair Mark Hinkle said in a statement Friday. “He has no authority to lock you up without any judicial review, just because he and Congress believe he should have unlimited power. That is the kind of power held by tyrants in totalitarian regimes. It has no place in the United States.”

Echoing arguments against federal government power made by his father, presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R) of Texas, Sen. Rand Paul (R) of Kentucky spoke forcefully against the measure: “We are talking about people who are merely suspected of a crime, and we are talking about American citizens. If these provisions pass, we could see American citizens being sent to Guantánamo Bay.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) of California likens the measure to former president Franklin Roosevelt’s ordering the incarceration of US citizens of Japanese descent during World War II.

"We are not a nation that locks up its citizens without charge, prosecution, and conviction,” she said during Senate debate.

"This constant push that everything has to be militarized – I don't think that creates a good country," Feinstein argued. "Because we have values. And due process of law is one of those values. And so I object, I object to holding American citizens without trial. I do not believe that makes us more safe."

Making the country more safe from possible attack is exactly the point, counters Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina, a former military lawyer. What the measure does, Graham said, is “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield.”

“It is not unfair to make an American citizen account for the fact that they decided to help Al Qaeda to kill us all and hold them as long as it takes to find intelligence about what may be coming next,” Graham said. “And when they say, ‘I want my lawyer,’ you tell them, ‘Shut up. You don’t get a lawyer.’”

The issue is not being debated along party lines in Congress.

.Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D) of Michigan (liberal on most issues and a friend of the Obama administration) and senior Republican committee member Sen. John McCain of Arizona forcefully argued for the bill.

"Al Qaeda is at war with us," said Sen. Levin. "They brought that war to our shores. This is not just a foreign war. They brought that war to our shores on 9/11. They are at war with us. The Supreme Court said, and I am going to read these words again, 'There is no bar to this nation's holding one of its own citizens as an enemy combatant.'"

This coming Monday, a tea party group plans to protest in Sen. McCain’s home state.

“When it comes to personal liberty and violation of every citizen’s Constitutional rights, Republicans are willing to take a stand against one of their own if a major mistake has been made," says protest organizer Jeff Bales, a member of the Pima County, Arizona, Republican Executive Committee.


Jenni - posted on 12/05/2011




Sounds eerily similar to Socialist Russia and East Germany. And what exactly constitutes a "terrorist" threat? Speaking out against your current government and those in power?

Kellie - posted on 12/05/2011




Exactly what I was going to say Amanda.

So it's a-ok for the American Government to do this exact thing in Guantanamo but at your back door is a little too close?

Face it, this is, like Amanda says, not new or news.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/04/2011




It is new, because they are taking away more of our freedoms by saying they don't need a reason to arrest people anymore. They can now throw you in jail for 'terrorist acts' (which is defined by what, by the way?) and hold you indefinitly in jail without a trail. It's over.....

[deleted account]

Screw that! Im sorry, im my PERSONAL opinion(and other's I know) government is america's terrorist. as far as the military housing "suspected terrorists" there still a few in the military who actually WANT to defend the peoples rights and the constitution so I believe that if push came to shove there would be a lot of military saying "no" to this government. What are the politicians going to do then? Force them... they are trained killers I don't see to many of them bowing down in that situation.

But I will say my stomach turns reading this.


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Amanda - posted on 12/05/2011




You havent had these rights since the patriot act. The only difference now is they can jail you right on US soil.

Tam - posted on 12/04/2011




I am active duty military. There is not much I can say about government policy without the agreement of my PR officer, but I can tell you this -

The U.S. Military is here to protect the PEOPLE, not the government. It's right there in the oath we take prior to enlistment:

"I,____________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God. I swear (or affirm) that I am fully aware and fully understand the conditions under which I am enlisting."

We are only allowed to follow orders that are legal - those that are allowed by the Constitution, which is the very thing we swear to uphold.

I have to take off to do some holiday shopping, but I'll be back to expound on it later if anyone would like.

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