Okay, now do you believe that The Bill of Rights and tThe Constitution are toast? No? Not Yet?
Well, here ya go:
Debate on the legislation came to an end on Wednesday when the Senate voted on the cloture motion, paving the way for today’s vote.
Without an amendment to the bill, Americans faced a blow to their constitutional rights because the NDAA, as observed by Republican Congressman Justin Amash, allows the executive branch the power to determine who is a terrorist, whether they are a U.S. citizen or not. And without clarity on the language, that threat remains in place. “Note that [the provision] does not preclude U.S. citizens from being detained indefinitely, without charge or trial, it simply makes such detention discretionary,” Amash wrote on his Facebook page.
The bill had the support of both Senate Republicans as well as some Democrats. In support of this bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) explained that the bill would “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and people can be imprisoned without charge or trial “American citizen or not.”
“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. And when they say, ‘I want my lawyer,’ you tell them, ‘Shut up. You don’t get a lawyer,’” Graham said.
The original NDAA has already been passed in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives with nary a whimper by a 322-96 vote. With this new compromise amendment, the House and Senate will now have to combine the two bills, and Senate leaders have given assurances that the Senate’s new language will remain, but that is not guaranteed.
President Obama, however, has threatened to veto the bill. A statement released by the White House reads:
“Any bill that challenges or constrains the President’s critical authorities to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists, and protect the Nation would prompt the President’s senior advisers to recommend a veto,” the White House said in a statement.
The Administration strongly objects to the military custody provision,” the White House said, noting that it could apply to people in the United States. That “would raise serious and unsettled legal questions and would be inconsistent with the fundamental American principle that our military does not patrol our streets.”
Considering how easily the Patriot Act morphed into the right to tap your cell phone conversations without a warrant, I can't wait to see how this one gets abused...