New Bill Allows Military To Detain You Indefinitely

It’s a bad sign when George W. Bush’s defense team thinks that a military bill goes too far in violating your rights. But we’ve got just that with the passing of the National Defense Authorization Act. This bill authorizes the military to detain American citizens indefinitely without giving them their Constitutional rights. Basically, if the military suspects that an American citizen has terrorist ties it can just throw them in military jail without the rights to habeas corpus, an attorney or just about anything.

Let’s say that again — this new bill, which passed the Senate with an alarming majority, allows the military to arrest American citizens on American soil and keep them without trial. It’s being called the “America the Battlefield” bill, because it treats your front yard like a battlefield — and every citizen like a potential enemy. It basically puts a giant asterisk next to the Bill of Rights saying, “unless we don’t feel like it.”

It’s no wonder that former a Bush State Department adviser said that this bill “would likely have been as strongly opposed by the Bush administration as by the Obama administration.” The same people who brought us waterboarding and the PATRIOT Act think that this is a step too far.

In fact, the only people who think that this is a good idea are the people who voted for it in Congress, which has an approval rating lower than that of BP during the oil spill or Hugo Chavez, just to name a few. Even those who trying to see the law with an optimistic light, as Atlantic’s Andrew Cohen does, can only concede that at best “the Senate avoided the worst result here.” Not exactly ringing praise.

The Obama administration has signaled that it might veto this egregious attack on Americans’ rights, but his decision is still up in the air. To let him know how important constitutional liberties are to them, thousands of people are petitioning the President to veto the bill. If he fails to veto, it will likely go to the Supreme Court.

Maybe it’s not so bad — since corporations are people, the government could just indefinitely detain Goldman Sachs.


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For example: Photo credit: AN HONORABLE GERMAN's Flickr stream.


Nimue Pendragon

I thought Homeland Security had the power to do that anyway. I'm glad I don't live in America.

Steven B.
Steven Barnes7 years ago

I love the uniqueness of every comment however those of you talking of violence they have said for thousands of years in many different languages those that live by the sword die by the sword. this is not a threat of any kind it is merely realization it is fear that causes us to do such things as violence.

Michael M.
Michael M7 years ago

Anyone who supports this bill is an enemy of all the worlds free people and should be immediately executed !

Dr Clue
Dr Clue7 years ago

Immigrants available to mow your lawn, drugs flow freely, yet the sound of terrorist bombs deafen us with their silence.

In that single observation is the proof that the government can claim no prowess in doing a duty and that in totality terrorism theater is just that theater.

As those who would exploit the world , run out of little countries to turn into slave societies , their eyes have turned toward the bigger prizes, and it's our turn up to bat.

Checkpoints appearing throughout America , Private prisons , Private police forces, Suspensions of the constitution.

Right before your eyes it is happening. Right before your eyes America is becoming all the things we have fought against for 100's of years.

SeattleAnn S.
Ann S7 years ago

What is the saying about those who don't learn from history? Is this not reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials and the French Revolution?

Katrina M.
Katrina M.7 years ago

Wow that is scary how big stupid our goverment is becoming. I think some should be taken out and beat with a stick. This is not the country I served for if they allow this to go through it is becoming another Hitler based country if they approve this bill.

CC CC7 years ago

Oh Well

Steven Jones
Steven L Jones7 years ago

In Democracy all people are equal but some are more equal than others.

Tanyaisa P.
Tanyaisa P7 years ago

I'm a bit on the fence with some of the issues surrounding such a crazy bill. because I think the terrorists who've been caught should be kept in jail. but not the average citizen. we must have rights to attorneys and to me, indefinite confinement is unlawful imprisonment.

christopher murray

Actually, this provision is already a part of the USA PATRIOT ACT, which, in section 180 if I'm not mistaken, allows any arresting agency to detain a suspect for any length of time without allowing then counsil as long as said agency can show cause that said arrest was made because of concerns of terrorist ties.