Friday, December 16, 2011

Indefinite Detention of U.S. Citizens Now Legal

The National Defense Authorization Act is a federal law that has been enacted for the past 48 years to specify the budget of the U.S. Department of Defense.  In this year's budget, which is voted on by Congress, comes a nasty provision that allows indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without due process.  This budget was just passed by the U.S. Senate.  As shown by this list, an overwhelming majority voted "yea" on the bill, including the 2 senators who supposedly represent me as a New York resident, Gillibrand and Schumer.  This has received truly bipartisan support, so for those of you who still think that there's a significant difference between the two parties, this evidence should be enough to prove otherwise. 

We have officially reached the nadir as a country, now on par with the worst proclivities of totalitarian states.   Like in some of these countries, which many of our luminaries still trash regularly for their repression of their own citizens, we too now live in a place where it is possible to be imprisoned indefinitely for little more than your neighbor pointing your finger at you and labeling you as a "terrorist" to the proper authorities.  And this is under a President that has a "D" label following his name.  Bush/Cheney clamored for years to have something of this nature passed, but it took a Democratic president to make it into law.

I think a key factor behind this being able to get passed now, rather than in the Bush years, is the economy is grinding down to such an extent that there is now noticeable public outcry that can no longer be ignored.  I am speaking, of course, of the OWS movement.  Under this bill, an OWSer can be swept up in a police sweep and can be sent to some kind of federal facility (or even Gitmo) under the filmsy pretense of having the potential to inflict violence at some point in the future. 

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