This week, the United States Senate passed S. 1867 also known as the National Defense Authorization Act including sections 1031 and 1032 which authorize the military to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens without trial or charge. Despite national outcry over the bill which effectively suspends the Constitutional rights of those suspected of terrorist activities and would allow Americans to be incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, the Senate passed the bill by an overwhelming margin of 93-7. This means that Congress could easily override the President’s threatened veto.
But this act of Congress is even more dangerous than we first thought. Included in the bill is Amendment 1068 which was offered by Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. This part of the bill undermines President Obama’s executive order that bans torture and overrides the list of permissible interrogation techniques in the US Army Field Manual. In other words, the US military could arrest ordinary American citizens without reading them their Miranda Rights, put them in a cell at Gitmo without the benefit of an attorney, a trial, or charges of any kind, and then torture them during interrogation. A secret list of torture techniques would be created without public knowledge.
Who does this affect? Every single man, woman, and child on American soil would be directly affected by this bill. It would give this President and all future Presidents, the power to arrest American citizens with the military and torture them into confession even if they are innocent. Essentially, it turns the Presidency into a dictatorship authorized to use the military against the people.
The Occupy movement in particular could face this unconstitutional military action. Just imagine if Republicans captured the White House in 2012. Conservative media, corporations, and Republican politicians have referred to the Occupy protesters as terrorists or worse than terrorists. Just this accusation alone gives the President cause to unleash the military to round up and arrest the protesters en masse, suspend their constitutional rights, and torture them in a prison off American soil, all because they were exercising their right to protest. This is an extraordinarily dangerous and un-American bill that would destroy the Constitution and our system of government. The judicial system would be powerless to do anything about it too.
We the people must demand that our government discard this bill permanently. It goes against everything America values and stands for. We must write, email, call, and protest our senators and representatives and the White House and call for action. You can also visit this page and sign a petition. Unless Americans stand up and fight this, we may one day have to rely on other countries to free us from ourselves.