Congress lining up behind indefinite detention, for Americans

Monday, May 7, 2018
By Paul Martin

‘Any president’ could send military, hold U.S. citizen ‘without charges essentially forever’


While much of the reporting on the National Defense Authorization Act, now pending in Congress, has focused on issues such as authorization for a military parade in Washington, Jon Schwarz at the Intercept noticed a far different issue: the option for the indefinite detention of American citizens without charges.

The Constitution protects the rights of the accused under the nation’s criminal statutes, including the provision of a statement of charges, a “speedy trial,” a defense counsel and a jury trial.

The idea of no-notice, no-ending, no-charges detention arose in response to 9/11, with the argument that terrorists are more like enemy combatants than home-grown criminals.

But the Intercept noted the legislation has expanded its scope over the years.

“The fiscal year 2012 NDAA included provisions that appeared to both codify and expand a power the executive branch had previously claimed to possess — namely, the power to hold individuals, including U.S. citizens, in military detention indefinitely — based on the Authorization to Use Military Force passed by Congress three days after 9/11,” the report said.

Then-Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, criticized the 2012 NDAA as providing “some weak restraints on the executive branch’s ability to use this power.”

The report explained that, theoretically, the provisions should apply only to those involved in 9/11, such as al-Qaida and the Taliban.

“But now, incredibly enough, a bipartisan group of six lawmakers, led by Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Tim Kaine, D-Va., is proposing a new AUMF that would greatly expand who the president can place in indefinite military detention, all in the name of restricting presidential power,” The Intercept said.

If the Corker-Kaine bill becomes law as currently written, according to the report, “any president, including Donald Trump, could plausibly claim extraordinarily broad power to order the military to imprison any U.S. citizen, captured in America or not, and hold them without charges essentially forever.”

The plan is moving forward “in good faith,” with “a combination of sloppy drafting and clear reluctance to take the executive branch head-on” possibly handing “genuinely tyrannical powers over to the president,” the report said.

The issue is complicated: During peacetime a president absolutely cannot hold a U.S. citizen apprehended far away from a battlefield without charges, the report noted.

The Rest…HERE

One Response to “Congress lining up behind indefinite detention, for Americans”

  1. Strayhorse

    REMEMBER LEGISLATORS, what you legalize now might very well be what brings YOU down in the near future! Its called KARMA! Right McCain?


Leave a Reply

Join the revolution in 2018. Revolution Radio is 100% volunteer ran. Any contributions are greatly appreciated. God bless!

Follow us on Twitter