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Indefinite detainment

Obama White House OKs legislation allowing military to arrest, detain terror suspects on U.S. soil

Saturday, December 17, 2011 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: indefinite detainment, White House, Americans

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(NaturalNews) The last time the U.S. military was employed in a domestic law enforcement capacity was following the Civil War, during the "Reconstruction" years when military generals ran the "lawless" Southern states. In short, this experiment in using the military as a police force was an unmitigated disaster. The result: the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which forbade the use of the military in domestic law enforcement.

For more than 130 years that law was kept intact, but this week Congress and the White House became intent on bypassing it, and other constitutional protections, all under the guise of making us "more secure." Both Congress and the White House are signing off on new defense appropriations legislation which contains a provision permitting the U.S. military to arrest terrorism suspects on American soil, then detain them indefinitely.

As in the past, the excuse being used to justify this horrendous violation of U.S. law and constitutional protections is "the war against terrorism," which is the same reason Washington used when Obama administration lawyers justified the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen and leading al-Qaeda figure Sept. 30, without any actual proof that he had taken any real action against the United States.

According to reports, the White House has attempted to downplay its support for this lawless provision and what it actually permits, as well as its potential impact on American jurisprudence. In a statement released Thursday, administration officials said President Obama essentially got what he wanted by having the provision in question "watered down," as if that matters.

"We have concluded that the language [in the appropriations bill] does not challenge or constrain the President's ability to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists, and protect the American people, and the President's senior advisors will not recommend a veto," said the White House in a statement, adding that this president would never really use the power anyway, so there is nothing to worry about.

Really? How does that ring true, considering this president has already sanctioned the drone-strike killing of an American citizen who was suspected of being engaged in terrorist activities but who was never proven to have done so and never known to have actually physically taken an active role in taking action against our country?

Look at what the measure actually says. While it doesn't "expand" existing authority to detain American citizens indefinitely, it supports previous federal court decisions which found that the president has the authority, as commander-in-chief, to define who is an "enemy combatant," who can, therefore, be detained indefinitely, even if that suspect is an American citizen.

What's worse is the official denial that is going on. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said this about the controversial provision: "It is not unfair to make an American citizen account for the fact that they decided to help Al Qaeda to kill us all and hold them as long as it takes to find intelligence about what may be coming next."

White House pledges to "never use" this power are ringing hollow with others as well. "By signing this defense spending bill, President Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in U.S. law," Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, told CBS News. "In the past, Obama has lauded the importance of being on the right side of history, but today he is definitely on the wrong side."

No question about it, for what is happening now - a complete disregard for American legal principles and constitutional protections - has long been known by the world's most sanguine doctrinaire.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, "What has will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." That's another way of saying that history repeats itself.




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