Categorized | National, Politics

Senate Passes Indefinite Detention Bill for American Citizens

 

 

5th Amendment Quietly Circumvented and Abandoned 

(VIDEO)

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

The 5th Amendment states in part:  “No person…shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…” 

That may change.

The Senate passed a version of the National Defense Authorization Act allowing for the indefinite military detention of US citizens on American soil by an 81-14 vote on December 21.  It was stripped of a provision covering 5th Amendment protections for citizens.

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 will now head to the White House.  The administration had earlier pledged to veto the NDAA because it prevents the president from closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.  It is unclear whether the president will follow through on the threat.

The NDAA is a reauthorization of the large military budget bill but it has proven most controversial for a provision that critics say would allow the military to abuse its detention powers to lock Americans away on the mere suspicion of support or contact with terrorist groups.

In November, a bipartisan group of Senators led by Dianne Feinstein affixed an amendment to the NDAA that would have explicitly prohibited the military from detaining American citizens on US soil without due process.  But earlier this week, a House-Senate conference committee led by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) stripped away that measure.

Paul, a libertarian Republican, voiced his opposition to the conference committee’s move in strong terms and urged his colleagues to vote against the bill. He said:

“We had protection in this bill.  We passed an amendment that specifically said if you were an American citizen or here legally in the country, you would get a trial by jury,” Paul said.  “It’s been removed because they want the ability to hold American citizens without trial in our country.   This is so fundamentally wrong and goes against everything we stand for as a country that it can’t go unnoticed.”

amendment“When you’re accused of a crime in our country you get a trial, you get a trial by a jury of your peers, no matter how heinous your crime is, no matter how awful you are, we give you a trial,” he said.

“This bill takes away that right and says that if someone thinks you’re dangerous, we will hold you without a trial.  It’s an abomination.”

* * * * * *

You can read more of the details in the Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times, and RT Today.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

5 Responses to “Senate Passes Indefinite Detention Bill for American Citizens”

  1. bmasson says:

    I agree with him and thank him for his words.

  2. Marc says:

    It’s a New Age of Awareness and communication, like never before…

    So this time will everyone stand up please and say no, I read the law… I understand that the intent is to increase our protection, but it does that by eliminating protections that are even more important. Call your elected representatives and let them know why you will not be voting for them at the next opportunity….

    You can do more than that, but you should not do less then that.

    Read the analysis of the bill, talk to your neighbors…

    Marc

  3. skippy says:

    Thanks, Bill and Marc. This really is a significant issue. The Atlantic Monthly is wondering why every journalist across the country isn’t jumping up and down on this, covering it as the most important story of the year.

    It may not be a sexy or exciting story as far as news goes, but it’s of the upmost import and concern– freely shoving aside the basic constitutional right of due process afforded to US citizens– and in committee, nonetheless, with the majority of US Senators opposing it.

    Let’s put it this way, a worst case scenario of sorts: Say you’re having a brief conversation– or coffee– with a stranger you don’t even know. That stranger turns out to be a domestic terrorist suspect under surveillance. You could be arrested on suspicion, mere association, and tossed into the clink. Of course, you’d say that you didn’t know anything about the guy, which would be true. Nonetheless, you could be held indefinitely and not brought before a judge or jury if the powers that be chose to. The implications are as chilling as Rand Paul pointed out in the above clip.

    Or consider this as an adjunct corollary: Demonstrators in New York City waged a day of protests in order to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Although it is not believed that the NDAA was used to justify any arrests, more than 180 political protesters were detained by the NYPD over the course of the day’s actions. One week earlier, the results of a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the American Civil Liberties Union confirmed that the FBI has been monitoring Occupy protests in at least one instance, but the Bureau would not give further details, citing that decision is “in the interest of national defense or foreign policy.”

    Chilling indeed.

    Think anything draconian like this would never happen? Maybe not, but as Senator Rand Paul pointed out, ‘we wouldn’t need the Constitution if people in government were always angels– but unfortunately they never are’.

    We might refer you, too, to a similar but little known landmark event in history, the Supreme Court case of Korematsu Vs. United States.

    • Tracy says:

      This has been posted since 12-26-12 and only 3 replies?! Is it because its Rand Paul? How sad that North-coasters are choosing ignorance simply because of the messenger. This is why we are loosing our rights and liberties every day. No one wants to know.

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