Friday, December 21, 2012

The President has been given powers to hold American citizens without trial!

Bridget Johnson writes at PJ Tatler that

The amendment from Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) to block the president’s broad power to hold American citizens without trial was stripped from the final defense authorization bill in conference, prompting a “no” vote on the entire bill from Lee and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

“These core American legal privileges prescribed in our Bill of Rights have been observed since our nation’s founding. When I assumed office, I took an oath to protect our Constitution – and in voting against this unconstitutional NDAA, I kept that promise,” Paul said.

“The right to due process, a trial by jury, and protection from indefinite detention should not be shorn from our Bill of Rights or wrested from the hands of Americans. It is a dark day in our history that these rights have been stomped upon and discarded,” he continued.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Paul called the exclusion of the provision “so fundamentally wrong and goes against everything we stand for as a country that it can’t go unnoticed and should be pointed out.”

“Now, some here may not care when they determine that they are going to detain Ahmed or Yusef or Ibrahim, but many innocents are named those names. Many Americans are named Saul or David or Isaac. Is our memory so short that we don’t understand the danger of allowing detention without trial? Is our memory so short that we don’t understand the havoc that bias and bigotry can do when unrestrained by law? Your trial by jury is your last defense against tyranny, your last defense against oppression. We have locked up Arabs, we have locked up Jews, we have locked up the Japanese. Do you not want to retain your right to trial by jury? Do you want to allow the whims of government to come forward and lock up who they please without being tried?” he said.

“Proponents of indefinite detention will argue that we are a good people and that we will never unjustly detain people. I don’t dispute their intentions or impute bad motives to them, but what I will say is remember what Madison said. Madison said that if a government were comprised of angels, we wouldn’t need the chains of the constitution.”

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