Heather Hurlburt Quoted In Daily Kos on Provisions of Patriot Act

December 14, 2011

By D. Parvaz

December 14, 2011 | Daily Kos

Some of the most unconstitutional provisions of the Patriot Act, are about to become permanent features, of America’s back-drop.
US Congress to vote on indefinite detention

by D. Parvaz, aljazeera.com — 14 Dec 2011

[...]
The bill [National Defense Authorization Act], which includes the 2012 $662bn military budget and more. But civil liberties advocates are concerned over a section in the legislation that deals with the detention of civilians by the military.Provisions in the bill codify an approach that allows for endless detention of US citizens and non-citizens picked up anywhere in the world. They also gives the US military the option to detain US citizens suspected of participating or aiding in terrorist activities without a trial, indefinitely.

A person can be detained “under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities“, the bill states. The hostility in question here is the “war on terror“, and at the moment, it seems to have no end.
[...]

If it ain’t broke…

Indeed, the chief argument against codifying these provisions and giving the military a role in domestic terrorist investigation is that the system works just fine as it is.

“You can’t find any national security experts in favour of these provisions,” said Heather Hulburt, executive director of the National Security Network, a non-profit foreign policy organisation with a focus on national security.
Innocent to proven Guilty — Not always.

Entitled to due process, and a speedy trial — Don’t count it.

It’s about to become, Locked up indefinitely — based on suspicion alone.
Those are some of our civil liberties to be officially retracted — at least until the War on Terror ends.

Who decides that milestone, we should wonder …
President Obama had been threatening to Veto, this over-reaching Bill  – No longer.

Apparently this enshrining of Constitutional rollbacks, has been sufficiently “qualified” in conference committee, to give us law-abiding American, some unsuspecting measure of presumed innocence …

Obama Drops Veto Threat Over Military Authorization Bill After Revisions
by Charlie Savage, NYTimes.com — Dec 14, 2011

[...]
The administration had threatened to veto versions of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 passed by the House and the Senate, arguing that provisions would open the door for the military to perform policing functions inside the United States, and that they would infringeon executive branch powers.But the White House said in a statement that adjustments made by a House-Senate conference committee had sufficiently addressed its concerns.

“As a result of these changes, we have concluded that the language does not challenge or constrain the president’s ability to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists, and protect the American people, and the president’s senior advisors will not recommend a veto,” it said.
[...]

But the bill includes a narrower provision, drafted by the Senate, authorizing the government to detain, without trial, suspected members of Al Qaeda or its allies — or those whosubstantially supported” them — bolstering the authorization it enacted a decade ago against the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Sometimes apparently we do have to give up some of our Liberties — so that Americans can be protected.  Ben Franklin would not be pleased.

Of course, what did Ben know of an endless war against an ideology?   Against many ideologies, it sometimes seems.

What did that early American Statesman, know about protecting liberty and security, and the need to halt the crimes against humanity, wherever you might find them?

Well, wise old Ben Franklin, probably knew as much about those no-man-land’s realities — as did this American Citizen, who has been indefinitely detained for exposing — that which shall not be exposed.  For shining some daylight on the trillion dollar business, of an outsourced, unaccountable War(s).

He is about to finally “get his day” in what-now-passes-for court — in this new era of unending terror:
Bradley Manning Hearing Date Set, the Alleged Whistleblower Who Exposed Horrors Of America’s Wars And Guantanamo
by Andy Worthington – OpEd, eurasiareview.com — November 26, 2011

[...]
Bradley Manning’s hearingNow, seven months after he was moved to Fort Leavenworth, Manning has been told that he is to have a hearing — at Fort Meade in Maryland, on December 16, the day before his 24th birthday, which will be the start of what the Guardian described as “the most high-profile prosecution of a whistleblower in a generation.”

The hearing (an Article 32 hearing), which was announced by Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, is expected to last five days, and “will be the first opportunity for prosecuting officers and Manning’s defence team to present their cases.”  The Guardian noted that the standard of proof in an Article 32 hearing is “relatively low,” and that all the prosecution has to do is to present “sufficient evidence” to prove there is “reasonable cause to believe” that Manning committed the offences of which he is accused. If successful, “a recommendation will be made to a military general who will decide whether or not to proceed to a full trial.”

I suspect those “defenses” will not be televised.  And that a ‘speedy trail’ for Manning, an American citizen, may or may not be guaranteed, depending on the presiding general’s calculations, vis a-vis that on-going War on Terror.
Perhaps this Bushism has finally come home to roost:

“If you haven’t done anything wrong — then you don’t have anything to worry about!”

One question:  Can we get that new prescription for American Liberty, in writing?

Answer:  Not likely.   Just be careful what you say, what you think, and what you do …
Just don’t do anything wrong, like donate to charities, or help out a stranger.

You never know where such acts of kindness might lead, in this brave, new, suspicious world … where Equal Justice for all, is in no way, guaranteed.

For the original piece, click here.

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