How the New Indefinite Detention Provisions can be used on Americans
Congress just passed, and the President just signed, a bill that gives legal authority to the President to kidnap and perpetually imprison persons, including American citizens, without the benefit of due process.
Members of Congress, in the days leading up to the vote, tried to assure their constituents that they have nothing to fear — that the bill doesn’t apply to Americans.
Some were lying. Most were deceived.
Now, I don’t want to imply that Barack Obama plans to sweep up every one of his critics (or even a select few) because of statements they’ve uttered publicly. That is overstatement. The law doesn’t permit that. But consider the following scenario…
You object to the way the Federal Leviathan State is run. You gather, every other Tuesday, with others who share your values. We’ll call your fictional group the Constitution League (CL).
One night, a new fellow shows up. He’s frustrated and outspoken. He complains that the time for meetings is over. Something must be done — something that will “get their attention.” You’re uncomfortable with his remarks but unsure how to respond.
You hope he never returns, and he doesn’t.
What you don’t know, until months later, is that one of our CL colleagues, the chapter Vice President, followed the vocal man out to the parking lot. The two exchanged email addresses and phone numbers. Then, your local VP reached out to a third man, a member of a CL chapter in the nearest big city. The three met regularly. They plotted and executed their own terrorist plot on a U.S. Government facility.
Now, your group meeting was the place they met. The Vice President used his CL email account. CL is all over the news. CL is now, for all intents and purposes, a terrorist group.
And you? Well, you’ve donated to the terrorist organization. You’ve participated in its meetings. The night this angry man walked in, you didn’t call the authorities.
* Can the President have the military come and arrest you? Yes!
* Can he (or she) send you to a military tribunal for trial or just hold you indefinitely in a military facility, without charges? Yes!
Even the bill co-sponsor, Senator McCain, appears to agree with this assessment. Senator Rand Paul asked John McCain, on the Senate floor, “…under the provisions, would it be possible that an American citizen could be declared an ‘enemy combatant’ and sent to Guantanamo Bay, and detained indefinitely?” McCain responded, “I think that as long as that individual, NO MATTER WHO THEY ARE, if they POSE A THREAT to the security of the United States of America, should not be