The National Defense Authorization Act would give POTUS the ability to detain American citizens within our borders without trial. As long as a citizen is deemed to be a "terrorist" the U.S. military can detain you indefinitely without trial on our soil. It is known as provision 1031.
Since 1878, when Congress passed the Posse Comitatus Act, the U.S. military has not been authorized to perform law enforcement functions on American soil, to allow such would be to create a police state.
The passage of this bill could be a dangerous blow to the Constitution. Sadly, our leaders are sleeping on the job. The only thing our leaders can agree on is how incompetent they are.
Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) offered an amendment to the bill that would require Congress to consider the legality of the provision. It was defeated.
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has proposed striking the provision all together. That got nowhere.
In the end, the bill containing the provision passed the Senate.
Essentially, the provision allows any American citizen accused of being a terrorism suspect to receive one hearing in front of a military panel. The military can then choose to lock any American citizen up without Due Process of Law.
Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) defended the attack on Liberty saying, "The enemy is all over the world. Here at home. And when people take up arms against the United States and [are] captured within the United States, why should we not be able to use our military and intelligence community to question that person as to what they know about enemy activity?"
To its credit, the White House has indicated that this type of provision is unnecessary to accomplish counterterrorism goals. Our policies the last ten years have worked why restrict liberty without gain? The White House has threatened to veto the bill. Both the FBI and director of National Intelligence have sided with the White House. Obama has this one right and he better hold firm to his veto threat.
Republicans and Democrats should be ashamed of themselves. Bipartisanship should be championed, but we cannot cheer both party's as they pro-actively dismantle the Constitution. Democrats are the party looking out for your civil "rights" while Republicans are the party looking out for your freedom. Both parties have failed. Has the "war on terror" taken us to a point where we no longer stand up for our own rights?
It is sad how many Americans have so easily given up their rights against unreasonable search and seizure to the TSA and now we have Congress trying to chip away at our Due Process rights. Where are the defenders of Liberty? Where are the Senators who want to stand up for what is right?
Due Process of Law is the most important right Americans hold dear, it is what separates us from other nations. It is the reason America is upheld as a beacon of Liberty around the world.
This bill still has to go through the House. I call on our tea party members to join with anyone with common sense to oppose this bill. Oppose this bill. We must remain vigilant even when our leaders are asleep at the wheel. We can do better. As a wise man once said, those who would trade liberty for security deserve neither.