If you think that we are living in a safer world and that things are moving faster and faster with changes in laws and technology, then you may be surprised to find out that that is not the case. A new bill that is being pushed through the U.S. Senate, if passed, would allow the U.S. military to arrest American citizens and hold them indefinitely without trial. This proposed law, S.1867, is called the National Defense Authorization Act 2012.The law will allow the military to arrest anyone for no reason at anytime.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is a big supporter of the bill, suggest that the bill will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield.” This means that living in the United States would be equivalant to living in a giant prison, stripped of personal liberty and freedom. This bill basically shows that the federal government is more concerned and obsessed with watching, tracking, monitoring and recording virtually everything that we do than they are with getting the economy back on track.
The Senate hopes to finish this defense bill this week, although it contains several controversial provisions regarding the detention of terror suspects, which President Obama vows to veto if it is passed. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., plans to hold a cloture vote on Nov. 30 for the defense authorization bill, and the Senate hopes to conduct a final vote by Dec.1, according to Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich.. The Armed Services Committee passed the bill 26-0 earlier this month.
The controversy regards the following provisions of the billl:
1) Explicitly authorize the federal government to indefinitely imprison without charge or trial American citizens and others picked up inside and outside the United States;
(2) Mandate military detention of some civilians who would otherwise be outside of military control, including civilians picked up within the United States itself; and
(3) Transfer to the Department of Defense core prosecutorial, investigative, law enforcement, penal, and custodial authority and responsibility now held by the Department of Justice.
U.S. citizens should be concerned about this bill, especially since it seems to make the new frontline of the war on terror our own backyard. If this bill if passed, it would classify the entire USA as a “battlefield,” allowing law enforcement duties to be dished out by the American military, who in turn could detain any US citizen as a war criminal — even coming into their homes to effect arrests.
–torrance stephens, ph.d.