Senate Passes Bill Allowing Indefinite Detention of Americans ... Considers Bill Authorizing More TortureBy Washington’s Blog
Dec. 01, 2011
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The Senate passed a bill today allowing indefinite detention of American citizens living within the U.S.
While some have claimed that this is incorrect, and that American citizens would be exempted from the indefinite detention within U.S. borders authorized by the Act, the Committee chairman who co-sponsored the bill -- Carl Levin -- stated today in Senate debate that it could apply to American citizens.
Levin cited the Supreme Court case of Hamdi which ruled that American citizens can be treated as enemy combatants:
"The Supreme Court has recently ruled there is no bar to the United States holding one of its own citizens as an enemy combatant," said Levin. "This is the Supreme Court speaking."Under questioning from Rand Paul, co-sponsor John McCain said that Americans suspected of terrorism could be sent to Guantanamo.
You can hear the statements from Levin and McCain on today's broadcast of KFPA's Letters and Politics.
As Raw Story notes:
The provision would authorize the military to indefinitely detain individuals -- including U.S. citizens -- without charge or trial.The debate is also being streamed live on CSpan-2.
While passage of the bill would make the Founding Fathers roll in their grave, it might not change that much. As former constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald notes:
With very few exceptions, the McCain-Levin bill, awful though it is, doesn't create any powers beyond what the O Admin thinks it now has.Indeed, the U.S. has been a de facto police state for many years.
"A MIDDLE EAST DICTATORSHIP HAS MORE DEMOCRATIC ACCOUNTABILITY FOR ABUSE OF POWER, INCLUDING TORTURE, THAN THE US UNDER OBAMA"
The same Senate is now considering a bill to repeal the prohibitions against torture:
The ACLU and over 30 other organizations sent a letter to the Senate asking them to oppose an effort in Congress that threatens to revive the use of torture and other inhumane interrogation techniques. If passed, an amendment introduced by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) to the Defense Authorization bill would roll back torture prevention measures that Congress overwhelmingly approved in the 2005 McCain Anti-Torture Amendment, as well as a 2009 Executive Order on ensuring lawful interrogations. It would also require the administration to create a secret list of approved interrogation techniques in a classified annex to the existing interrogation field manual.Glenn Greenwald pointed out last week:
Andrew Sullivan ... today noted that the U.S. under Obama imposes even less accountability for abuse of power and war crimes than does Bahrain:That's okay, though, because -- according to top military, intelligence and civilian experts on interrogation -- torture:
(1) Doesn't produce actionable intelligence