As of this posting the Bill has not been signed by President Barack Obama. There is an online petition on the White House website. It may seem hopeless to petition the president on his own webpage, but this is the most popular petition there.
One last try.
On the night of Tuesday November 29th I participated in a Senatorial Debate hosted by the Brighton TEA Party, Rattle With Us, RetakeOurGov, Lakes Area TEA Party and the West Oakland County TEA Party Patriots. Thank you to all of them for hosting a fair and balanced forum. On the way home I found myself dwelling on differences I had with some of the other candidates. I was starting to think that even Debbie Stabenow might be better than one or two of them.
Then I got home and went online.
To my disbelief and horror I learned that Michigan’s own Carl Levin, and former Presidential nominee John McCain had introduced an amendment to a bill (S. 1867) that would give the President the authority to order troops to arrest and indefinite detention of people in the United States without any due process. A casual reader of this Bill (it’s long so search for “Subtitle D—Detainee Matters”) might point out that this bill only applies to people who are supporters of al-Qaeda or related groups, but this language begs the question. Since there is no due process, this qualification need only be claimed, not proven.
So the bottom line is that this bill would give the president the authority to send troops into US streets, round up innocent civilians, load them into box cars, and store them in detention camps for the remainder of their lives. President Obama originally said he didn’t want that power and would veto this bill. Later he retracted the veto offer and is now threatening to sign it.
So what does all of this have to do with Stabenow and the Senatorial debates? Senator Debbie Stabenow is among the Senators who voted “Yea” on this bill
(Motion to Invoke Cloture on S.1867). Well, none of the disagreements I have with any of my Republican opponents is this bad. As much as I have opposed Pete Hoekstra’s bailout vote, or Gary Glenn’s anti-LGBT policies, I can’t compare their folly on these issues to the outright fascism that Debbie Stabenow approves of.
The people who voted in favor of this bill have attempted to do more harm to America than any act of terror. Rather than a specific tragedy on a specific day, we face the prospect of continuous terror in a prison nation where any one of us could disappear on any given day.
This was an act of treason, and the 88 traitors who have taken this action deserve no more respect or mercy than any one who is correctly called a terrorist. A later vote was even more disturbing: 93 in favor and only seven against.
The mainstream media has completely ignored this travesty. Only a few Television personalities such as Judge Judge Andrew P. Napolitano on the Fox Business Network dared touch it. Since this time, the Bill has moved through the House of Representatives and up to the President’s desk. On December 14th H.R. 1540 was made compatible with S. 1867. 283 Representatives supported the final version and 136 opposed it. My representative, Hansen Clarke, did the right thing and voted “Nay.”
Finally, it went back through the Senate with the offending clauses still intact.
Some have argued that this is a false alarm, but a careful reading of the Bill shows all concerns to be justified. In response to emails and phone calls, Senator Stabenow defended her actions claiming, “The National Defense Authorization Act only codifies into law what is currently U.S. policy.” The implication being that unconstitutional policies are somehow better if made law. The opposite it true. It is much easier to contest a wrongful government action in court if there is not a law legitimizing it.
Stabenow further claims,
“I voted to ensure that only terrorists who are members of al-Qaeda and who commit an act of war against the United States can be detained. For the first time, detainees now have the right to a hearing before a judge with a defense lawyer present. The bill, which passed the Senate by a vote of 93-7, also protects the right of habeas corpus. In addition, I voted for an amendment, which passed, explicitly stating that nothing in the bill shall be construed to affect existing law related to U.S. citizens, lawful resident aliens, or any other persons who are captured in the U.S.”
The relevant portions (Subtitle D—Counterterrorism) can be found in the final version, and do not support the Senator’s claim:
Section 1031a. Reads, “IN GENERAL.—Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40) includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection (b)) pending disposition under the law of war.” Part 2 of that subsection identifies possible “covered persons” to include, “A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.” Note the use of wedge phrases like “associated forces,” “belligerent act,” and “substantially supported.” It is also noteworthy that this makes people who oppose governments of coalition partners into “covered persons” even if they are not part of al-Qaeda (which is more of a movement than an organization).
Another critical phrase here is “Disposition under law of war.” This is spelled out in Subsection b:
“1 (c) DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR.—The disposition of a person under the law of war as described in subsection (a) may include the following:
(1) Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.
(2) Trial under chapter 47A of title 10, United States Code (as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2009 (title XVIII of Public Law 111–10 84)).
(3) Transfer for trial by an alternative court or competent tribunal having lawful jurisdiction.
(4) Transfer to the custody or control of the person’s country of origin, any other foreign country, or any other foreign entity.”
So it may include, “Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.” This is the smoking gun that shoots down the Senator’s claim. Yes it may also include trials, but not necessarily. This allows for detention WITHOUT TRIAL. This can be a life sentence, since the “…end of the hostilities…” is an arbitrary moment when the enemy is a loosely knit movement like al-Qaeda (or “associated forces”), and the “hostilities” take the form of sporadic acts of homicide against a variety of people at a variety of locations.
But all of this knit-picking misses on major point which is that without a trial ANYONE becomes a covered person since a person is innocent until proven guilty and the trial is the means by which guilt is determined. In other-words, the Senator’s claim that the law would, “…ensure that only terrorists who are members of al-Qaeda and who commit an act of war against the United States can be detained.” Completely begs the question.
As for other claims. The phrases “habeas corpus” and “defense lawyer” are nowhere to be found in the document. There are unrelated references to “attorneys who provide pro bono legal assistance to members of the Armed Forces.” The only thing resembling such due process is a clause referring to MILITARY judges and MILITARY council under “PROCEDURES FOR STATUS DETERMINATIONS.” This is not the due process civilians are entitled to under the Bill of Rights, and remember this is not required since the law provides for, “Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.”
Finally there is the claim that, she, “… voted for an amendment, which passed, explicitly stating that nothing in the bill shall be construed to affect existing law related to U.S. citizens, lawful resident aliens, or any other persons who are captured in the U.S.” OK. It does say that, but then why have the other parts of the law there to begin with? Any new law pertaining to “U.S. citizens, lawful resident aliens, or any other persons who are captured in the U.S.” must affect existing law by adding to it. All this really does is say that existing laws remain on the books and are not amended by this one. It does not negate the fact that this additional law is also on the books and may be used on the aforementioned persons. Furthermore, courts have routinely ruled in favor of laws that conflicted with the United States Constitution or “existing laws.” So this doesn’t hold much weight, and if one is being held without trial, the opportunity to invoke existing law may not arise.
The bottom line is that Congress has passed a law that that puts dictatorial powers in the hands of the President. It has been brazenly ignored by the establishment media. This, at a time when there is apparently no urgency or extraordinary circumstances. This is not an accident. We are destined to live in interesting times.