I wrote to my senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, criticizing her yes vote in support of the NDAA, the new piece of legislation that allows the federal government to imprison any US citizen without trial or evidence. Gillibrand’s office responded with a poor excuse for what is effectively an act of treason. Her office explains that, after voting “yes” to the destruction of our most basic rights,
“Senator Gillibrand voted for an amendment by Senator Udall to strike the detainee language in the bill. When that effort failed, she supported another effort by Senator Feinstein to curb this provision. While the conference committee has produced a better result, it is not ideal and she will continue to work with her colleagues for a better solution. Last week, she co-sponsored new follow-up legislation by Sen. Feinstein to immediately establish a ‘clear statement rule’ that requires Congress to expressly authorize detention authority when it comes to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents for all military authorizations and similar authorities.”
That’s right, Senator, doing away with habeas corpus is not “ideal” and the “better solution” you are seeking is the one in the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th amendments to the Constitution, which you just trampled on. It should be pointed out too, that the US considers it a violation of human rights when a country like Iran holds prisoners without trial or evidence. If we are committed to justice, we should never take away this right from anyone, even, or especially, from suspected “terrorists,” since “enemies of the government” can become a very broad category and there is no way to protect us from those who are supposed to be our protectors.
The “Long War” has begun, says the Pentagon, using its new tag for “War on Terror.” And the “Homeland” is the new “Battlefield.” Shouldn’t we be alarmed at such language? or such excuses? No, it barely made the news.
“…an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defense against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.”