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View Diary: Enough with Hysteria on "Indefinite Detention" - Give Me Facts. (198 comments)

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  •  I've carefully read the article and the link (5+ / 0-)

    to the language of the bill, and what I find falls far short of what is being asserted.  At worst, it fails to explicitly state that American citizens cannot be legally indefinitely detained, which from my position the Constitution already guarantees.  

    I haven't heard the administration say that - nor are we likely to hear that, given the politics involved - but to my knowledge there also hasn't been a single American citizen detained as an enemy combatant under this administration.  To my knowledge, there haven't even been foreigners detained on American soil under this administration that they have been responsible for originally classifying as enemy combatants.  But if you know of such cases, I would like to know.

    I will admit to being disappointed that this President doesn't stand up for basic human rights on this point, but I can find no evidence in the bill that it changes the status quo.

    A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it. --The First Law of Mentat

    by Troubadour on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 03:29:33 PM PST

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    •  the adminstration has always claimed (6+ / 0-)

      that it has the power, under AUMF, to detain without trial anyone it deems "substantially supported" al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or "associated forces."

      Section 1031 attempts to expressly codify the detention authority that exists under the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) (the “AUMF”).  The authorities granted by the AUMF, including the detention authority, are essential to our ability to protect the American people from the threat posed by al-Qa'ida and its associated forces, and have enabled
      us to confront the full range of threats this country faces from those organizations and individuals. Because the authorities codified in this section already exist, the Administration does not believe codification is necessary and poses some risk.

      So there you go. They say they have the detention power under AUMF, as Bush did.

      The bill is dangerous because it explicitly affirms this authority to militarily detain, under AUMF.

      Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note) includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection (b)) pending disposition under the law of war.

      The bill's saying that the "requirement" to detain doesn't extend to citizens is no protection at all, meaningless doubletalk.

      You might as well pass a law that says the cops aren't "required" to ticket you for speeding. Of course, that won't stop them, because they're still free to ticket you for speeding if they feel like it.

      All that says is that it's up to the sole discretion of the president whether to detain--which it should not be.

      Greenwald's article contains links to numerous actions Obama has taken on indefinite detention: all of which show that he is a strong booster of that power. To leave all that out gives an incomplete picture of where we stand.

      People spend so much time emphasizing that Obama hasn't exercised these powers. To me that misses the point. The decision to exercise these powers does not belong to him.

      He may not exercise them openly, but he claims them and defends them aggressively. That is just as bad, in the long term. Because there may come a day when he will use them, or his successors will.

      But I don't think people will learn until it's too late.

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 03:59:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just because Bush asserted the AUMF (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fogiv

        contained the power to detain American citizens does not mean that the Obama administration citing AUMF in another capacity demonstrates a wholesale acceptance of Bush's claims.  That's a bridge too far.

        People spend so much time emphasizing that Obama hasn't exercised these powers. To me that misses the point. The decision to exercise these powers does not belong to him.

        I agree, but American jurisprudence has never, ever found indefinite detention under military power inherently illegal, which means the ambiguities are preexisting.  This President would have to drag the entire body politic decades ahead of where it is - and in many cases, where it wants to go - to successfully assert that these powers do not belong to anyone.

        A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it. --The First Law of Mentat

        by Troubadour on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 05:55:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  There you go: (0+ / 0-)
      I haven't heard the administration say that - nor are we likely to hear that, given the politics involved - but to my knowledge there also hasn't been a single American citizen detained as an enemy combatant under this administration.  To my knowledge, there haven't even been foreigners detained on American soil under this administration that they have been responsible for originally classifying as enemy combatants.  But if you know of such cases, I would like to know.

      I will admit to being disappointed that this President doesn't stand up for basic human rights on this point, but I can find no evidence in the bill that it changes the status quo.

      That's pretty much all we need to know.

      -9.50/-7.59 - "Why are the missiles called peace-keepers when they're aimed to kill?" -Tracy Chapman

      by Situational Lefty on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 11:45:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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