Congress, Obama Codify Indefinite Detention: “President Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law.”President Obama says he will sign the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which formalizes his authority to imprison terrorism suspects indefinitely without charge or trial.President Bush had claimed the same authority under the Constitution to identify people as foreign combatants and detain them without trial. This extended to American citizens without regard to where they were. Now Congress and President Obama have confirmed this authority with statutory law. On yet another point of debate, Pres. Obama says loudly and clearly, "Bush was right all along."People continue to react in shock to the idea that as war commander the President does indeed have the authority to determine who the enemies of America are and to act against them. The idea that the war commander must go to Congress for the authority to do things like surveillance of a potential enemy is silly on its face, but liberals and conservatives alike worry that the President might choose to detain people who, for example, protest US actions in the Middle East or have innocently made a donation to a charity that turns out to have ties to terrorist organizations.The historical precedents of Presidential action are far more extreme in some cases, from Pres. Lincoln, who imprisoned thousands of political opponents and suspended habeus corpus to Woodrow Wilson, who did roughly the same thing and banned dozens of newspapers besides. But instead of merely detaining people they had them criminally charged and convicted. Merely speaking out against involvement in WWI would get a person thrown in jail. Later on, FDR took detentions to a whole new level, detaining tens of thousands of people who could not even reasonably be called our enemies.The necessity of having an effective wartime commander who has the authority to do what needs to be done is unavoidable. What keeps the President from abusing his authority in these matters is (hopefully) good sense and the realization that activity like that will generate push back and possibly even impeachment.Leaving aside the whole subject of liberal hypocrisy on this subject; the hypocrisy that had them screeching loudly in protest when Bush used this authority has them mute now for some strange reason. It's as if their concern for the Constitution a few years back was nothing more than cheap rhetoric. But whatever. It's just another way in which they are saying, "Yes, Bush was right all along, and we knew it at the time."http://reason.com/archives/2011/12/28/congress-obama-codify-...
The ability to arbitrarily suspend an individual's freedom and rights for an indefinite period is the antithesis of why this country was founded.Bush & Obama are dead wrong on this.BG
The ability to arbitrarily suspend an individual's freedom and rights for an indefinite period is the antithesis of why this country was founded. Bush & Obama are dead wrong on this.Well said Blue Grits. Saluting methods formerly regarded as the domain of the Stasi? While lecturing about freedom and democracy and human rights? Really??
86 senators voted for it. 6 Dems, 6 Repubs + Sanders voted against it; 1 Repub did not vote. 190 Repub & 93 Dem members of House (total 282) voted for it............I'm not sure a US citizen can be detained indefinitely.This is a Diane Feinstein amendment that is a part of the bill:"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."http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?a=Files.Ser...---------------------------------------I also found this. I am getting confused as to what it all means, so I am just posting this for discussion purposes.http://www.addictinginfo.org/2011/12/14/false-ndaa-rumors-sp...Here is the press release, outlining the changes, including changes to the detainee portion. One specific change reads as follows: Require military detention – subject to a Presidential waiver – for foreign al Qaeda terrorists who attack the United States. This provision specifically exempts United States citizens and lawful resident aliens, authorizes transfer of detainees to civilian custody for trial in civilian court, and leaves it up to the President to establish procedures for determining how and when persons determined to be subject to military custody would be transferred, and to ensure that such determinations do not interfere with ongoing intelligence, surveillance, or interrogation operations. Language added in conference confirms that nothing in the provision may be ?construed to affect the existing criminal enforcement and national security authorities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or any other domestic law enforcement agency with regard to a covered person, regardless whether such covered person is held in military custody.
the hypocrisy that had them screeching loudly in protest when Bush used this authority has them mute now for some strange reason.You're lying again.
Bush & Obama are dead wrong on this.BG But everyone who voted for Obama voted for "change" so how can this be?99
BlueGrits: The ability to arbitrarily suspend an individual's freedom and rights for an indefinite period is the antithesis of why this country was founded.Actually, no. You're wrong about this.The ability to detain individuals without due process is the antithesis of this country's founding. The question becomes what defines "due process" in our current situation. I will attempt to define this a bit below. Note that I may fail - it happens.lindytoes:I am getting confused as to what it all meansWhy do you suppose that is? As a cynic, I suspect someone wants people to be confused. Let me try to help resolve it.Let's start with an assumption: We are engaged in a struggle against an organization which seeks to disrupt or overthrow our country thru the use of physical attack.I'm using several word here very purposefully and it is worth hi-liting them. First, engaged. Is this true? Are we still engaged in a struggle? It's been 10 years since the Towers fell, bin Laden is dead.I think we are. Defeat is an event that occurs in the mind of an enemy, and I'm not convinced our enemies are prepared to stand down. Nevertheless, this is the most important word in the assumption - how will we know when we are done?Second is struggle. I did not say "war". If this were a war we would be able to define things fairly easily. We would detain enemy soldiers as POWs and return them according to negotiated protocols. Note that we did this even during the Cold War (which while not declared by Congress was still for all other intents and purposes a war). Because it is a loosely defined struggle, we have a loosely defined set of parameters for detaining participants.Third is organization. I did not say "country". We have no one we can approach thru diplomatic channels to attempt to create protocols for handling participants. Further, this makes it difficult to define who is and is not a participant.Finally, physical attack. Remember the Towers. Remember Madrid. Remember the Cole. Failure to identify and detain participants has deadly consequences. As citizens, we have a responsibility to attempt to protect ourselves. An ounce of prevention....OK then. Let's look at the specific statements in the press release and see how they relate to the assumption/definitions. I'll take them out of order. Require military detention. That's what you do with POWs. The military detains them. Detention of itself should not be an issue, so presumably the issue is the use of the military. We assumed this was an ongoing struggle of physical attack. As such, the use of the military is entirely appropriate.authorizes transfer of detainees to civilian custody for trial in civilian courtAuthorizes, not requires. Are the actions criminal? Nothing in the assumption I laid out actually says so, does it? Wars aren't criminal per se, and one holds governments rather than individuals accountable for those. Here's where the whole "struggle" thing complicates the issue. If we transfer them to civilian custody, we can only hold them so long as we expect them to be convicted of a crime. Due process and all that. If they are not tried and found guilty, they must be released. Yet, we have reason to believe that such release would result in continued physical attack. Frankly, this is a political gesture. I suspect actual transfer would occur in very rare circumstances. That's why it also says leaves it up to the President to establish procedures for determining how and when persons determined to be subject to military custody would be transferred.This provision specifically exempts United States citizens and lawful resident aliens. Why? I've already said we are engaged in a struggle, this class of individuals are certainly participants, no? Yes. But if they should participate in attacks against the US in any fashion, they would be guilty of treason. That charge is very clearly defined in the Constitution. Therefore, failure to exempt them would be unconstitutional. Congress could suspend habeus corpus, but the circumstances where that is allowed would almost certainly mean a declaration of war and, as noted above, this is not a war but a struggle.Lastly, I said I would attempt to define "due process" in this situation. Here's what sucks about all of this - "due process" has to occur during the identification of participants and as such cannot be transparent. Proving a negative (I'm not a participant) is notoriously difficult. Appeal? OK, I've reviewed your case. You're an enemy, it says so right here. Facing accusers? Forget about it, we need to protect our intelligence operations. As citizens, we want to make sure we are protecting ourselves without doing too much collateral damage. We want to make sure that we have a separate Inspector General looking into the identification/detainment process regularly. We want to identify the nationality of participants and as a general rule engage that country's diplomatic corp. Ideally we would probably want to hand participants over their own government for detainment, but that won't always be possible. And that's pretty much the way it is.Suck much? Yeah, but it's not like we want this. And it certainly is not the antithesis of our ideals.
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