…than you have definitely not been poring over recent news (read: procrastinating) as much as I have. And you are most certainly not prepared for the torture you may now be subjected to in the future.
That’s right: “exactly 220 years to the date after the Bill of Rights was ratified, the US Senate today voted 86 to 13 in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, allowing the indefinite detention and torture of Americans.” Now ain’t that some cruel irony. This following yesterday’s vote, 283-136, on the same measure in the House.
The culprits, a bipartisan bunch, can be found here and here respectively. To voice your indignation at this flagrant desecration of your civil liberties, please take the time tomorrow to call your member of Congress here (as if they cared about YOUR rights. Hah!). The bill now heads to the President’s desk, where it is expected to be signed into law, following Obama’s extraordinary and appalling capitulation (if you think he might renege on his reversal, here’s the number to call).
I leave you with the following, which has been making the rounds on the internet today, in light of the news: “We need not throw away 200 years of American jurisprudence while we fight terrorism.” That was candidate Barack Obama on June 18th of 2008. Anyone else up for a primal scream?
Yes! Primal scream on the first day as a protest?
Namely, this bit, from Senator Graham: “THAT THE LAW OF THE LAND IS AN AMERICAN CITIZEN CAN BE HELD AS AN ENEMY COMBATANT.”
If that’s the understanding, a provision stating “Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens or lawful resident aliens of the United States or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States,” doesn’t seem to mean too much.
Especially since they kept ALL of this:
(a) In General- Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection (b)) pending disposition under the law of war.
(b) Covered Persons- A covered person under this section is any person as follows:
(1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks.
(2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.
for the entirety of the detainee provisions
Unfortunately, this isn’t surprising from Obama, the same guy who broke his promise on the Telecom bill, and whose administration has already asserted its right to kill US citizens at their discretion without due process.
Actually, 290 votes are needed in the House in order to constitute 2/3 of its 435 members. Additionally, the president has considerable power to whip votes in his own party–many more had opposed the bill during the initial vote before the reconciliation stage, until Obama had conceded it was palatable and that he would sign it. If it’s going to become law anyway, why would a congressperson risk giving fuel to a future opponent (not that that in any way justifies his/her abominable vote, just acknowledging the political realities)?
13*2 = 26
136*2 = 272
regardless of whether Obama vetoed that bill or not, it would have passed, since it would have a 2/3 vote in both houses.