AP: Congress changes the law under White House pressure. Lawmakers eventually dropped the military custody requirement for U.S. citizens or lawful U.S. residents.
"My administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens," Obama said in the signing statement. "Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a nation."
Thanks Barry, it's something.
Hanlon's Razor is an eponymous adage that reads: Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity. [Wikipedia]
When considering the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 with its suspension of habeus corpus for American citizens, Hanlon's Razor is good to keep in mind.
Was that act written from malice or stupidity? Good question.
Let's start with the idea that it is unconsitutional since it violates the Fourth Amendment, as suggested by Jon Stewart on his Daily Show of December 7, 2011.
Here's the text of the Fourth Amendment: 'The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.'
Well I'll grant you that quoting constitutional law from a TV talk show is kinda weird. But, where is the debate about this act by legal scholars?
Is anyone working on a suit to challenge this law?
What about reducing its impact on Americans?
Mark Udall says this: 'The [bill] .... would also expand the military’s role in domestic law enforcement operations by requiring that the Department of Defense assume responsibility for holding terrorism suspects, even if they are captured within the United States and held by the FBI, CIA or others.'
There is some further disagreement about this in the Senate. Dianne Feinstein introduced a bill to 'To clarify that an authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States and for other purposes.' Her bill is titled: 'Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011' and was introduced on December 15.
We can hope that something like the Feinstein bill becomes law. Or, we can hope that someone mounts a legal challenge to this bill very soon.
Here's a question: why does the NDAA specify that the military shall hold Americans?
Now I have never held a security clearance which is a great advantage since I have never agreed to refrain from disclosing secret information. It's also a disadvantge since I don't have any secret information.
All I can do is look at situations and hypothecate about possible facts.
And, in this case, that theorizing leads directly into conspiracy theories and paranoid fantasies.
Just because you're paranoid does not mean that nobody is out to get you.
The situation is this: the US military has supported a law which will give it powers to detain and hold United States' citizens whom it suspects of terrorism without any due process or constitutional rights.
I don't think that is a paranoid fantasy - it is a law.
Is the law driven by stupidity or malice?
Both are possible.
Of whom are they afraid?
The persons or person whom they fear must be very powerful; after all, Al Queda and that ilk are already decimated and under constant watch by existing civil law enforcement here and military watch overseas.
So, what has changed that drives this new law?
The only answer is that the Occupy Wall Street folks are now exercising their rights to protest government policies which favor rich people over poor people.
That is the most likely answer - the military is afraid of Americans.
OK, Barry, that is positively depressing.
I would like to be a rabble rouser and rouse some rabble to affect United States policies.
But now, I must fear that the US military will take offense to some action or posting of mine. If they do, then I can be placed in military detention with no due process or notification of family.
And, I'll probably be water boarded.
Let me save you guys some time - I confess, it is all my fault. I did it all. You name it, I did it. Shoot me now.
I am a chicken - you can have anything you want. Except I don't do gay sex, period.
But I will say this: you folks who want this law are cowards and traitors.
You are cowards because you are afraid of Americans and you are traitors because you are destroying the foundations of the USA.
Prove me wrong, Barry, please prove me wrong.