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January 3rd, 2012

Indefinite Detention Bullshit

Guantanamo Bay

Wow, can you believe the sleazy Bush-like move Obama pulled NYE? While most of the country was out partying he signs a bill to lock up Americans without trial indefinitely. The candidate of change…really?

What’s this all about? Well, strap in as it’s not pretty. First up is the ACLU’s statement. I’m only posting a snippet but please read the entire statement at the link and afterward please consider joining this vital organization.
President Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Bill Into Law
“WASHINGTON – President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law today. The statute contains a sweeping worldwide indefinite detention provision. While President Obama issued a signing statement saying he had “serious reservations” about the provisions, the statement only applies to how his administration would use the authorities granted by the NDAA, and would not affect how the law is interpreted by subsequent administrations. The White House had threatened to veto an earlier version of the NDAA, but reversed course shortly before Congress voted on the final bill.

“President Obama’s action today is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law,” said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU executive director. “The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield. The ACLU will fight worldwide detention authority wherever we can, be it in court, in Congress, or internationally.

Under the Bush administration, similar claims of worldwide detention authority were used to hold even a U.S. citizen detained on U.S. soil in military custody, and many in Congress now assert that the NDAA should be used in the same way again. The ACLU believes that any military detention of American citizens or others within the United States is unconstitutional and illegal, including under the NDAA. In addition, the breadth of the NDAA’s detention authority violates international law because it is not limited to people captured in the context of an actual armed conflict as required by the laws of war.”

From RSN:
NDAA: Congress Signed Its Own Arrest Warrants
“Responding to the Senate’s overwhelming passage of the ‘Homeland Battlefield’ bill, Ms. Wolf first published this piece on December 12, 2011. However, her argument took on new relevance over the weekend when President Obama used the media blackout of the holiday season to quietly sign the bill during a vacation in Hawaii. - JPS/RSN

I never thought I would have to write this: but - incredibly - Congress has now passed the National Defense Appropriations Act, with Amendment 1031, which allows for the military detention of American citizens. The amendment is so loosely worded that any American citizen could be held without due process. The language of this bill can be read to assure Americans that they can challenge their detention - but most people do not realize what this means: at Guantanamo and in other military prisons, one’s lawyer’s calls are monitored, witnesses for one’s defense are not allowed to testify, and one can be forced into nudity and isolation. Incredibly, ninety-three Senators voted to support this bill and now most of Congress: a roster of names that will live in infamy in the history of our nation, and never be expunged from the dark column of the history books.”

From Indian Country:
Happy New Year: Don’t Bother Asking for an Attorney When You’re Detained
“The headlines said it all. The Huffington Post teaser shouted: HAPPY NEW YEAR: YOU CAN NOW BE DETAINED INDEFINITELY while Infowars proclaimed a more sedate: Happy New Year: Obama Signs NDAA, Indefinite Detention Now Law of the Land.

The NDAA is the $662 billion National Defense Authorization Act that President Obama signed into law on New Year’s Eve. In addition to funding the United States’ ongoing wars and the 900 military bases it maintains in 130 countries, the bill provides for the U.S. president to have draconian worldwide authority to have the military seize anyone suspected of “terrorism” or providing aid to terrorists or “associated forces” anywhere in the world, including U.S. citizens on American soil, and detain them without charge or trial indefinitely. “It’s a little New Year’s present to our constitutional republic,” Alex Jones says angrily in a YouTube video.”

Getting rounded up is not some fantasy scare tactic. It’s happened in this country before and it can happen again. During World War II Japanese Americans were rounded up for being the wrong race. From Wikipedia:
Japanese American internment
“Japanese-American internment was the relocation and internment by the United States government in 1942 of approximately 110,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese who lived along the Pacific coast of the United States to camps called “War Relocation Camps,” in the wake of Imperial Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.[1][2] The internment of Japanese Americans was applied unequally throughout the United States. Japanese Americans who lived on the West Coast of the United States were all interned, while in Hawaii, where more than 150,000 Japanese Americans composed over one-third of the territory’s population, 1,200[3] to 1,800 Japanese Americans were interned.[4] Of those interned, 62% were American citizens.[5][6]”

I think anyone who voted for this bill should be voted out of office regardless of political identification. Yup, that means I’m voting against Obama in 2012 despite voting for him in 2008. Some of my pro-choice friends tell me voting against Obama during the next election means voting to outlaw abortion. I counter that argument with this: If I get pregnant and I can’t get an abortion I can figure out how to give myself one. If I’m illegally detained for being a political protester I can’t figure out how to break out of a federal prison. That makes the choice easy for me.

Many I know are outraged over this. I certainly am. But not everyone. A disturbing trend I’ve noticed is people saying something to the tune of “this won’t affect me or anyone I know so why should I care”. I am baffled by this type of thinking.

Under that ideology straight people shouldn’t care about gay marriage because they can get married whenever they want. US residents shouldn’t care about the treatment of illegal immigrants because they’re legal. Non sex workers shouldn’t care about the West Mesa Murders because they’re not targets of a serial killer. But of course we care about the above and so we should care about this indefinite detention bill. Can you imagine who President Palin would like to round up? Just because this bill doesn’t affect you today doesn’t mean it won’t tomorrow.

Posted by Vixen as News at 10:11 PM CST

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