Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Defense act could give military criminal powers

President authorized to suspend civil liberties

Democratic leaders in the Senate are attempting to rush through a National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1867) which includes controversial provisions which could open the door to authorizing the military to detain United States Citizens within the US and hold them indefinitely without charge or trial.

They could even potentially face military justice instead of trial in a civilian court, with no regard for their Constitutionally protected rights.

Earlier this month Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Lee (R-UT) attempted to negotiate a compromise with Senate leaders which would have changed sections 1031 and 1032 of the bill to protect the rights of citizens, but their suggestions were rejected in committee and they and other civil libertarians in both parties are now supporting Senator Paul's amendment to strike those sections entirely from the bill.

The ostensible goal of these provisions of the bill is to make it easier to prosecute terrorists and their allies, but ambiguities in the wording and a section which allows the President to override some of the restrictions in the bill open the door to an unprecedented use of the military to detain and even try US civilians.

The Republican Liberty Caucus has launched a write-in campaign to support the Paul amendment and wrote of the bill:

"You may think that this sort of insane legislation which totally undermines our Constitutionally protected rights can’t be real. You may find it hard to believe that most Republicans are supporting it. You may not think this could happen in your America. Yet this outrage is entirely real."

Representative Justin Amash (D-MI) has been an outspoken critic of the bill and was one of only five Repubiicans to vote against it when it passed the House in May. Sen. Amash points out that “The President should not have the authority to determine whether the Constitution applies to you, no matter what the allegations."

Read more: http://blogcritics.org/politics/article/defense-bill-includes-authorization-for-indefinite/#comments#ixzz1f6QVLTzq

No comments:

Post a Comment