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.
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?
Bradley Manning is getting a fair trial and I look forward to the day that he gets a LONG prison sentence for divulging not only government secrets, but putting the lives of informants in jeopardy; as well as making those lose confidence in becoming informants and helping fight terrorism. Maybe when he is 50 or so, he can get out on good behavior (if he is lucky and does not get life in prison).
A fair trial perhaps, proper treatment in prison? Doubtfully. And, unlike you, I don't think he did anything wrong. I think people like him are NECESSARY, I'm *GLAD* he did what he did. The government cannot get away with murdering foreign civilians. Manning is a hero.
I second that big PLUS ONE!
Just hope the government goes semi-lenient on him and that one day he sees the sun again. He committed treason. If the government wanted, they could go for the death penalty (I am against the death penalty). If someone commits a crime, you report it to the proper department such as some equivalent to internal affairs in the military. You don't leak the information to Julian Assange and put the lives of our troops, other civilians, and informants at jeopardy. Doing so, is a cowardly act.
One more thing: we don't murder civilians as a policy. What he did was not only jeopardize all that I aforementioned, but in addition risked our relationships with other foreign governments as well. It was an utterly irresponsible and criminal thing to do.
It happened in my home country of Uruguay too. And in our neighbors, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, etc...when habeas corpus was suspended. we had the famous "desaparecidos", people who languished in prisons awaiting a trial, let alone fair or not, many, many lives ruined. The suspension of habeas corpus is a dangerous erosion of democracy. It is not needed to combat terrorism.
It is not the same thing my friend. We are fighting a war on terror. Bradley Manning basically aided the enemy in divulging documents which put the locations of informants and other sources in Afghanistan and elsewhere which were cooperating with us in rooting out the terrorists. There is no moral equivalence to make in this matter. If Mr. Manning felt that criminal acts were taking place, he should have leaked those particular acts in question if going to superiors or some military form of internal affairs was unsuccessful. What he did was indiscriminately leak what I believe ended up being millions of documents. He put the lives of innocent people in jeopardy.
I'm sorry buddy. I have great respect for you as a person but you lost all credibility by claiming that America was "behind" the World Trade Center attack in 1993. Clue: *Ramzi Yousef*
And why are you so worried about a few Taliban/Al Qaeda guys at Guantanamo?
And actually, we have helped liberate Afghanistan and Iraq and that should be commended. The world is a better place for Afghanis (while imperfect) that now instead of being stoned too death, 40% of Afghani girls are receiving an education and women can work. Iraqis are also better off without Saddam Hussein. Saying this, Bush's biggest mistake was that he liberated the wrong country (Iraq instead of Iran). BUT, Iraqis now can decide their own future.
And the vast majority of deaths were not the result of our bombs but terrorist attacks by what was mostly foreign insurgents. Peace is never easy, but the U.S. is a source of good for the world and I am proud of that fact. Away from liberations, we help save the lives of millions of children per year in Africa in such programs such as malaria prevention.
Nonsense. The FBI said no such thing. AS an atheist, we should be reading facts based on real facts and evidence. Not online loony tunes.
I need some sleep now, I will respond to you later on during the day but please don't make such ridiculous claims my friend. It is quite embarrassing.
If you want to learn some on Bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and the Islamic terrorist movement, I suggest you read "The Looming Tower" by Lawrence Wright.
We must give law enforcement and the federal government the tools necessary to prevent terrorist attacks.
No. No new tools are necessary. They already have agencies: the Military, the CIA, the FBI... And these agencies have frameworks within which to do their jobs. If they need to go dark, they go dark and assume the consequences, but it should NEVER be part of the law of any country, including and specially yours that they have such power over citizens.
Were any of our rights really "violated"? I think not.
You have obviously missed on the many voices that have claims to the contrary.
It has been signed. Yup. See my comments in the previous page of this discussion. Yes, it is nuts. It's what dictatorships and totalitarian regimes do: suspend habeas corpus. There is no need to do that when trying suspected terrorists. Our legal system can work while guaranteeing the rights of everyone. No need to suspend any rights to try suspected terrorists or suspected criminals.
Yes it is true, it was all over the news Saturday, you can look it up.
Yes, history tells us that the suspension of habeas corpus, of the right to a fair and speedy trial, has nefarious consequences, and many innocent people will be depleted of their rights, not just terrorists. I lived under a military dictatorship in South America and this is what happened, unfortunately.