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IPFS News Link • Surveillance

Bill of Rights, RIP: The civil-rights abuses of recent years are now set in stone

• Robert Bowman,
Congress recently passed the National Defense Authorization Act, and President Obama signed it into law. The act contains provisions allowing for the indefinite detention of American citizens, without charge or trial or opportunity to challenge their detention—a clear violation of the right of habeas corpus. It also authorizes the military to carry out such detention contrary to the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878.

Thirteen senators and 136 representatives from across the political spectrum voted against the bill. Democratic Sen. Al Franken stated: “It denigrates the Bill of Rights … what our Founders intended when they created a civilian, nonmilitary justice system … to ensure we did not become a country under military rule.”

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky wrote: “Detaining citizens without trial is not American. … We’re talking about American citizens who can be taken from the United States and sent to a camp at Guantanamo Bay and held indefinitely. It puts every American at risk.”