Senate Bill Allows Indefinite Imprisonment of Americans without Trial

Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Sen. John McCain and Sen. Carl Levin
Bipartisan legislation being considered in the U.S. Senate would expand the military’s power to go after any terrorism suspect, including American citizens, anywhere in the world—including within the United States—and confine them indefinitely without being charged or tried.
S. 1867, referred to as the National Defense Authorization Act bill, was drafted in secret by Senators Carl Levin (D-Michigan) and John McCain (R-Arizona) and was scheduled for a vote by the full Senate on Tuesday.
Voices on both the right and left have expressed concerns about the bill, including the American Civil Liberties Union and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul.
Senator Mark Udall (D-Colorado) has introduced an amendment to S. 1867 that would “delete the harmful provisions and replace them with a requirement for an orderly Congressional review of detention power,” according to the ACLU. “The Udall Amendment will make sure that the bill matches up with American values.”
The provision has also drawn the ire of high-ranking officials in the executive branch who see it as a usurpation of power by the military. FBI Director Robert Mueller wrote a letter to members of Congress raising his own concerns and stating that “The legislation ... will inhibit our ability to convince covered arrestees to cooperate immediately, and provide critical intelligence.” President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the bill.
Levin and McCain have defended their measure by saying that it includes a waiver that allows U.S. administrations to “hold these al Qaeda detainees in civilian custody if it determines that would best serve national security.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
FBI Director Raises Concerns with Detainee Policy (by Donna Cassata, Associated Press)
Defense Bill Offers Balance in Dealing with Detainees (by Carl Levin and John McCain, Washington Post)

Obama Approves Life Imprisonment without Trial for Guantánamo Prisoners (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov) 

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Charles 10 years ago
what i'm about to say may seem bizarre; however, i have a very large body of documentation to support it at senator mccain's father was a navy admiral who covered up the israeli attack on the uss liberty in 1967. this admiral's name appeared in the leaked list of the pilgrims, new york, 1969. this organization is sponsored by the british crown and is dedicated to retaking north america for crown rule. east coast financial circles have been in league with the british since colonial times. this is the only organization david rockefeller belongs to, which he does not mention in his memoirs. this organization exists, in their own words (documented) to effect "the seizure of the wealth necessary" and "a secret society gradually absorbing the wealth of the world." the president, secretary of state and ambassador to britain are always members (documented) yet not one known textbook on government or political science mentions this fact! i do sincerely submit senators mccain and levin are british crown agents working to return the usa to serfdom and feudalism under the british crown, sponsors of the pilgrims society.
Guyinsweden 10 years ago
wow these corrupted fucks gone too far.. you americans need to get a hold of youself and fight back. they will come now and then with a truck and take you one by 1 in the truck and take you away. just as they did in the holocaust. beware and god bless you
Kevin 10 years ago
@michael this is true,but think how disturbed i am! this is where i freakin live!!
capt 10 years ago
its a little more complex, brad. section 1031 of s.1867 "affirms" the alleged authority of the us military to detain all "covered persons," "pending disposition," including indefinite detention or civilian trials. a "covered person" is defined to include anyone who either helped out with 9/11 originally or "was (sic) a part of or substantially supported al q, taliban or "associated forces (sic) that are engaged in hostilities (sic) against the us or its coalition partners (sic)." this is an attempt to "affirm" the alleged authority of the military to detain indefinitely even american citizens or resident aliens, even if detained in the us. on the other hand, section 1031 also says that "nothing in this section is intended to limit or expand the authority of the president." levin stated in the debate that section 1031 only "affirms" detention authority for us citizens deemed to be "enemy combatants" to the extent that this was already approved by the us supreme court in hamdi v.rumsfeld. that's a little contentious, given that hamdi, a us citizen, was detained on the battlefield in afghanistan, and that hamdi was a plurality decision, with a vigorous scalia dissent. so the real problem with section 1031 is that it invites another whole round of litigation about what hamdi really meant for us citizens -- while virtually inviting the us military into the "indefinite detention" business. what an object lesson in poor draftsmanship: if levin is right about hamdi, all section 1031 may really accomplish is to toughen dod's reporting requirements; if he's wrong, it may take another round of litigation to find out. what a mess. section 1032, which requires military detention for a related but not quite identical class of "covered persons," does exempt us citizens, but not necessarily (curiously) resident aliens, for activities in us "except to the extent permitted by the us constitution." again, another question begging exercise. all in all, dod, doj, cia, and the nsc are mainly troubled by the fact that this section of the bill probably creates a lot more bureaucratic make-work and potential litigation than it solves -- and that it may pose a lot of administrative overhead on a process that it has already taken a decade to get working. other than that, these provisions of the bill are basically mccain's way of sticking it to obama on the "close guantanamo" initiative -- essentially making this harder to accomplish without a whole lot more bureaucratic infighting.
Michael Dorn 10 years ago
"anywhere in the world" ummm...i wasn't aware the us government had sovereignty over the planet. good luck trying to enforce this crap. the rest of us are getting downright sick of your attitude that you think you can just do what you want on our lands.
Ruth Kastner 10 years ago
brad is wrong. the language he cites merely states that the u.s. military is not required to hold an american citizen in custody. it does not appear to negate the bill's language authorizing the military to do so if it chooses.
Brad 10 years ago
just some clarification - while the legislation does allow the military to detain people on us soil (which to me is a major problem and violation of the constitution), american citizens are specifically exempted from being held. the claims in this piece are wrong, and they're being repeated. read the bill, it's available online (this is from the relevant paragraph): (b) applicability to united states citizens 15 and lawful resident aliens.— 16 (1) united states citizens.—the require- 17 ment to detain a person in military custody under 18 this section does not extend to citizens of the united 19 states. 20
Randy L. Dixon Rivera 10 years ago
american justice or fbi cover-up? i formally & publicly challenge the va & fbi to publicly refute my allegations are not the facts or the truth. - randy l. dixon rivera
DeclareTruth 10 years ago
@navy5170 - i had the same reaction as you - since when does the aclu care anything at all about the civil liberties of americans? and then, if obama threatens to veto it, wait a minute!!! there must be something good about it. the only thing that bothers me is that if it is a good bill, it will be the first good thing that sack of refuse named carl levin has ever done! so... it's very confusing, to say the least. maybe it's a distraction to take attention away from something else that's going on... just sayin'...
Anonymoose 10 years ago
@navy5170. any bill that gives the government to right to hold an american citizen indefinitely and without being charged is bad for the us and a violation of our constitional rights. this is what countries under martial law to do their citizens and the same thing that has been going on at guantanimo bay to suspected terrorists for the last 10 years. so you're saying we as american citizens have no more rights that a suspected al qaida terrorist?

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