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Author Topic: Secret bill grants military excessive power  (Read 1307 times)
Fausto
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« on: December 03, 2011, 11:22:43 PM »

http://www.businessinsider.com/secret-bill-to-be-voted-on-today-would-allow-the-military-to-sweep-up-us-citizens-at-home-or-abroad-2011-11

This is scary as hell. So much for the constitution...
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2011, 11:31:47 PM »

I've been reading about this for a little while now.  I've tried, but I honestly can't imagine any non-nefarious purpose behind it.
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2011, 10:19:59 AM »

If that synopsis is correct (and I wouldn't take that as a given) then the bill described would have a 0% chance of surviving challenge in the courts.  That's exactly why we have checks and balances.
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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2011, 01:43:33 PM »

If that synopsis is correct (and I wouldn't take that as a given) then the bill described would have a 0% chance of surviving challenge in the courts.  That's exactly why we have checks and balances.

And thank goodness for that!
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« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2011, 06:03:16 PM »

it wouldn't go to the courts.
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« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2011, 07:07:14 PM »

it wouldn't go to the courts.

That's what they said about Hamdan v. Rumsfield.  If the synopsis of this one is correct, they mean to apply it to US citizens, making it an even easier law to throw out.
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The Gravekeeper
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« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2011, 11:14:15 PM »

At any rate, it's something for you guys to keep an eye on. I seriously doubt this is what any of you wanted your government to do no matter which party is in power.
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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2011, 10:19:21 AM »

At any rate, it's something for you guys to keep an eye on. I seriously doubt this is what any of you wanted your government to do no matter which party is in power.


I haven't followed the controversy but according to this report at least everything turned out OK: http://www.smdailyjournal.com/article_preview.php?id=224338&title=OP-ED:%20The%20National%20Defense%20Authorization%20Act

Nope, no one wants stuff like this to happen and it's good to be vigilant. 

Frankly, though, I admire how easily a proposal like this can be defeated in our system.  First, you have to convince the legislators to go along with it (which didn't happen).  Then you have to have enough votes to override a veto.  Even if you get over those two hurdles the Court can still strike it down.
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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2011, 10:38:22 AM »



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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2011, 10:08:18 PM »

I've been reading about this for a little while now.  I've tried, but I honestly can't imagine any non-nefarious purpose behind it.

Yeah, with protests happening around the country due to economic reasons, and riots breaking out in other countries due to those same economic conditions, which will only get worse; I can see no reason for this power or plan at all.
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« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2011, 05:48:49 PM »

This law was passed on Dec 15, Bill of rights day.  So now the army can arrest you and detain you forever without any legal recourse.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28251
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« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2011, 06:27:27 PM »

Ill go down like Bonnie and Clyde. f**k them.
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« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2011, 09:03:14 PM »

This law was passed on Dec 15, Bill of rights day.  So now the army can arrest you and detain you forever without any legal recourse.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28251


While the bill is troubling I don't believe that is a factual statement.

First off, it's not law until the President signs the bill.  He has, however, indicated that he will sign after the amendments were made. 

I would read the Feinstein amendment (which passed 99-1) stating “Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States” to mean that the law specifically does not overturn previous Supreme Court precedents involving US citizens or foreign nationals arrested in the US.  Whether it intends to overturn Hamdan v. Rumsfield is a different question (but even if they intend to overturn it that doesn't mean they can).

If applied the way you state I do not believe this law would pass Supreme Court review. 

It is troubling, however.  Here's another opinion from a law professor who believes this legislation does little to change the status quo: http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2011/12/a_sober_review_of_the_national.html.

It's still troubling.
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« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2012, 03:10:27 PM »

This law was passed on Dec 15, Bill of rights day.  So now the army can arrest you and detain you forever without any legal recourse.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28251


While the bill is troubling I don't believe that is a factual statement.



Actually it is a factual statement.  Obama signed the bill into law, even though you said he wouldn't.  US citizens are included in those who can be detained - http://www.infowars.com/obama-administration-demanded-power-to-indefinitely-detain-u-s-citizens/ .

Furthermore Obama's own signing statement confirms that there is the power to detain US citizens without any due process, but he promises he won't use it.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/12/31/statement-president-hr-1540
"Section 1021 affirms the executive branch’s authority to detain persons covered by the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) (Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note). " but  " Moreover, I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation. My Administration will interpret section 1021 in a manner that ensures that any detention it authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other applicable law"

I don't need a professor to read for me.  What this says is pretty clear.
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« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2012, 10:27:05 PM »

This law was passed on Dec 15, Bill of rights day.  So now the army can arrest you and detain you forever without any legal recourse.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28251


While the bill is troubling I don't believe that is a factual statement.



Actually it is a factual statement.  



As an attorney I have a much stricter definition of "factual" than most people.  The simplest and fairest way to rephrase your claim to make it accurate is to say, "Some civil libertarians fear that if courts agree with the interpretation of the statute proposed by some of the the bill's sponsors,  the army could arrest you and detain you forever without any legal recourse beyond that offered by its own military tribunals."  That's the phraseology a responsible journalist would use, too.


Obama signed the bill into law, even though you said he wouldn't.  



I never said Obama wouldn't sign the bill.  Re-read my comments.  

Obama only signed the bill after the inclusion of the Feinstein amendment which was placed in the bill precisely to address fears like the ones you raise.



I don't believe that's a change from existing law (as both Obama and the law professor I linked before stated).  But there's nothing I'm aware of in the statute that suspends the right of habeus corpus, and if there were, it would be blatantly unconstitutional.  


Furthermore Obama's own signing statement confirms that there is the power to detain US citizens without any due process, but he promises he won't use it.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/12/31/statement-president-hr-1540
"Section 1021 affirms the executive branch’s authority to detain persons covered by the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) (Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note). " but  " Moreover, I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation. My Administration will interpret section 1021 in a manner that ensures that any detention it authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other applicable law"



It requires quite a bit of interpretation to come to the conclusion you do.  The first part of the statement you quote says that the new statute doesn't change the law that's been in place since 2001 (which, as the Supreme Court has already held, does not allow indefinite detention of anyone with no judicial review).  As Obama immediately goes on to say, "This section breaks no new ground and is unnecessary."

The Administration then says they will interpret the new statute consistently with the Constitution, the Geneva Convention and existing Supreme Court rulings, and you cite that statement as evidence that the statute must authorize indefinite detention.  You appear to be arguing that Obama wouldn't try to calm people's fears unless those fears were valid.  But nowhere in that statement does Obama "confirm that there is the power to detain US citizens without any due process."  In fact, in another section you didn't quote he says exactly the opposite: "Two critical limitations in section 1021 confirm that it solely codifies established authorities. First, under section 1021(d), the bill does not 'limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.' Second, under section 1021(e), the bill may not be construed to affect any 'existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.' My Administration strongly supported the inclusion of these limitations in order to make clear beyond doubt that the legislation does nothing more than confirm authorities that the Federal courts have recognized as lawful under the 2001 AUMF."

I don't need a professor to read for me.  What this says is pretty clear.


I don't know your background.  Perhaps you have studied the statute and are well-trained in parsing complex legislation.  But from the links you're supplying it appears that you are relying on ACLU lawyers to tell you what the legislation means.  

The ACLU's job is to think up the most extreme authoritarian interpretation of legislation they can imagine and oppose bills on that basis.  I'm glad they do.  They serve a crucial purpose in our democracy.  But my personal orientation is towards ferreting out what the reality of the situation is, not the worst-case scenario.

For the record I too think it's bad legislation.  But I'm confident the courts would strike it down if used in the way you fear.



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