UPDATE: President Obama signed NDAA 2012 on New Years day and released a "signing statement" which you can find in its entirety here: http://obrag.org/?p=52006&cpage=1
Surprised there isn't already a discussion about this very important topic.
For those of you who are not in the know:
WASHINGTON -- The Senate voted Tuesday to keep a controversial provision to let the military detain terrorism suspects on U.S. soil and hold them indefinitely without trial -- prompting White House officials to reissue a veto threat.
The measure, part of the massive National Defense Authorization Act, was also opposed by civil libertarians on the left and right. But 16 Democrats and an independent joined with Republicans to defeat an amendment by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) that would have killed the provision, voting it down with 61 against, and 37 for it.
"I'm very, very, concerned about having U.S. citizens sent to Guantanamo Bay for indefinite detention," said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), one of the Senate's most conservative members.
Paul's top complaint is that a terrorism suspect would get just one hearing where the military could assert that the person is a suspected terrorist -- and then they could be locked up for life, without ever formally being charged. The only safety valve is a waiver from the secretary of defense.
"It's not enough just to be alleged to be a terrorist," Paul said, echoing the views of the American Civil Liberties Union. "That's part of what due process is -- deciding, are you a terrorist? I think it's important that we not allow U.S. citizens to be taken."
Democrats who were also concerned about liberties compared the military policing of Americans to the detention of Americans in internment camps during World War II.
"Congress is essentially authorizing the indefinite imprisonment of American citizens, without charge," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who offered another amendment -- which has not yet gotten a vote -- that she said would correct the problem. "We are not a nation that locks up its citizens without charge."
Backers of military detention of Americans -- a measure crafted by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) -- came out swinging against Udall's amendment on the Senate floor earlier Tuesday.
"The enemy is all over the world. Here at home. And when people take up arms against the United States and [are] captured within the United States, why should we not be able to use our military and intelligence community to question that person as to what they know about enemy activity?" Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said.
more here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/29/senate-votes-to-let-milita...
Slipped into this three hundred page bill is a provision that allows, in vague language, for the military to indefinitely detain terrorist suspects without a trial. While Congress has tried to bold-face lie and say that this provision does not apply to American citizens, the end of the provision actually does say that it applies to citizens "if we want it to". Confirmed by an unbiased expert on military detention and situations like this, he said that the vague language of the bill and the ending piece of the provision definitely allow it to include American citizens.
What this means:
It means that the US is considered a battleground for terrorism.
It makes the US, essentially, a police-state where the military are making arrests.
It means that you will no longer have a first amendment right.
You will no longer have a fifth amendment right.
You will no longer have the right to due-process.
The reality: In light of the Occupy Wall Street movement, is not at ALL far-fetched that occupiers who are rattling the foundations of politics in large cities could all be "suspected of terrorist ties" and thrown into jail with no other word about it. We already know they have been mistreated (made to sit uncomfortably for over seven hours, unable to use the bathroom, forced to relieve themselves in their seats, denied food, locked in small cages on the bus for some).
The architects of this bill, cited as including Carl Levin and John McCain (surprise, surprise) have promoted it and defended its vague wording.
In fact, the only person actually standing between this bill and reality is Obama, who has threatened Congress mercilessly that he will absolutely veto this bill if it crosses his desk with this provision still in it. But that does not guarantee the bill will die. The President's veto can be overridden, and the stunning landslide by which this bill has passed so far shows that it is also not far-fetched that this could also be reality.
As Americans, we have more reason than ever to be completely infuriated with our government.
What say you?