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News Link • Police State

Indefinite Detention of Citizens: A Response To Senator Carl Levin

• www.jonathanturley.org

Yesterday, my column “10 Reasons The United States Is No Longer The Land Of The Free” ran in the Sunday Washington Post. I have been heartened by response to the column. However, a few commenters continue to suggest that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) does not allow for the indefinite detention of citizens. This claim is being advanced by Senator Carl Levin (D., Mich.) in emails and fax messages to voters. I wanted to respond to Senator Levin’s points which are detached from language of the law and the clear intent of the majority of Senators. I would also like to address those who have stated that our liberties are not at risk when such powers will not affect most Americans.

I have previously explained why the claim by Sen. Levin is unfounded, as have others like the ACLU and commentators like Glenn Greenwald. The White House itself offered the spin to supporters in Congress, explaining why the President reneged on his pledge to veto the law. The White House is saying that changes to the law made it unnecessary to veto the legislation. That spin is facially ridiculous. The changes were the inclusion of some meaningless rhetoric after key amendments protecting citizens were defeated. The provision merely states that nothing in the provisions could be construed to alter Americans’ legal rights. Since the Senate clearly views citizens are not just subject to indefinite detention but even execution without a trial, the change offers nothing but rhetoric to hide the harsh reality. The exemption for American citizens from the mandatory detention requirement (section 1032) is the screening language for the real section, 1031, which offers no exemption for American citizens from the authorization to use the military to indefinitely detain people without charge or trial. Section 1031 only contains a meaningless provision stating “Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities 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.”

 

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by David Jackson
Entered on:

 This so-called "legislation" simply proves that the Constitution of the United States doesn't exist. As far as the traitors in Washington D.C. are concerned, the principles and tenets of our national heritage and much touted rights and liberties are "dead in the water"!

We are seconds away from becoming the biggest and wealthiest banana republic on earth. We have experienced a "bloodless coup", made all the worse by the fact that the thugs and malefactors who staged it are amongst some of the world's lowest forms of life!

Just for perspective:  Which one(s) did you vote for, comrade citizen?


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