Senate Clears Way to Pass Defense Authorization Act That Allows Military to Hold US Citizens Indefinitely Without Trial

On Tuesday the US Senate voted to keep a controversial provision in the National Defense Authorization Act that allows the US military to detain terrorism suspects on U.S. soil and hold them indefinitely without trial. The measure was opposed by civil libertarians on the left and right. The senate is looking to wrap up the bill by week’s end.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) spoke out against the measure on the senate floor this week. According to Paul, having more than 7 Days of food makes you a suspected terrorist.

Paul’s top complaint is that an American could get just one hearing where the military could assert that the person is a suspected terrorist — and then they could be locked up for life.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) discussed this provision this week on the senate floor:

James Madison, father of the Constitution, warned, “The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become instruments of tyranny at home.”

Abraham Lincoln had similar thoughts, saying “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter, and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

During war there has always been a struggle to preserve Constitutional liberties. During the Civil War the right of habeas corpus was suspended. Newspapers were closed down. Fortunately, these rights were restored after the war.

The discussion now to suspend certain rights to due process is especially worrisome given that we are engaged in a war that appears to have no end. Rights given up now cannot be expected to be returned. So, we do well to contemplate the diminishment of due process, knowing that the rights we lose now may never be restored.

My well-intentioned colleagues ignore these admonitions in defending provisions of the Defense bill pertaining to detaining suspected terrorists.

Their legislation would arm the military with the authority to detain indefinitely – without due process or trial – SUSPECTED al-Qaida sympathizers, including American citizens apprehended on American soil.

I want to repeat that. We are talking about people who are merely SUSPECTED of a crime. And we are talking about American citizens.

If these provisions pass, we could see American citizens being sent to Guantanamo Bay.

This should be alarming to everyone watching this proceeding today. Because it puts every single American citizen at risk.

There is one thing and one thing only protecting innocent Americans from being detained at will at the hands of a too-powerful state – our constitution, and the checks we put on government power. Should we err today and remove some of the most important checks on state power in the name of fighting terrorism, well, then the terrorists have won.

Detaining citizens without a court trial is not American. In fact, this alarming arbitrary power is reminiscent of Egypt’s “permanent” Emergency Law authorizing preventive indefinite detention, a law that provoked ordinary Egyptians to tear their country apart last spring and risk their lives to fight.

It’s weird that this power grab is not getting more play in the media, huh?

Get news like this in your Facebook News Feed,
Gateway Pundit

Commenting Policy

Please adhere to our commenting policy to avoid being banned. As a privately owned website, we reserve the right to remove any comment and ban any user at any time.

Comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, anti-Semitism, or personal or abusive attacks on other users may be removed and result in a ban.

Facebook Comments

Disqus Comments

  • dunce

    Trade mark McCain bill.

  • bigL

    Horrible and as usual the gOP- the permanent Lose Party- is silent. Maybe the law can be used againt the gop.

  • pink tie Republican

    Rand Paul for President!

    I like him, he is correct here, the bill is outrageous.

  • Pingback: Senate Clears Way to Pass Defense Authorization Act; Allows Military to Hold US Citizens Indefinitely Without Trial »

  • Mama Grizzly

    Obama wants a second term so he can employ his final solution–police and military are run through drills with paid actors screaming about their rights–but they get ignored and locked up anyway.

    WHAT is in the offing here? WHAT are they planning?

    Terrorists swarming across the southern border. Small pox bioweapon? And all the military is being vaccinated against small pox specifically because of that threat.

    Just sayin’ . . .

  • More Liberty

    This is horrible. Dumbass McCain and Levin wrote this thing in secret. All the neocons voted for it of course, as did the anti-liberty pro-statist liberals.

    My Texas Senators voted against Rand’s amendment and Udahls Amendment which would have denied the citizens detainment without due process.

  • Johnny “Stanford” Davis

    Why are you so concerned about the government extending the policies it already uses to arrest terrorists who kill Americans? It would have been a travesty if they didn’t pass this bill. We know who is arguing against it: pro-terrorist liberals.

    When Obama tried to give terrorist Khaleid Shaeik Muhammed a civilian trial, the conservatives rightly attacked Obama for trying to use a pro-terrorist policy that would threaten American security. When Obama killed American citizen and terrorist leader Anwar Al-Awlaki for recruiting terrorists to kill soldiers and bring down airplanes, liberals attacked America for killing a terrorist. We must continue to kill terrorists and to not give them trials. This legislation doesn’t apply to non-terrorists, but it does apply to people like Anwar Al-Awlaki. If you support the killing on Al-Awlaki, why don’t you support this bill, that is the same thing?

  • Ohio Granny

    #Johnny “Stanford” Davis

    Who says who is a terrorist and how would we know? Basically, there is no way to know what the criteria is for arresting citizens, or what their crime is, or who is their accuser. This gives power to people without accountability. So far, the only real definition the WH and DHS have come up with referrs to the Tea Party members but not the Marxists (free speech) or the Occupiers (freedom to assembly) or the actual terrorists (too much profiling). So they can arrest those of us who have guns, who are preparing for a long winter of discontent, and who have cisterns. We are the ones who scare them the most and when they come for us, just like they came for the Jews in 1940, they will do so legally.

  • Nanna

    Ohio Granny #8

    I totally concur!!

  • Conservative to the Core

    The Waffle House Gang will be glad to hear that.

  • Johnny “Stanford” Davis

    @OhioGranny #8

    Go cry to the ACLU. Its easy to tell who a terrorist is: who threatens America and wants to kill civilians? We need clarity in our national defense. Khaleid Sheik Muhamed is a terrorist. Anwar Al-Awlaki is a terrorist. The Christmas Day Bomber is a terrorist. Do you disagree with any of those being a terrorist?

    Let me ask you, granny: Do you support America killing Anwar Al-Awlaki and holding terrorists without trials in Gitmo? It would sound like a very anti-American policy to say that America is wrong for holding terrorists in Gitmo and that America engaged in so-called “torture.”

  • RedBeard

    Ok, I’m confused. Where does the bill give the authority to treat American citizens that way? And what about this, from page 362 of the bill:


    (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS.—The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.

    (2) LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS.—The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United states.

  • succotash

    John McCain and Lindsay Graham are two of the responsible parties in this egregious bill. Shame on America and shame on congress for even considering such a bill. We are losing our freedom at breakneck speed.

  • martin

    Ron Paul should drop out and let his son Rand Paul run for president in 2012.

    If Ron chooses to stay in, Rand should get in the race regardless.

  • #5 bing…………..This is a dangerous bill in the hands of dangerous radical like Obama…………………….given the military power to arrest anyone and any where,even citizens in their own back-yards…………using military for other purposes than our own , such as fighting other nations war…….McCain and his side-kick Graham need a head-check …………….because they are totally insane……….

  • martin

    Old Coot McCain needs to retire.

  • StandUpChuck

    Been saying this and will say it again. Rand Paul needs to be our next president.

  • bg


    God Bless GWB..

    the last American President..

    “we the people” are not represented by Congress anymore..


  • You know, Hoft, you actually need to read the bill and stop falling in to the ACLU trap on this.

  • bg


    we rescue foreign country after foreign country..

    yet we are owned by more & more foreign countries..

    something in the USA smells like a transitioning into the NWO..


  • More Liberty

    Johnny “I agree the Japanese should have been interned” said:
    “Why are you so concerned about the government extending the policies it already uses to arrest terrorists who kill Americans? It would have been a travesty if they didn’t pass this bill. We know who is arguing against it: pro-terrorist liberals.”

    You are clearly a moron. Do you not realize that you can now be held, as a suspect, without due process as a us citizen on us soil. They just signed away your 5th Amendment rights you statist tool.

  • martin

    #17 Standupchuck,

    We all need to email the Mr. Paul’s to ask Dad to back out and let Son run with it.

  • More Liberty

    Johhny “I hate the bill of rights” Davis said:

    “Let me ask you, granny: Do you support America killing Anwar Al-Awlaki and holding terrorists without trials in Gitmo? It would sound like a very anti-American policy to say that America is wrong for holding terrorists in Gitmo and that America engaged in so-called “torture.””

    You simple minded moron. Americans have rights. These rights are supposed to be afforded to us through our creator or nature for simply being individual human beings. The government doesn’t give us these right you fascist.

    Why do you hate America so much? Why do you hate the US Constitution? Why do you hate the Bill or Rights?

  • thegoldman

    The laws of a dictatorship…

  • burt

    John Mc Cain is an Obama supporter you should have seen his speech before the NAACP. One of Obama’s better speeches. As for the ACLU, read the writing of its founder Roger Nash Baldwin. He found the organization with his friends. Find out who they were and how they though. It will explain alot.

  • Patty

    Levin and McCain can’t be for real. Any senators who will vote for this needs to be kicked out of office.

    Between this and Obama care we are becoming a Communist nation. Are the after the right or those who are trying to defend their homes. Supplies in homes for Natural disasters. Who are these people and rest assured their are in Washington who have bunkers and a massive food supplies shouldn’t they be arrested.

    If they don’t they should be arrested for shedding our Constitution to quote the judge. And someone who has lost fingers. Thank God I didn’t when slicing that last tomato. And guns, waterproofing them. Did I hear that correctly.

    And back to the Military, OURS, what is next, those who fought so gallantly for our many freedoms who have lost a finger or what about a leg or two.

    Now, we all have a Civic Duty to stop these leaders from curling up in their pajamas in the dead of night, behind close doors making up willy nilly these preposterous and illegal under the Constitution should reprehensible laws.

  • Patty


    reprehensible laws

  • bg


    4 of much more everyone should have
    either read or listened to “intently”..

    Breaking The War Mentality

    [In 1933 the German establishment thought it could use Hitler to restore a modicum of order to the confused and confusing Weimar Republic. In fact, Hitler did strengthen the German establishment, but not exactly in the way the bankers and businessmen had wanted; and now, fifty years later, it is clear who was using whom. Nevertheless, the Western World did not complain in 1933 because Hitler, though a fascist and a totalitarian, was seen, like countless American puppet dictators today, as someone who leaves the established order in place.

    Not so the Greens. If a group of young, anti-establishment pacifists wiith unusual ideas and uncomfortable answers to hard questions terrifies us more today than Hitler, Himmler, Goering and Goebbels did back in 1933, our terror says more about us than it does about the Greens or the Germans. It indicates that we have failed to comprehend the meaning of Nazism and blind obedience to authority in their full horror, and that we, unlike the Greens, have yet ourselves to learn the democratic lesson that we have taught the Germans so well.]

    connecting links & much more @ link..

    Breaking Free From The Constitution

    [Mr. Obama’s comments take a turn from discussing the historical record. Unprovoked he laments that the Supreme Court “could not break free from the essential constraints placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution.” He further describes the Constitution as “a charter of negative liberties.” This is at odds with the preamble to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.]

    Tarek Fatah, 2011

    connecting links & much more @ link..

    Obama quietly appoints Muslim Brotherhood to key posts

    [Obama’s top national security advisor declared that the Muslim Brotherhood is a ‘secular’ organization, non-extremist, and dedicated to ‘peace.’ Obama himself, in an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, refused to refer to the Brotherhood as an Islamic extremist organization, in spite of the fact that the group’s own charter, and recent statements made by its leadership, indicate exactly that.]

    connecting links & much more @ link..

    there are numerous ipso facto connect the dots articles that have been
    posted ad nauseum.. and there’s still much more that continues to go
    over our heads.. think of being in the eye of the hurricane and thinking,
    “we ain’t seen nothin’ yet”, and you’ll be closer to reality than anyone
    cares to admit.. denial is our enemies best weapon, and we’re iin deep..

    please scroll threads for more connecting links, thank you..


  • chuck in st paul

    Let’s see… we need a list of people who should be spirited away never to be seen again.

    teabaggers, check
    military veterans, check
    Christians, check
    gun owners, check
    people with money we can confiscate, check
    people with an IQ above room temperature, check
    Etc, etc, etc.

    Well, that’s a start.

  • chuck in st paul

    For those who think this is a solid bit of needed legislation and that the restrictions on grabbing US citizens out of their homes will work properly, I have merely to give one example of how well this stuff works – no-fly list.

  • Just in time for the 2012 elections. Any voters not intimidated at polls will be interned by the feds as terrorists.

  • Patty

    McCain was the problem in ’08, WOW, let’s don’t let that happen this time around.

  • Patty

    #31 December 1, 2011 at 11:01 am
    S. Wolf commented:

  • shibumi

    You know those crazy websites that talk about conspiracies and ufos? This has been on the radar on those type of sites for a while now. General consensus is that this is a VERY bad bill that will turn your backyard into a war zone that will allow the US government to hold you indefinitely for no real reason.

    Thanks 52%

  • StrangernFiction

    Who needs enemies when you have friends like John McCain and the Repubicans.

  • bg


    no BC, no med, no school, no college,
    no Senate, etc, records of any kind..

    but he promises to:

    “fundamentally transform the United States of America”..

    if that alone is not transparent, nothing is,
    and we know otherwise don’t we.. *sigh*


  • bg


    shibumi #34 December 1, 2011 at 11:10 am

    i take it you don’t do much research.. well,
    none that matters a hill of beans anyways..


  • lizzy84

    S. Wolf@#31

    Enough is Enough. +1

    A question to ask {other than Bachmann and Paul} of our GOP candidates:
    Would support this bill and sign it if put before you, Gingrich, Cain, Perry, Santorum, Romney Huntsman?

  • Patty

    Obama, the Hitman: Killing Due Process. [Scroll down] The present move of the Obama administration towards KGB-style assassination of U.S. citizens should be regarded with close scrutiny. Many warned that one day very soon, the PATRIOT Act and its sister legislation would be used against American citizens. The broad and ambiguous language found in the PATRIOT Act gives the president, whoever that may be, the power to determine what is and is not “terror.” … Everything that follows is contingent on this loose definition — i.e. warrantless wiretapping, warrantless entry, human tracking, access to bank statements and phone records, access to internet records, “enhanced” interrogation, and now assassination. … Even the philosophical basis of the PATRIOT Act is flawed. If citizens are found conspiring against the United States, a provision already exists in the Constitution to address it.

    So, now one step further and Senate over steps its bounds.

  • Pingback: Senate Clears Way to Pass Defense Authorization Act That Allows Military to Hold US Citizens Indefinitely Without Trial | Liberal Whoppers()

  • Patty

    Trashing privacy: Thanks to the U.S. Senate’s remarkable but well-known lack of backbone, nations such as Albania, Croatia, Uganda and many others now will be able to call up the U.S. Justice Department and find out as much as they would like about anything you do with your computer. At this point, you probably wonder why you haven’t read about this. Frankly, there’s not much reason you would have, unless you read some relatively obscure publications that focus mostly on technology issues. Another reason you wouldn’t likely have heard of it is, of course, that most major media outlets ignored the issue entirely…. more @link and files can be recovered on this site. And no pop up.

    *This site is dedicated to this Disastrous Presidency, anything you want to know about our nation and where is it going is on this site.

  • owl

    I kept hoping he would just shut up. McCain and his sidekicks. Nope. You know, he dogged Bush’s first year in office. He was a worse loser than the DEMS. Then he has ignored Barry. Barry, the one he would not allow to be called by his full name because it might be a slur.

    He labeled Bush a torturer as his final revenge.

    He labeled our service people as torturers at Abu Ghraib by his actions. That was McCain at his most disgusting. I have written more emails over this guy to complain than any other from 2000. Then I was forced to vote for him. Don’t even think about staying home and not voting against Obama if you are not a raging commie.

  • Valerie

    It might be because the authors say it does not apply to American citizens, which is a key point.

    “To be clear: These provisions do not apply to U.S. citizens.”

    So, we have a head-to-head disagreement over the meaning of the language in the legislation, with no actual quotes of the language.

  • Valerie

    Track the legislation, NDAA 2012 here.

    Here’s one person’s take on it, at tiger droppings.

    That person’s analysis completely misinterprets to impact of a section (f), which could be what Sen. Graham relies on, when he says “these provisions do not apply to U.S. citizens.” It is written in legislative legalese, and therefore hard to parse, but if this section was included as written, Sen. Graham is right.

  • S

    May I remind you all of a Benjamin Franklin quote:

    “Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security”

    Let us keep our guns close and take action against anyone who threatens our lives or the lives of our countrymen. Let Americans take care of America.

  • RedBeard

    Here is the bill:

    And here is the part (from page 362) that seems to completely contradict the ACLU and the Alex Jones types:


    (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS.—The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.

    (2) LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS.—The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United states.

  • RedBeard

    I also did a search of the bill, using the term “United States citzens” and came up with nothing that would authorize the government to detain U.S. citizens.

    Admittedly, I’m no legal expert, far from it. So perhaps others with such insight and talents could look at this bill and help us to understand what it says and what it does not say.

  • Valerie

    Assuming that the guy at Tiger Droppings and Sen Rand Paul are talking about the same thing, the language they are worrying about is found in Subtitle D — Counterterrorism, which provides for detainees at Guantanamo that are NOT US citizens.

    Section 1031 says how to handle GITMO detainees that are not US citizens.

    Section 1034 AFFIRMATION OF ARMED CONFLICT WITH AL-QAEDA, THE TALIBAN, AND ASSOCIATED FORCES contains various recitations of Congress’ reasons for passing this portion of the legislation, including (1) statement that the conflict is an armed conflict; (2) statement that the President has the authority to use military force in that conflict, citing the specific law (PL 107-40); (3) statement that the armed conflict includes nations, organizations and persons that are part of or supporting al-Qaeda, the Taliban or associated forces that are engaged in (or have engaged in) hostilities (or the support of hostilities) against the US; and that the President’s authority under PL 107-40 includes the authority to detain belligerents, including individuals in armed conflict with the US.

    Section 1034 is simply a set of WHEREAS clauses providing the background for this legislation, and citing the Presidential authority. It does not expand on the terms of the presidential authority contained in 107-43, it simply cites it and summarizes it for reference.

    There is no conflict between the two sets of provisions, and there is no authority to detain US citizens in breach of our normal, peacetime, Constitutional guarantees.

    It could be that a legitimate concern of Sen. Paul and others was addressed in the final copy of the approved bill.

  • Valerie


    Your copy of the legislation has the paragraphs renumbered, so that section 1031 contains the affirmation of armed conflict, and section 1032(b) at page 362, provides that neither US citizens or lawful resident aliens are covered.

    Further, Section 1031(e) requires briefings to Congress as to how these sections are being used, including in connection with US citizens and legal residents. Your copy also includes Section 1031(d) Construction, which states that this legislation is not intended to change the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

    Your copy looks like a clean copy for publication. Sections do get moved around, and reworded. In both cases, the exclusion of US citizens from these detention rules is the same, and that the scope of Presidential authority is unchanged.

  • Celtic

    The White House has said the President will Veto.

    Some of you (“Johnny”) need to learn the difference between a “suspected terrorist” and
    a “proven terrorist”.

    Then again…’s kind of hard to prove that you are innocent when your are being
    held indefinitely without being charged, and no right to a lawyer. Better hope no one
    ever mixes up your address or identitiy with someone elses.

    I mean….the giant web of bureaucracy never makes mistakes….right?

  • Valerie #48

    Well, that sounds reassuring but heretofore Americans weren’t deprived of life without due process so what’s to stop the feds from depriving Americans of liberty without due process? Just declare someone a terrorist and send a drone over or a squad of soldiers to hie them off to Gitmo.. now we know why Hussein hasn’t closed Gitmo and why DHS is focusing on white middle class terrorists.

  • Celtic

    #48 “now we know why Hussein hasn’t closed Gitmo and why DHS is focusing on white middle class terrorists.”

    You may want to look a bit more closely into the issue, Lower Case “s”, Lower Case “w”olf.
    In fact, it helps to actually READ the article that is linked to in the very first sentence of this
    blog post.

    The White House is agaisnt the bill, and says it will veto. This one was cooked up by clowns like Lindsay Graham:

    “The enemy is all over the world. Here at home. And when people take up arms against the United States and [are] captured within the United States, why should we not be able to use our military and intelligence community to question that person as to what they know about enemy activity?” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said.

    “They should not be read their Miranda Rights. They should not be given a lawyer,” Graham said. “They should be held humanely in military custody and interrogated about why they joined al Qaeda and what they were going to do to all of us.”

    On the other hand, the White House statement, threatening veto, contained the following:

    “Moreover, applying this military custody requirement to individuals inside the United States, as some Members of Congress have suggested is their intention, would raise serious and unsettled legal questions and would be inconsistent with the fundamental American principle that our military does not patrol our streets.”

    Cognitive? Right….

  • bg


    Celtic #50 December 1, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    ipso facto:

    the US/West did not declare war on Islamic Terrorists, they declared
    a Holy War Against US/West back in 96, and reiterated their dedication
    declaration in 98, and if you’ve been listening, several times since..

    Enemy Combatants

    [Enemy Combatant

    An “enemy combatant” is an individual who, under the laws and customs of war, may be detained for the duration of an armed conflict. In the current conflict with al Qaida and the Taliban, the term includes a member, agent, or associate of al Qaida or the Taliban. In applying this definition, the United States government has acted consistently with the observation of the Supreme Court of the United States in Ex parte Quirin, 317 U.S. 1, 37-38 (1942): “Citizens who associate themselves with the military arm of the enemy government, and with its aid, guidance and direction enter this country bent on hostile acts are enemy belligerents within the meaning of the Hague Convention and the law of war.”]



  • redpillpatriot

    Interesting….. Now I am starting to see how the Jews allowed themselves to be rounded up. It is a slow and steady degredation of rights until you find yourself to be the “terrorist”.

    Let’s see they have already called the Tea Party, military vets, Ron Paul supporters, preppers, gun owners, etc. etc. As potential domestic terrorists.

    WAKE THE F*CK UP!!! AMERICA! Better get ready, there is a fight brewing! And they are going to start it!

  • bg


    re: #53 December 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm bg

    [“Enemy combatant” is a general category that subsumes two sub-categories: lawful and unlawful combatants. See Quirin, 317 U.S. at 37-38. Lawful combatants receive prisoner of war (POW) status and the protections of the Third Geneva Convention. Unlawful combatants do not receive POW status and do not receive the full protections of the Third Geneva Convention. (The treatment accorded to unlawful combatants is discussed below).

    The President has determined that al Qaida members are unlawful combatants because (among other reasons) they are members of a non-state actor terrorist group that does not receive the protections of the Third Geneva Convention. He additionally determined that the Taliban detainees are unlawful combatants because they do not satisfy the criteria for POW status set out in Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention. Although the President’s determination on this issue is final, courts have concurred with his determination.

    Authority to Detain

    The President has unquestioned authority to detain enemy combatants, including those who are U.S. citizens, during wartime. See, e.g., Quirin, 317 U.S. at 31, 37 (1942); Colepaugh v. Looney, 235 F. 2d 429, 432 (10th Cir. 1956); In re Territo, 156 F. 2d 142, 145 (9th Cir. 1946). The Fourth Circuit recently reaffirmed this proposition. See Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 296 F.3d 278, 281, 283 (4th Cir. 2002). The authority to detain enemy combatants flows primarily from Article II of the Constitution. In the current conflict, the President’s authority is bolstered by Congress’s Joint Resolution of September 18, 2001, which authorized “the President . . . to use all necessary and appropriate force” against al Qaida and against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines” committed or aided in the September 11 attacks.” Pub. L. No. 107-40, § 2(a), 115 Stat. 224 (2001) (emphasis added). This congressional action clearly triggers (if any trigger were necessary) the President’s traditional authority to detain enemy combatants as Commander in Chief.

    Presidents (and their delegates) have detained enemy combatants in every major conflict in the Nation’s history, including recent conflicts such as the Gulf, Vietnam, and Korean wars. During World War II, the United States detained hundreds of thousands of POWs in the United States (some of whom were U.S. citizens) without trial or counsel. Then as now, the purposes of detaining enemy combatants during wartime are, among other things, to gather intelligence and to ensure that detainees do not return to assist the enemy.]


  • myohmy

    Another unintended consequences. John McCain legislation had done more harm than good. Campaign Finance law and now imprisonment of US citizens.

  • Molon Labe

    There is only the big government party that is dedicated to destroying the constitution. There are no Republicans or Democarts, only the wings of the Establishment.

    This country needs a revolution.

  • Carbon Monoxide

    “The President has determined that al Qaida members are unlawful combatants because (among other reasons) they are members of a non-state actor terrorist group that does not receive the protections of the Third Geneva Convention.”

    And where in the Constitution does the President get this power?

  • bg


    “and they were dead serious”

    much more here & here & here & here & elsewhere..


  • Blacque Jacques Shellacque

    Question: Why does the Puffington Host piece say that “…16 Democrats and an independent joined with Republicans to defeat an amendment by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) that would have killed the provision, voting it down with 61 against, and 37 for it.”

    It makes it sound as if ALL of the Republicans in the Senate did this. Wouldn’t Rand Paul be a hypocrite for voting FOR the measure even after airing his concerns?

  • bg


    Carbon Monoxide #58 December 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    same place Bush got it??

    [Indeed, it is now clear that the internal administration debates about whether and how the Geneva Conventions applied to the conflict in Afghanistan were driven in large measure by the desire to have a free hand in interrogations. The first reason cited by the White House counsel to the President in his argument that the President should declare that the Geneva Convention does not apply to Afghanistan was that it would further “the ability to quickly obtain information from captured terrorists” because “this new paradigm [in the war against terrorism] renders obsolete Geneva’s strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners.” On the other hand, when Secretary Powell outlined the pros and cons of declaring the Geneva Conventions inapplicable to the Afghanistan conflict he asserted that, in all events, the policy must be to “Treat all detainees consistent with the principles of the [Geneva Convention on the treatment of Prisoners of War]. ”Unfortunately, the details of this debate were kept secret so that neither the Congress nor the American people understood the full consequences of the decision regarding the applicability of the Geneva Conventions.

    The administration contention that individuals who are designated enemy combatants are not protected against abusive interrogations implicitly applies not just to overseas captives but also to U.S. citizens and non-citizens seized in the U.S. Always inherent in the government’s claim that it is entitled to seize a U.S. citizen in Chicago as an enemy combatant is the necessary corollary that it is entitled to use military force to kill or capture him. But it was not known until the recent disclosures of the administration’s memoranda concerning interrogations that the administration’s view is that, even after capture, such individuals are not entitled to the minimum legal protections found in the law of war. The ICRC, for example, has not been allowed to visit Padilla or al-Marri.

    There are now pending investigations and prosecutions regarding the abuse of prisoners and the administration has stated that the U.S. does not engage in torture. Following public disclosure and outcry, the conclusions of the Justice Department memorandum are now under review. But these narrowly focused responses do not address the administration’s larger claim that the President has authority to designate individuals as enemy combatants and imprison them with no legal process or protections in order to interrogate them.]

    or did Eric “enemy combatants are US citizens” Holder change the law
    via the SC?? oh wait, Obama declared the “WAR AGAINST TERROR
    .. hmm, hmm, hmm, complications, upon complications.. *sigh*


  • bg


    re: #61 December 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm bg

    that particular except was taken via page 16..


  • cELTIC #52

    re The White House is agaisnt the bill.. sigh. You may want to learn to spell. And after all that painstaking work you went to over my moniker. Some trolls are more pathetic than others but none are more pathetic than Lower Case celtic.

  • bg



    oh good grief, i did so much research & had so many court documents
    on legalities of the presidency during wartime when Bush was being
    attacked 24-7-365, but have not a clue where all the info is now.. 😛


  • owl

    #46…..I do not have a clue but I did watch his interview with Greta last night on this subject.

    She asked him some point blank questions that he skirted or seemed unsure.

  • valerie

    #51 December 1, 2011 at 1:58 pm
    S. Wolf commented:

    I’m not trying to be reassuring: I got curious because of the dead-to-head conflict in the descriptions of the content of the law.

    You ask “so what’s to stop the feds from depriving Americans of liberty without due process?”

    The answer is, our Constitution, which does not apply to any foreigners overseas, much less combatants who are illegal under the Geneva Conventions.

    You suggest that it would be easy: “Just declare someone a terrorist and send a drone over or a squad of soldiers to hie them off to Gitmo.” To be brutally honest, the Obama administration is probably capable of such an illegal action, not because of the text of this law, but because they don’t bother to read or comply with any law they don’t like. That’s why so many Liberals want this administration out of office.

  • thomas aulick

    Dems or Reps makes no difference! IDIOTS ON PARADE!

  • Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It truly helpful & it helped me out much. I’m hoping to present one thing again and help others like you helped me.

  • bg