Unnerving many conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats, the legislation also would deny suspected terrorists, even U.S. citizens seized within the nation’s borders, the right to trial and subject them to indefinite detention. House Republican leaders had to tamp down a small revolt among some rank-and-file who sought to delay a vote on the bill. (NPR: House Passes $662B Defense Bill)
While President Bush already took the liberty of stripping U.S. citizens of their rights and denying them trials (e.g. José Padilla). The government did eventually buckle to public pressure and give Padilla a civilian trial.
This new defense bill officially gives the government/military/president permission to simply disappear U.S. citizens. When it passes the Senate and gets signed by the President (which everyone says it will), you will be able to be arrested by the military, hauled off to a secret prison, denied a writ of habeas corpus, denied a trial, and left to rot.
You won’t be considered a U.S. citizen, you won’t be a prisoner of war. You won’t have the protection of the U.S. Constitution or the Geneva Conventions. You simply won’t exist.
This is disturbing on so many levels. This is not what justice looks like.
I’m am stunned at how incredibly far our country has fallen in the last 11 years. The idea that we stand for freedom and justice is now just a joke.
The bill is essentially repealing the Posse Comitatus Act and paving the way for us to see the U.S. Army being deployed against U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. It may sound like a far off extreme now, but there were reasons laws were put in place to explicitly forbid this type of stuff.
But most people don’t seem to care at all. The complete misplacement of concerns is frustrating. People will scream bloody murder about Netflix charging more, or Apple releasing a new product, or how loud commercials on TV are. But come time for the government to strip you of all judicial protections and the only people complaining are watchdog groups.
It honestly makes me fear for our future as a democratic republic.