TheNational Defense Authorization Act covering $662 billion in defense spending for the next fiscal year includes a provision requiring military custody of a terror suspect believed to be a member ofAl Qaeda or its affiliates and involved in attacks on theUnited States.
A last minute amendment allows the president to waive the authority based on national security and to hold a terror suspect in civilian rather than military custody. But the bill would deny US citizens suspected of being terrorists the right to trial, subjecting them to indefinite detention, and civil libertarians say the amendment essentially is meaningless.
For all our jokes these days about how Libertarians are essentially Republicans who like pot, they are in the absolute, complete and utter right on this:
“If the president thinks you are a terrorist, let him present charges and evidence to a judge,” Libertarian Party Chair Mark Hinkle said in a statement Friday. “He has no authority to lock you up without any judicial review, just because he and Congress believe he should have unlimited power. That is the kind of power held by tyrants in totalitarian regimes. It has no place in the United States.”
The shock and horror of Republicans, meanwhile, continues to be darkly amusing.
Echoing arguments against federal government power made by his father, presidential candidateRep. Ron Paul (R) ofTexas, Sen. Rand Paul (R) ofKentucky spoke forcefully against the measure: “We are talking about people who are merely suspected of a crime, and we are talking about American citizens. If these provisions pass, we could see American citizens being sent toGuantánamo Bay.”
Where exactly did you think we were going with this, fellas? In case you haven’t been paying attention at the meetings of the local Asshole Promulgation and Knitting Society, this is pretty much exactly the substance of their every resolution from like Nixon on outward. American citizens with unwelcome or inconvenient or just plain yucky political beliefs being sent to Guantanamo Bay isn’t some unintended and tragic consequence of this bill or of any of our insane national security policies of the past 10 years; IT’S EXACTLY THE PLAN. So don’t act all shocked and appalled and you a fucking virgin, now; you felt the rails humming long before you heard the train.