Senate rejects bid to remove detainee provisions from defense bill

Detroit News:

Senate rejects bid to remove detainee provisions from defense bill

Washington — The Senate rejected efforts Tuesday to set aside a proposed law that would govern terrorist detention policy. Critics argue the new provisions — in the National Defense Authorization Act — could allow for U.S. citizens captured on American soil to be held indefinitely by the military as enemy combatants.

The Senate rejected by a 61-37 vote an amendment by Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., that would have struck the provisions setting new rules on terror detainees.
Udall said the provisions “could damage our nation’s ability to combat terrorism and weaken our national security.Military officials and national security experts have said these provisions would give the military the power to indefinitely detain accused enemy combatants — including Americans captured on U.S. soil,” he said.
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, defended the proposal. He argues that the Supreme Court has already allowed for detention of U.S. citizens.

“We can and must deal with the al-Qaida threat,” Levin said. “If it’s determined that a person is a member of al-Qaida, then that person will be held in military detention; they are at war with us, folks.”
The defense bill would give the administration “the flexibility that they want, the administration makes that determination, the procedures to make that determination.”
The White House said last week it has “serious legal and policy concerns about many of the detainee provisions in the bill.”

In a statement, the Obama administration said “some of these provisions disrupt the executive branch’s ability to enforce the law and impose unwise and unwarranted restrictions on the U.S. government’s ability to aggressively combat international terrorism; other provisions inject legal uncertainty and ambiguity that may only complicate the military’s operations and detention practices.”

Gee, Mr President, sorry to impose unwise restrictions on your Imperial whims. Maybe we can ditch the courts too, I imagine they are a pain in the butt as well.

Indefinitely detaining American citizens is a practice dating all the way back to the Civil War. Its not like the Obama Administration has been the only one to argue in favor of it.

Lincoln was at least honest enough to declare martial law – an action later found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Our constitution is being shredded and apparently no one cares.

From the article it seems the president is opposed to mandating that US citizens suspected of being an enemy combatant, but captured on US soil, be held indefinitely by the military.

From the article:

The White House strongly opposed part of the bill that appears "to mandate military custody for a certain class of terrorism suspects.

That provision would make it mandatory for U.S. citizens accused of being enemy combatants to be held in military custody. The move “would raise serious and unsettled legal questions and would be inconsistent with the fundamental American principle that our military does not patrol our streets.”

I think that is a sensible position. The controversial provision is likely unconstitutional and certainly creepy.

My impression was the same. The majority of his administration apparently opposes it including Robert Mueller, head of the FBI. President Obama has also indicated that he will veto it if it comes to his office.

Prayers and petitions,
Alexius

The only issue the Obama administration has is that the people be held by the MILITARY as an enemy combatant - making their detention legal, Obama finds that too restrictive. He wants “suspects” held in secret locations with only a select few knowing of their arrest. Sounds a lot like the Stasi.

Why do you believe that to be true? Is there a news article quoting the president or a White House spokesman to that effect?

For starters there is this one:

In a statement, the Obama administration said “some of these provisions disrupt the executive branch’s ability to enforce the law and impose unwise and unwarranted restrictions on the U.S. government’s ability to aggressively combat international terrorism; other provisions inject legal uncertainty and ambiguity that may only complicate the military’s operations and detention practices.”

Judge Andrew Napolitano has said we can get used to seeing soldiers on our streets on a regular basis now.

            I would like to think we still have people in the military who would refuse to follow unconstitutional orders, but sadly I have serious doubts about the likelyhood of that.

And today the Senate voted 88-12 to limit debate on the Bill.

This bill is truly sickening.

The rule of law is being thrown out in this country. Even enemy combatants not of US Citizenship should have court proceedings. If we are the torch-bearers of liberty, we should treat others how we want to be treated. Treating foreigners differently than ourselves puts ourselves above them, which is not right.

On a side note, judge napolitano rocks!

Apparently Obama does not agree.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Top national security lawyers in the Obama administration say U.S. citizens are legitimate military targets when they take up arms with al-Qaida.

The lawyers were asked at a national security conference Thursday about the CIA killing of Anwar al-Alwaki, a U.S. citizen and leading al-Qaida figure. He died in a Sept. 30 U.S. drone strike in the mountains of Yemen.

The government lawyers - CIA counsel Stephen Preston and Pentagon counsel Jeh Johnson - did not directly address the al-Alwaki case. But they said U.S. citizens don’t have immunity when they’re at war with the United States.

Johnson said only the executive branch, not the courts, are equipped to make decisions about who qualifies as an enemy.

hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_TARGETED_KILLING?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-12-01-10-42-54

While this specific case deals with Americans overseas there is nothing in anything filed by the Obama administration that limits the location to areas outside the US.

Please note - this bill is about treating AMERICAN CITIZENS the same as foreign combatants.

Thanks for making one of the cases I use to demonstrate that Lincoln was one of our worst President. :thumbsup:

I wonder how many people will even notice or care if and when the military begins arresting US citizens.

…and deny them habeus corpus and due process.

Apparently there’s going to be one more attempt to change the Act, and insure that it does not apply to American citizens, but after yesterday’s vote it look’s unlikely to pass.

         On a related matter, it amazes me how the American press is so quiet on a matter of such grave consequence. Meanwhile, we're not supposed to believe what the media says in countries that the US government doesn't look favorably upon.

The Bill has passed the Senate by a whopping 93-7 majority.

                God Save America

He’s gonna have to. It sure as heck won’t be our government that does it.

That ship has already sailed. The police are becoming more militarized and the military are being called in to “assist” law enforcement. Add America to the list of counties being occupied by US forces.

No no no no! You cannot call America a police state or other people here will point fingers, laugh at you, and believe that you are one of those paranoid “prepper” militia people.

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