Last Updated on March 10, 2010.
Sens. John McCain and Joe Lieberman have come out in favor for the indefinite detention of … you. Not just foreign terrorism suspects, but now all American citizens.
Under the guise of “getting tough on terrorism,” McCain and Lieberman have chosen to ignore the Bill of Rights and introduce a bill that would allow for U.S. citizens to be held, indefinitely, without charge or criminal trial for “the duration of hostilities against the United States.” Conservatives have long claimed they are for the Bill of Rights and that they want less government in people’s lives. But breaking the law and rounding up U.S. citizens to have their rights denied DOES NOT fit America’s values. This bill undermines everything that Americans believe in and stand for.
It’s wrong. It’s not constitutional. And it makes no sense.
Here’s what the bill actually says:
SEC. 5. DETENTION WITHOUT TRIAL OF UNPRIVILEGED ENEMY BELLIGERENTS.
An individual, including a citizen of the United States, determined to be an unprivileged enemy belligerent under section 3(c)(2) in a manner which satisfies Article 15 5 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War may be detained without criminal charges and without trial for the duration of hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners in which the individual has engaged, or which the individual has purposely and materially supported, consistent with the law of war and any authorization for the use of military force provided by Congress pertaining to such hostilities.
This is as dangerous as it is illegal. We’re already denying the rights of nearly 200 men in Guantanamo Bay. Now we want to spread that broken system and use it on American citizens. To what gain? There’s no benefit in holding Americans without charge or trial indefinitely. This shows McCain and Lieberman’s true feelings about our justice system and the rights of citizens — they don’t think we should have them. We’re expendable, political capital to be used at will to gain points in the effort to appear “tough” on terrorism. It doesn’t matter that this bill would impact every American’s life by opening a door our Founding Father’s thought they’d nailed shut when they created the Bill of Rights.
On top of this, if the President ever needed proof that working with Sen. Lindsey Graham to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay is a folly, this is it. These are two of Graham’s closest colleagues and they have a bill wanting to take the illegal practices held in Guantanamo and apply them to citizens.
My emphasis. Lieberman is constantly described as a moderate. McCain — at least once upon a time — used to buck his party and is now taking a for-it-before-he-was-against-it position on closing Guantanamo. And they favor keeping U.S. citizens detained indefinitely, a position that wouldn’t withstand a second of judicial scrutiny.
These are Graham’s closest allies in the Senate. They would be the very first people he would call to round up their votes for closing Guantanamo if the White House agrees to a deal. And they favor keeping American citizens detained forever!
These are the people Graham would be reaching out to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. They “hate” the prison, but LOVE the denial of rights.March 10, 2010