It’s one thing when lefty reactionaries like me run around, warning people about pending legislation that will, if signed into law, end due process as we know it in the United States. It’s another thing altogether, however, when it’s a four-star general doing the frantic hand waving. And it’s exponentially more serious when you have two… Following is a clip from an op-ed in today’s New York Times by decorated Marine Corps Generals Charles C. Krulak and Joseph P. Hoar… If you don’t believe me, I’m thinking that maybe you’ll believe them.
In his inaugural address, President Obama called on us to “reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.” We agree. Now, to protect both, he must veto the National Defense Authorization Act that Congress is expected to pass this week.
This budget bill — which can be vetoed without cutting financing for our troops — is both misguided and unnecessary: the president already has the power and flexibility to effectively fight terrorism.
One provision would authorize the military to indefinitely detain without charge people suspected of involvement with terrorism, including United States citizens apprehended on American soil. Due process would be a thing of the past. Some claim that this provision would merely codify existing practice. Current law empowers the military to detain people caught on the battlefield, but this provision would expand the battlefield to include the United States — and hand Osama bin Laden an unearned victory long after his well-earned demise…
update: Well, it didn’t work. As the rest of us were celebrating New Year’s Eve, Obama signed this into law. Here’s a clip from ABC News:
In his last official act of business in 2011, President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act from his vacation rental in Kailua, Hawaii. In a statement, the president said he did so with reservations about key provisions in the law — including a controversial component that would allow the military to indefinitely detain terror suspects, including American citizens arrested in the United States, without charge…
I cannot convey how pissed off this makes me. It would be one thing if he’d lied and said that he didn’t think that this bill would impact the civil liberties of American citizens, but that’s not what he did. He acknowledged that this legislation would erode our most basic rights, but then went on to sign it anyway! Can you believe that shit? Here’s a thought… If you’ve got reservations about legislation, don’t fucking sign it. How about that?
But, I’m sure that the Obamapologists out there will find a way to take comfort in the fact that, even though he signed it, he had reservations, as though that somehow makes the fact that Americans can now be locked up without due process palatable… This is a fucking terrible way to begin the new year. I should be taking pictures of my new son, and drinking wine, instead of thinking about this nonsense.