Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Senate pushing bill to detain all terrorist suspects indefinitely

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Guantánamo Bay detainees
Gitmo detainees

Who knew things could go so bad in the span of less than a decade? Only a few years ago, the current climate of locking up anyone remotely suspected of being an “enemy combatant” for years without so much as a court hearing would have been thought to come straight out of a George Orwell book. Yet now, the only sentiment evoked by the news that U.S. Senators both Left and Right are trying to make things even worse is is one of “here we go again”:

Legislative language that emerged from the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday afternoon would mandate the automatic, indefinite military detention of noncitizens apprehended in the United States who are suspected members of Al Qaeda or associated groups. The wording, which is part of a must-pass bill to fund the military, also appears to allow the indefinite military detention of citizens and legal permanent residents. The bill would also extend restrictions on transfers of detainees from Guantánamo Bay, though only for one year.

And how do you know that this bill really crosses the line? When even the Obama administration thinks it goes too far (albeit not for reasons of preserving Constitutional safeguards):

Obama administration officials fear that the mandatory detention provisions could force the FBI to interrupt ongoing investigations in order to hand suspected terrorists over to the military. They also worry that the new rules could interfere with the prosecution of suspected terrorists in federal courts. At a homeland security and counterterrorism conference in September, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan warned that "this approach would impose unprecedented restrictions on the ability of experienced professionals to combat terrorism."

At this rate, it’s becoming outright fantastical to think that there’s even a chance all this unconstitutional, due-process-annihilating garbage will ever be reversed. Welcome to the New America: Land of the Oppressed and Home of the Resigned.

(via The Agitator)