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Written by Subject: Events: Arizona


WHEN:  Saturday, December 17, 2011
10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
WHERE:  Office of Sen. John S. McCain
2201 East Camelback Road, Phoenix , Arizona
Also sign the online ACLU petition to your Congressional representative and say no to Indefinite Detention
Last week, the U.S. Senate passed the NDAA, a massive $662 billion defense bill with provisions that would amplify the role of the military in the seizure and detention of terror suspects, including U.S. citizens.  
The bill, which was passed by a sweeping bipartisan vote of 98%, is still a work in progress (the Senate and the House have yet to settle upon a final bill that will go to the President.
Section 1031 of the bill affirms that the military has the authority to detain "a person who was part of, or substantially supported al-Qaida, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, [. . . ] without trial" and authorizes "transfer to the custody or control of the person's country of origin, any other foreign country, or any other foreign entity."  This implies that a naturalized American citizen could be exiled to their country of origin, even if it endangers their life.  It also implies that an American citizen born in the United States  could be transferred to another "foreign entity."  While no one is sure what “other foreign entity” may include, an entity akin to the new mercenary company in the United Arab Emirates run by Erik Prince, former CEO of Backwater, cannot be ruled out.  Section 1032 of the bill would require mandatory military custody of someone accused of being affiliated with al-Qaeda or plotting attacks against the United States.
As revealed by the following debate between Senator Rand Paul and Senator McCain,  Senator McCain has made it clear that the bill’s provisions apply to U.S citizens:
Senator Rand Paul: "Under the provisions, would it be possible that an American citizen then could be declared an enemy combatant and sent to Guantánamo Bay and detained indefinitely?"
Senator John McCain: "I think that as long as that individual, no matter who they are, if they pose a threat to the security of the United States of America , should not be allowed to continue that threat."
Indeed, any doubt about whether this bill permits the military detention of U.S. citizens was dispelled entirely on December 1, 2011, when an amendment offered by Senator Dianne Feinstein - to confine military detention to those apprehended “abroad,” i.e., off U.S. soil - failed by a vote of 45-55 with Senator McCain and Kyl voting against the Feinstein’s amendment.  However, Senator Feinstein succeeded in pushing through a measure that states that the bill does not affect "existing law relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States .”  The amendment passed 99 to 1, with only Senator Jon Kyl voting against it.  The dilemmas and the debate lie in the fact that there is disagreement as to what current law mandates.
The Act violates the due process protections provided in the Sixth Amendment's right to a trial as well as Article 3, Section 3 of the Constitution which guarantees that no one can be accused of treason without due process protections. 
Keep in mind that six Senators including Senator Lieberman argued on the Senate floor in favor of an amendment by New Hampshire Senator  Kelly Ayotte to restore the use of the Bush era torture techniques (by rolling back the 2009 Obama executive order against torture and re-establishing a secret "classified" set of interrogation techniques and attaching them to the current Army Field Manual).  The amendment was ruled non-germane but may again  be reintroduced.
While Senators McCain and Kyl repeatedly use rhetoric attacking the evils of “Big Government” and state they distrust federal power and believe in restrained government (and completely ignore the abuses of corporate power),  the two Senators have few qualms about passing a muli-billion dollar bill that escalates the power of the military over the lives of Americans whom they have sworn to protect.
Those who plan to participate in this action are reminded that all events called by the End the War Coalition are governed by the non-violent principles espoused by Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,  Cesar Chavaz, Delores Huerta, and Dorothy Day.
Sponsored by End the War Coalition – Arizona Alliance for Peace and Justice, Arizona Institute for Peace Education and Research, Code Pink-Phoenix, Grandmothers for Peace, Progressive Democrats of America , Veterans for Peace-Phoenix, Women in Black-Phoenix
For more information call (480) 894-2024 or email

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