Tuesday, November 29, 2011
More on "Indefinite Detention" bill...
Section 1031 would strip Americans of all constitutional rights if they are declared ‘terrorists’
Paul Joseph Watson
The Senate has overwhelmingly voted down an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have provided oversight to check the military’s power to arrest U.S. citizens as suspected terrorists on American soil and detain them indefinitely without trial.
“The Senate soundly defeated a move to strip out controversial language requiring mandatory detention of some terror suspects, voting it down 61 to 37 and escalating a fight with the Obama administration over the future course of the war on terror,” reports the National Journal.
The amendment, introduced by Colorado Senator Mark Udall, was an attempt to weaken Section 1031 of the NDAA bill, which would basically turn the entire “homeland” into a battlefield and allow the military to arrest individuals accused of being terrorists and detain them indefinitely without trial. Americans would be stripped of all constitutional rights and posse comitatus would cease to exist.
Confusion surrounding whether or not the bill would apply to American citizens was firmly put to bed by Republican Congressman Justin Amash yesterday, when he pointed out that the language clearly gives the executive branch the power of discretion to decide who is a terrorist, whether they are a U.S. citizen or not.
Amash described the ‘indefinite detention’ provision of the bill as “one of the most anti-liberty pieces of legislation of our lifetime.”
Senator Rand Paul has introduced a separate amendment that strikes Section 1031 from the bill altogether, but seeing as the Senate firmly rejected Udall’s watered down version, it’s unlikely Paul’s will be met sympathetically.
Although President Obama has threatened to veto the bill, political observers aren’t convinced that he will do so.
“He has said he will. Whether he will is a difficult question because, politically, it’s difficult to veto a defense spending bill that 680 pages long and includes authorization to spend on a whole range of military programs,” Daphne Eviatar, Senior Associate, Human Rights First’s Law and Security Program, told Democracy Now.
Eviatar’s organization has which has obtained signatures from 26 retired military leaders urging the Senate to vote down the legislation if the ‘indefinite detention’ provision is not removed.
“This would be the first time since the McCarthy era that the United States Congress has tried to do this,” warned Eviatar. “In the 1950’s, that was actually repealed before it was ever used. In this case have seen the administration very eagerly hold people without trial for 10 plus years in military detention, so there’s no reason to believe they wouldn’t continue to do that here. So we’re talking about indefinite military detention of U.S. citizens, of lawful U.S. residents as well as of people abroad.”