Senate Approves Indefinite Detentions for Americans on American Soil
Apparently, they don’t understand the U.S. Constitution, nor do they wish to win re-election!
…You know, those FEMA camps are started to look less and less like a conspiracy theory:
H/T – Gonzo
‘Indefinite Detention’ Bill Passes Senate 93-7
Americans completely stripped of all rights under Section 1031
Paul Joseph Watson – Infowars.com – Friday, December 2, 2011
The Senate last night codified into law the power of the U.S. military to indefinitely detain an American citizen with no charge, no trial and no oversight whatsoever with the passage of S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act.
One amendment that would have specifically blocked the measures from being used against U.S. citizens was voted down and the final bill was passed 93-7.
Another amendment introduced by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein that attempted to bar the provision from being used on American soil, an effort to ensure “the military won’t be roaming our streets looking for suspected terrorists,” also failed, although Feinstein voted in favor of the bill anyway.
Feinstein was able to include a largely symbolic amendment which states that “nothing in the bill changes current law relating to the detention of U.S. citizens and legal aliens,” but this measure is meaningless according to Republican Congressman Justin Amash, a fierce critic of the bill.
“Some have asserted that Sen. Feinstein’s amendment, S Amdt 1456, protects the rights of American citizens and preserves constitutional due process. Unfortunately, it does not. It’s just more cleverly worded nonsense,” Amash wrote on his Facebook page.
Though the White House has threatened to veto the bill, the fact that Obama administration lawyers yesterday reaffirmed their backing for state sponsored assassination of U.S. citizens would suggest otherwise. Not voting for the bill, or in other words upholding the oath to protect the Constitution, has been described over and over again as “political suicide”.
“The bill puts military detention authority on steroids and makes it permanent, American citizens and others are at greater risk of being locked away by the military without charge or trial,” said Christopher Anders, senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.
As Spencer Ackerman highlights, the bill completely violates the sixth amendment in that it allows American citizens to be locked up indefinitely, including in a foreign detention center, without any burden of proof whatsoever. An American merely has to be declared a terrorist and they can be abducted off the streets and never seen again.
“The detention mandate to use indefinite military detention in terrorism cases isn’t limited to foreigners. It’s confusing, because two different sections of the bill seem to contradict each other, but in the judgment of the University of Texas’ Robert Chesney — a nonpartisan authority on military detention — “U.S. citizens are included in the grant of detention authority,” writes Ackerman.
More info on the compromise amendment to the bill:
Senate Votes Not To Vote On Indefinite Detention On Americans
Mother Jones — By Adam Serwer
Can Americans be indefinitely detained by the military on suspicion of terrorism if arrested on American soil? Thursday evening the Senate added a compromise amendment to the defense spending bill that states: Maybe.
Specifically, it says the bill does not alter current authorities relating to detention, leaving either side free to argue whether current law allows or prohibits indefinite military detention of Americans captured in the US.
The compromise amendment passed by a 99-1 after a previous effort by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) that would have explicitly prevented the indefinite detention of Americans without trial failed 45-55. Several Democrats joined Republicans in blocking the latter amendment with Republican Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) Rand Paul (R-Ky) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill) joining most Democrats in voting for Feinstein’s amendment.
The reason the compromise amendment worked is that it leaves the question of domestic military detention open, leaving the matter for Supreme Court to resolve should a future president decide to assert the authority to detain a US citizen on American soil. Senators who defended the detention provisions can continue to say that current law allows Americans to be detained based on the 2004 Hamdi v Rumsfeld case in which an American captured fighting in Afghanistan was held in military detention. Opponents can continue to point out that the Hamdi case doesn’t resolve whether or not Americans can be detained indefinitely without charge if captured in their own country, far from any declared battlefield. They have the better of the argument.
The compromise amendment however, does nothing to address the Obama administration’s concerns about the bill. The Directors of the FBI and CIA, the secretary of defense, and the director of national intelligence have all said that the bill’s provision mandating military detention of non-citizen terror suspects apprehended on American soil would interfere with terrorism investigations and harm national security. That hasn’t changed. The question is whether or not the administration is willing to make good on its threat to veto the bill, or whether it was just bluffing.
The floor debate over the Feinstein amendment showed that the argument over whether Americans in the US could be subject to indefinite military detention without trial doesn’t fall neatly along partisan or ideological lines. Senator Kirk, in particular, gave a spirited defense of Feinstein’s amendment, saying, “Most Americans think you can only be convicted of a crime in the United States beyond the shadow of a doubt by a jury of your peers. But if this [bill without the Feinstein amendment] is passed, that is no longer true.”
Now, we simply have no idea.
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