Tuesday, November 29, 2011

ACLU on S. 1867 (Indefinite Detention for American Citizens without Trial)

[Like participation in the 9/11 Commission, this legislation was
drafted in a bipartisan manner. Note this legislation was drafted in
secret.  It's time so-called progressives stop rolling their eyes at
conspiracy theories and pretending that pursuit of 9/11 truth is a
distraction.  9/11 was planned and executed by those in power for a
reason that by now should be apparent to all.  ~ B.B.]

Senators Demand the Military Lock Up American Citizens in a
"Battlefield" They Define as Being Right Outside Your Window

While nearly all Americans head to family and friends to celebrate
Thanksgiving, the Senate is gearing up for a vote on Monday or Tuesday
that goes to the very heart of who we are as Americans. The Senate
will be voting on a bill that will direct American military resources
not at an enemy shooting at our military in a war zone, but at
American citizens and other civilians far from any battlefield — even
people in the United States itself.

Senators need to hear from you, on whether you think your front yard
is part of a "battlefield" and if any president can send the military
anywhere in the world to imprison civilians without charge or trial.

The Senate is going to vote on whether Congress will give this
president—and every future president — the power to order the military
to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in
the world. Even Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) raised his concerns about the
NDAA detention provisions during last night's Republican debate. The
power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the
military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even
within the United States itself.

The worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial provision
is in S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which will
be on the Senate floor on Monday. The bill was drafted in secret by
Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and passed in a
closed-door committee meeting, without even a single hearing.

I know it sounds incredible. New powers to use the military worldwide,
even within the United States? Hasn't anyone told the Senate that
Osama bin Laden is dead, that the president is pulling all of the
combat troops out of Iraq and trying to figure out how to get combat
troops out of Afghanistan too? And American citizens and people picked
up on American or Canadian or British streets being sent to military
prisons indefinitely without even being charged with a crime. Really?
Does anyone think this is a good idea? And why now?

The answer on why now is nothing more than election season politics.
The White House, the Secretary of Defense, and the Attorney General
have all said that the indefinite detention provisions in the National
Defense Authorization Act are harmful and counterproductive. The White
House has even threatened a veto. But Senate politics has propelled
this bad legislation to the Senate floor.

But there is a way to stop this dangerous legislation. Sen. Mark Udall
(D-Colo.) is offering the Udall Amendment that will delete the harmful
provisions and replace them with a requirement for an orderly
Congressional review of detention power. The Udall Amendment will make
sure that the bill matches up with American values.

In support of this harmful bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
explained that the bill will "basically say in law for the first time
that the homeland is part of the battlefield" and people can be
imprisoned without charge or trial "American citizen or not." Another
supporter, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) also declared that the bill is
needed because "America is part of the battlefield."

The solution is the Udall Amendment; a way for the Senate to say no to
indefinite detention without charge or trial anywhere in the world
where any president decides to use the military. Instead of simply
going along with a bill that was drafted in secret and is being jammed
through the Senate, the Udall Amendment deletes the provisions and
sets up an orderly review of detention power. It tries to take the
politics out and put American values back in.

In response to proponents of the indefinite detention legislation who
contend that the bill "applies to American citizens and designates the
world as the battlefield," and that the "heart of the issue is whether
or not the United States is part of the battlefield," Sen. Udall
disagrees, and says that we can win this fight without worldwide war
and worldwide indefinite detention.

The senators pushing the indefinite detention proposal have made their
goals very clear that they want an okay for a worldwide military
battlefield, that even extends to your hometown. That is an extreme
position that will forever change our country.

Now is the time to stop this bad idea. Please urge your senators to
vote YES on the Udall Amendment to the National Defense Authorization

UPDATE: Don't be confused by anyone claiming that the indefinite
detention legislation does not apply to American citizens. It does.
There is an exemption for American citizens from the mandatory
detention requirement (section 1032 of the bill), but no exemption for
American citizens from the authorization to use the military to
indefinitely detain people without charge or trial (section 1013 of
the bill). So, the result is that, under the bill, the military has
the power to indefinitely imprison American citizens, but it does not
have to use its power unless ordered to do so.

But you don't have to believe us. Instead, read what one of the bill's
sponsors, Sen. Lindsey Graham said about it on the Senate floor:
"1031, the statement of authority to detain, does apply to American
citizens and it designates the world as the battlefield, including the

There you have it — indefinite military detention of American citizens
without charge or trial. And the Senate is likely to vote on it Monday
or Tuesday.

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Source: http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/senators-demand-military-lock-american-citizens-battlefield-they-define-being/

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