Since Occupy Wall Street began, American police officers have arrested thousands of people for exercising their constitutionally protected right to protest. On Monday or Tuesday, the US Senate will vote on a bill that would give the President the ability to order the military to arrest and imprison American citizens anywhere in the world for an indefinite period of time.
A provision of S. 1867, or the National Defense Authorization Act bill, written by Senators John McCain and Carl Levin, declares American soil a battlefield and allows the President and all future Chief Executives to order the military to arrest and detain American citizens, innocent or not, without charge or trial. In other words, if this bill passes and the President signs it, OWS protesters or any American could end up arrested and indefinitely locked up by the military without the guaranteed right to due process or a speedy trial.
This bill was written in secret and approved by committee without a single hearing. Senate Republicans support the bill and enough Democrats support it to give it a great chance of passing. This provision does have opponents. President Obama has threatened to veto the bill and even Ron Paul is concerned enough to bring it up during one of the GOP debates. An amendment called the Udall Amendment has been offered by Democratic Senator Mark Udall that would delete the dangerous provision.
If you are an American citizen, protect your constitutional rights. Call your senator and tell them to approve of the Udall Amendment. No American citizen should be arrested by the military and held indefinitely without charge or trial. It’s not conducive to American values and would give the military and the government more power over the American citizenry. The last time Americans had to deal with an overreaching military was during the Revolutionary era. Because of that, the Founders included the 3rd Amendment to ban the quartering of troops during times of war and peace. Once again, Americans are under threat of dealing with a military that has more power than it should have. And it could cost us most of the freedoms we tend to take for granted.
America is NOT a battlefield. America is a free country and American citizens should not ever be arrested by the military and certainly not without being charged or getting a trial. This provision would cast aside the Constitution and put the liberties of American citizens here at home and around the world at serious risk. Please call your senator or visit this link, because this is a risk Americans cannot afford to take.