It’s official… the US defense funding bill – The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act allows American citizens to be arrested as terrorists on home soil and held indefinitely without trial. Americans can be arrested on home soil and taken to Guantanamo Bay under a provision inserted into the bill that funds the US military.
Barack Obama has abandoned a commitment to veto a new security law that allows the military to indefinitely detain without trial American terrorism suspects arrested on US soil who could then be shipped to Guantanamo Bay.
Wednesday, the White House said Obama had lifted the threat of a veto.
The long-established principle that the military is not used in domestic policing has been thrown out the window and extends the battlefield in the “war on terror” to US soil including US citizens.
“It’s something so radical that it would have been considered crazy had it been pushed by the Bush administration,” said Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch. “It establishes precisely the kind of system that the United States has consistently urged other countries not to adopt. At a time when the United States is urging Egypt, for example, to scrap its emergency law and military courts, this is not consistent.”
Rand Paul, a strong libertarian and US Senator, has said “detaining citizens without a court trial is not American,” “the terrorists have won”. “Really, what security does this indefinite detention of Americans give us? The first and flawed premise, both here and in the badly named Patriot Act, is that our pre-9/11 police powers were insufficient to stop terrorism. This is simply not borne out by the facts.”
Even Senator Dianne Feinstein, a strong democrat US Senator, said “Congress is essentially authorizing the indefinite imprisonment of American citizens, without charge,” she said. “We are not a nation that locks up its citizens without charge.”
Human Rights Watch said that by signing the bill Obama would go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law. “The paradigm of the war on terror has advanced so far in people’s minds that this has to appear more normal than it actually is,” Malinowski said. “It wasn’t asked for by any of the agencies on the frontlines in the fight against terrorism in the United States. It breaks with over 200 years of tradition in America against using the military in domestic affairs.”
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