First read the following article. The Bill of Rights died on its 220th birthday if not before.
Truthdiggers of the Week: NDAA Dissenters in Congress
Though they couldn’t stop the freedom-crushing National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 from becoming law, Truthdig salutes the efforts of the members of the U.S. Congress who took a stand against the NDAA in the final round of voting this week. There are too many of them to list by name here, but unfortunately, there weren’t enough of them to block the bill’s passage, which a flip-flopping President Obama was slated to sign Friday. Nonetheless, for doing their part to protect our civil liberties, even in the face of formidable political pressure, the 149 senators and representatives who said nay to the NDAA get our vote as our Truthdiggers of the Week.
First, a little background. We have been watching this process with growing incredulity and concern as the bill climbed higher on Congress’ priority list, and for a while it seemed that two troubling clauses in H.R. 1540—specifically, Sections 1031 and 1032—would make the NDAA veto bait for Obama if it actually made it to that point in the legislative process. But this appears to be one of those issues that escapes the kind of public attention (read: outrage) it deserves because of a dismaying lack of information and discussion in the mainstream media, as well as some spin on the part of supportive legislators and a sneaky timeline for the voting process: just in time for the holidays!
‘Indefinite detention’ bill passed by Senate
US Senate approves controversial defence bill including measures to see terror suspects handed over to US military.
The US Congress has approved a controversial defence bill that would deny terror suspects, including US citizens, the right to trial, permit authorities to detain them indefinitely and require the US military to handle terror-suspected foreign nationals.
The Senate approved the $662bn defence bill in an 86-13 vote on Thursday a day after the bill was passed by the House of Representatives after the White House withdrew a threat to block the proposed legislation over concerns it would undermine the president’s authority over counterterrorism activities.
The bill also endorsed tougher sanctions against Iran’s central bank and freezing $700 million in aid to Pakistan.
New counterterrorism procedures would require the US military to take custody of terror suspects accused of involvement in plotting or committing attacks against the United States.
But in changes introduced under pressure from the White House, the bill was amended to say that the military cannot interfere with FBI and other civilian investigations and interrogations.
The revisions also allow the president to sign a waiver moving a terror suspect from military to civilian prison.
The legislation was the latest battle in a long struggle between Obama, and some legislators over whether terror suspects should be prosecuted as “enemy combatants” before military commissions and held at Guantanamo Bay, or treated as criminal suspects in the US court and prison system.
Republicans and some Democrats have urged that military custody and military courts should be used as a rule. The
administration has sought to keep its flexibility in interrogating and detaining terrorism suspects, arguing that many had been successfully prosecuted in federal courts.