Obama grants power to arrest without charge [updated]

Bumped again. I don't know what Mother Jones is talking about in David's update below, but Glenn Greenwald lays it out in detail here, and the ACLU has general background here. The NYT's editorial, for reference, is here. I'm sticking with The Guardian's analysis, and my original post. From Greenwald:
What’s particularly ironic (and revealing) about all of this is that former White House counsel Greg Craig assured The New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer back in February, 2009 that it’s “hard to imagine Barack Obama as the first President of the United States to introduce a preventive-detention law.” Four months later, President Obama proposed exactly such a law — one that The New York Times described as “a departure from the way this country sees itself, as a place where people in the grip of the government either face criminal charges or walk free” — and now he will sign such a scheme into law.
And this 10 years after 9/11 with bin Laden dead. Ouch. - promoted by Bob_Neer

An extremely hard position to square with Candidate Obama 2008, and an extraordinary step for a former professor of Constitutional Law. Guardian:

Military given go-ahead to detain US terrorist suspects without trial: Civil rights groups dismayed as Barack Obama abandons commitment to veto new security law contained in defence bill

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 Guantánamo Bay.

Human rights groups accused the president of deserting his principles and disregarding the long-established principle that the military is not used in domestic policing. The legislation has also been strongly criticised by libertarians on the right angered at the stripping of individual rights for the duration of “a war that appears to have no end”.

The law, contained in the defence authorisation bill that funds the US military, effectively extends the battlefield in the “war on terror” to the US and applies the established principle that combatants in any war are subject to military detention. …

“We’re talking about American citizens who can be taken from the United States and sent to a camp at Guantánamo Bay and held indefinitely. It puts every single citizen American at risk,” [Rand Paul] said. … Paul was backed by Senator Dianne Feinstein.

“Congress is essentially authorising the indefinite imprisonment of American citizens, without charge,” she said. “We are not a nation that locks up its citizens without charge.”

I think this is a very unwise step. Habeas Corpus – which requires that people be charged with crimes before they can be locked up – is one of the oldest principles of limited government for a reason: arrest and indefinite detention without charge is a favorite tool of despots. Not only is Obama abandoning principles he ran on in 2008, he is undermining foundations of our freedom.

UPDATE (by David): Mother Jones writes the following regarding this bill:

It does not, contrary to what many media outlets have reported, authorize the president to indefinitely detain without trial an American citizen suspected of terrorism who is captured in the US. A last minute compromise amendment adopted in the Senate, whose language was retained in the final bill, leaves it up to the courts to decide if the president has that power, should a future president try to exercise it. But if a future president does try to assert the authority to detain an American citizen without charge or trial, it won’t be based on the authority in this bill.

So it’s simply not true, as the Guardian wrote yesterday, that the the bill “allows the military to indefinitely detain without trial American terrorism suspects arrested on US soil who could then be shipped to Guantánamo Bay.” When the New York Times editorial page writes that the bill would “strip the F.B.I., federal prosecutors and federal courts of all or most of their power to arrest and prosecute terrorists and hand it off to the military,” or that the “legislation could also give future presidents the authority to throw American citizens into prison for life without charges or a trial,” they’re simply wrong.

I haven’t read the bill, so I don’t know who’s right.



Discuss

45 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. It's Habeas Corpus

    terrorists need to be tread on, anyways.

  2. Just awful

    For the first time in my life I’m feeling the same rage the tea party feels at this arrogant and feckless liar. I am not even sure what higher political purpose this serves but it definitely is making me reconsider the primary challenge I so often mocked and deplored months ago. At this point there are no candidates besides Ron Paul running on a pro-civil liberties platform, and no candidate running a pro-civil liberties and pro-social justice platform at all. A Ron Paul presidency would be a return to the gilded age on economics but at least all of our dumb wars, whether it be on drugs or terror would stop and the Constitution would be followed.

    Not only is Obama abandoning principles he ran on in 2008, he is undermining foundations of our freedom.

    And not only that but he is doing it for no good reason. The intelligence and law enforcement communities are solidly against this bill, as is the military which quite frankly has its hands full to be dealing with this. Additionally it serves no political purpose. Just last week President Carter forcefully responded to an attack saying he was weak on defense by daring his challenger to ask Bin laden if he was weak. This is the last issue he has any credibility on and he is the first liberal who has better ratings on national security than economics, and better ratings on than his opponents. He only pisses off people like us who want to like him and give him time and money and votes, he doesn’t gain the trust of the 35% of morons who will never ever vote for him or like him because he is a black Democrat, no matter how many terrorists he kills, and he just took a giant defecation on the Constitution he swore to uphold and spent a lifetime studying and defending.

    I can think of only two logical reasons:

    1) He wants the power
    2) He is really that scared of Republicans

    If either 1) or 2) is true than he is unfit to be President.

    Its as simple as that. We all know President Romney/Gingrich will make the exact same security decisions, govern for Wall Street, and be a social moderate like President Obama so really whats the freakin point? I mean ‘the other guy is gonna be sooo much worse’ is an attack that can only resonate if you don’t go out of your way to prove that point wrong. He has lost his credibility completely. Now a lot of progressives, many who I made fun of, had this moment a year or two years ago, the fact that I am a stalwart supporter who has defended a lot of bad policies that I thought were tactically the right move, should demonstrate how low the moral credibility of this Presidency has sunk with this action. There is no leadership at the White House and frankly it has been absent since day one. He is a talker in chief, not a man of action, and the triumphant foreign policy successes, the successful auto bailouts, the landmark healthcare law, could have been even greater triumphs if he bothered to assert himself in the process and provide the weight of the bully pulpit behind him. I at least counted on him to be true to his word and deliver this threat. From now on Congress has nothing to fear from him and if he renegs on this commitment who knows what comes next, privatizing Social Security and Medicare to avert a shutdown? Allowing states to ban mosques god forbid he gets seen as being pro-Muslim? Reinstating don’t ask don’t tell in the next round of military budget negotiations? Romney was right this man is appeasing terrorists and their names are John Boehner and Lindsay Graham. At this point I am a Warren supporter first and she will carry my vote to the top of the ticket, not the other way around.

    Unless she caves on this too, what say you Professor Warren will you challenge your President and the DSCC on this modern day intolerable act?

    • It took this action?

      Why are you so angry (or surprised) about Obama’s decision? It’s not like he went from a position of opposing indefinite detention to embracing it. Obama has always been (well, at least since inauguration) supportive of indefinite detentions and has been using it since Day One.

      He had originally promised to veto this law not because it authorizes indefinite detention, but because it would constrain his executive power. He wants to be able to use any means, not just the military, to fight those suspected of terrorism. (And that’s all they need – a suspicion of terrorism and you are done.) That means Obama’s actual position is broader and, I think, worse than what he signed into law. We should be pissed at him for that, not just now because he signed this bill.

      He’d still be better than any of the Republican challengers, but that is one of the lowest bars ever set. I don’t think any progressive should support this President, especially in a place like MA that is a foregone conclusion next November.

      • Exactly

        Obama’s veto threat was not prompted by respect for Constitutional rights; far from it. Glenn Greenwald:

        Obama’s objections to this bill had nothing to do with civil liberties, due process or the Constitution. It had everything to do with Executive power. The White House’s complaint was that Congress had no business tying the hands of the President when deciding who should go into military detention, who should be denied a trial, which agencies should interrogate suspects (the FBI or the CIA). Such decisions, insisted the White House, are for the President, not Congress, to make. In other words, his veto threat was not grounded in the premise that indefinite military detention is wrong; it was grounded in the premise that it should be the President who decides who goes into military detention and why, not Congress.

        Obama is not the hope we voted for. We were deceived.

    • Agreed

      When you watch movies like Siege, Enemy of the State, etc. you think we’ll that was entertaining, but it would never happen in the real world. Then we about proposals like this and it doesn’t seem quite so far fetched any more. Sad that the only presidential candidate who seems to oppose this is Ron Paul.

    • This anger is ironic

      coming from a “FDR” Democrat such as yourself. FDR, of course, was ultimately responsible for the Japanese detainment during WWII — an action surely at least as bad (and I’d say considerably worse) than Obama not vetoing this bill. FDR was also subject to withering attacks from the Left arguing that his New Deal (especially the “First New Deal”) was a corporatist sell-out to business interests. I think we know how history treated his presidency (not to mention Lincoln’s, who actually suspended habeas corpus himself despite this being a power only of Congress, and faced criticism from many a abolitionist that he wasn’t as forceful on that issue as he could be).

      He is a talker in chief, not a man of action

      Ludicrous. The last three years have unquestionably been the most progressive four years of a presidency since LBJ’s domestic successes. And during a massive recession/near depression too.

      I mean ‘the other guy is gonna be sooo much worse’ is an attack that can only resonate if you don’t go out of your way to prove that point wrong.

      Sorry, but people like me have been proving your point wrong for months. It’s unfortunate that you choose to ignore it rather than engage on this point. I’d suggest you check out this list of accomplishments or any of the many others that make the same point: saying the Obama Administration would be the same as a Republican administration is not just wrong; it’s insane.

      Speaking of insane, if you’re going into the territory of “well, Ron Paul might not be so bad…” then you really need to get a grip. Seriously.

      • Whatever the merits of your argument

        The broader observation that Obama has deeply fractured his 2008 base with his actions as president is, I think, hard to refute. Whether that costs him re-election remains to be seen.

        • Actually

          It is not hard to refute at all. See, for example, here and here. Or any recent polling, for that matter.

          Obama is doing better with his base at this stage of his presidency than just about every Democratic president in the modern era. And this during very troubled economic times.

          I very much respect your work, Bob, but on this point you’re just repeating the same sort of incorrect “conventional wisdom” that is typically the realm of the mainstream media. BMG is better than that.

        • A common affliction of Democrats who are elected

          Their base never considers them in any kind of remotely realistic context. They are never considered in a political context in which Republicans exist and wield power, or considered relative to the most likely alternatives. Rather, they are considered relative to some Platonic Ideal who can raise taxes on the rich, extend unemployment benefits indefinitely, enact “card-check” for the unions, solve global warming and enact single payer health care all by the force of his unyielding will. Why can’t he be like President Bernie Sanders? Or Jed Bartlett?

          Republican presidents have until now benefited from a base that is much more cynical about the practicalities of winning national elections. (Though the next GOP President may not).

          Any successful Democratic president will leave the base bereft and disappointed while in office, which is why the Democrat to be re-elected since FDR spent most of his time in power kicking his own base in the shins.

          Obama is disappointing in the same way that Carter was: he just seems to ooze weakness, and mostly on unforced errors. Clinton threw his base to the wolves on several occasions, but always in the service of beating the shit out the Republicans. At this point, Obama seems to be cringing behind his desk. (Re the downed drone: “Well, we asked for it back.” Pre-emptive concessions. Etc.)

          I don’t think that you’re so angry at Obama because he didn’t adhere to this or that political position that one could have easily foreseen could not be adhered to. Rather, you are angry at Obama for being weak and squandering the political momentum he had in 2009. To an ENORMOUS extent, this anger is misplaced, as almost all of Obama’s weakness can be traced to exceedingly poor leadership among Democrats in Congress, and especially in the Senate.

          • Interesting theory

            But it breaks down when one considers that Obama is at least as popular among his base, if not more so, than other presidents in the modern era (as I note above).

            Additionally, I’m not so sure that there is such a large difference between the levels of disappointment between respective Republican and Democratic bases following a presidency. Surely you would consider the Religious Right to be a significant part of the modern Republican base, but they have often been left with disappointment at the failure of Republican presidents to consistently support social conservative policies in more than rhetoric only.

            Your “strong leader” theory is also not supported by the evidence. Obama has consistently received considerably higher marks on the “strong leader” question than he has on job performance overall — see, for example, this recent CBS News poll in which 57% of Americans (and 85% of Democrats) rate Obama as a “strong leader.” This is much higher than what Clinton typically received on this question (for example between 1994 and 1998 Clinton received an average of only 43% on the “strong leader” question).

            Perhaps the most remarkable thing about all of this is how frequently people place narratives on past events and historical figures that conflict dramatically with how they were perceived when people actually lived through them. Your implication that Clinton was seen as a much “stronger leader” than Obama by most Americans sounds plausible now, but indeed it is completely false. The notion that Lincoln, FDR, and LBJ were seen as unvarnished progressives by their progressive allies seems reasonable with the passage of time, but completely misrepresents how each of these presidents were viewed by many on their Left flank when they were actually in office.

            • I guess we shall see how 2012 compares to 1996

              But I will note for the record that, as soon as Clinton had an opposition Congress, he proceeded to beat the everloving snot out of them for six years straight, even in the face of the impeachment.

              The next time that Obama outmaneuvers the Republican Congress will be the first time.

              • Clinton

                But I will note for the record that, as soon as Clinton had an opposition Congress, he proceeded to beat the everloving snot out of them for six years straight

                That’s your interpretation today, but tell that to (for example) the progressives who were outraged at the time over Clinton’s eventual signing of welfare reform, claiming that he never should have let the Republicans drive the agenda on this issue. The evidence suggests that Americans in general did not see Clinton beating the everloving snot out of Congress “for six years straight,” as you claim. That’s simply a gloss put on the Clinton presidency well after the fact.

                • Right

                  Clinton “beat” them by pushing their policies and then taking credit for legislative victories. Republicans then moved to the empty space created for them further to the Right and attacked in insane ways.

                  • And that is why ...

                    to this day they hate him, and his wife, and his child. He took away their favorite toys. As much fun as that may have seemed at the time, it’s proven to be very expensive for us all.

                    • OK

                      I guess there aren’t any former Democratic presidents liked by liberals, except the myth of FDR

                    • PS

                      Politics didn’t move right because “Clinton made room.” Politics moved right because the voting public moved right.

                      The Democratic approach to domestic policy was discredited among the most important Democrats by the economic conditions of the late 60s, 70s, and early 80s, and in particular by the widely perceived failures of Great Society liberalism. Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” didn’t help, but wasn’t all that much of a strategy so much as it was an acknowledgment of reality. Hence “Reagan Democrats.”

                      Clinton got elected because he understood, unlike the previous few Democratic swings at the white house, that the ground had shifted, and shifted a lot.

                      It hasn’t shifted back. What were once “Reagan Democrats” might be independents now, and Democrats have never really recovered from the loss. Instead, they pretend the loss hasn’t happened, which has tended to result in November defeats, except when Republicans really screw up.

                    • Sorry, Dad

                      “Politics,” by which you mean the polity, moved right because it got increasingly hijacked by the 1% and those who take their coin.

                      The public does not think the most critical issue facing the country is deficits. It’s the 1% that think that. Similarly, it’s the 1%, not the people, who “wants private-sector solutions, not government solutions.”

                      These are the priorities of the 1%, officially projected as vox populi onto a populi that says no such thing.

                      After Obama beat McCain the 1% were quick to assure us that “America is center-right country.” The truth would have been that America has a center-right ruling class, a center right polity, and a center-right government, though it is not convenient to put it on those terms.

                      The growing gap between polity and public, like the income gap, is a direct product of the judicial coup that was Bush v. Gore and the state coup represented by the Iraq War, the Patriot Act, and the end of posse comitatus.

                      It is the reason the Occupy movement resonates, and is why the old-school model of interest articulation through a relatively transparent two-party system no longer describes what is going on.

                • My interpretation then AND now

                  I loved what President Bill Clinton did then, and I still love it now.

                  I don’t know what “evidence” you are referring to. I saw Bill Clinton win two elections, put together a compellingly successful two-term administration, turn a blossoming Republican national deficit into a surplus, and absolutely embarrass the House and Senate GOP factions.

                  My only regret, and it is enormous, is that Bill Clinton could have done so much more for America had he not been opposed by the same hyperpartisan political terrorists (like Newt Gingrich) that dominate the GOP today — including much of the bought-and-paid-for mainstream media (led by Fox).

                  I believe the 22nd Amendment is terrible law. Had it been in effect in 1940, FDR would have been ineligible to run. I strongly suspect that America would speak German today had that been true. Bill Clinton would have handily defeated George W. Bush in 2000, and the shape of the entire world would be different today.

                  It is strikingly ironic that we have this discussion as a Democratic president finally ends the blackest war in US history — a criminal, immoral war that killed over 100,000 Iraqi civilians, squandered trillions of US dollars, demonstrated the moral and economic bankruptcy of the US, and effectively destroyed the strongest ME bulwark against Iranian expansionism.

                  All of this could have been prevented if Bill Clinton had been eligible to run for a third term.

                  • Views of Presidential Administrations

                    I was responding to an implication that a big difference between Clinton and Obama was that Clinton was seen as a “strong leader” and Obama is seen as weak.

                    I’m not sure if you share this claim. If you do, however, you’re simply not correct. Obama has had consistently higher ratings on the “strong leader” question in national polling than Clinton did during most of his presidency (at least until the Republicans overreached with impeachment and Clinton’s approval numbers rose across the board ). Evidence for that point is what I refer to above.

                    I’m glad that you see Clinton as a successful president. So do I. But to deny that progressives were very angry at Clinton for numerous policy decisions he made at the time would be completely inaccurate. Several liberal members of the administration even left the administration because of perceptions that Clinton sold out to the conservatives.

                    I have little doubt progressives 20 years from now, while perhaps bashing whichever progressive president might be office for straying from progressive principles, will wax nostalgic about those heady days during the Obama Administration when a progressive president accomplished much for the progressive cause. The ludicrous arguments that Obama is barely different than a Republican would be as ridiculous as claiming that now that FDR, Truman, LBJ, and Clinton would have been no different than conservatives. Yet that was the claim of many on the Left during their presidencies as well.

                    Reality looks different when you’ve had some time and distance from the events in question.

                    • Maybe it is the "hope and change" business

                      Obama ran an assertively idealistic campaign “This is the moment” etc. (see below). Clinton to the best of my recollection never asserted such a colossal break was on offer:

                    • Indeed

                      As Obama states, generations from now, we will look back and see that “this was the moment that we provided care for the sick…” Frankly, that is precisely what happened. There is nothing “idealistic” about it. Instead, it’s successful politics. Before, millions were without health insurance. Now, millions of young people have health insurance who did not have it before. And more benefits will be phased in over the next couple years.

                      I’d add that as impressive as Clinton was, he did not achieve nearly as much progressive legislation as Obama has in his first term. That may be unbelievable for a few around here, but I’d remind them that BMG is supposed to be a “reality-based community.” It’s one thing to criticize Obama for policy failures. It’s quite another to claim that he’s no different than a conservative Republican. There’s more than a few people around here that need to get a grip with reality.

                  • BTW

                    I’d also agree that the 22nd Amendment was a big mistake. It exacerbates the problem of “lame duck” presidencies and severely limits democratic choice. I’d very much be in favor of repeal (though it will probably never happen).

          • We've had 30 years

            of pundits and DNC elites telling us that we had to be milquetoast to win power. I’ve got news for you: it hasn’t worked yet.

            RyansTake   @   Fri 16 Dec 9:21 PM
    • That's an understatement!

      …an extremely hard position to square with Candidate Obama 2008

      2008 – Closing Gitmo. 2011 – Sending American citizens to Gitmo indefinitely and without a trial.
      Extremely hard to square? Irreconcilable is more like it.

      …this is a very unwise step.

      Unwise?! It’s an outrage!
      Hello, Ron Paul’s donation account? Meet my wallet.

      • Ha

        Paul is not the answer. Even if he is likely better on war and peace and civil liberties, his economic policies (if they were ever put in force) would push most of the world into a severe depression for which we would have very little ability to escape. He’s also an incredibly diehard anti-choicer.

        That said, however, he’d still probably be better than most of the rest of the GOP field.

        • Ability to escape

          I trust more in the ability of a free people to escape the virtual binds of poverty than in the ability of the bread and circuses to escape a real prison.

  3. No suprise, but what alternative?

    This bill passed 83-13 — as in, not anywhere close. The very sad fact is that civil liberties are not much of an issue in political discourse and I daresay most Americans couldn’t care less. Part of me does wish Obama would stay true to his veto threat, but ever the pragmatist, it would cost him political points as it would be easily overridden, and could gravely damage his standing as a defense bolstering Democrat — it doesn’t take much in this political environment. You should complain to your Senators about this one. Brown, of course, supported this, as did John Kerry — John Kerry! remember him?
    http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=112&session=1&vote=00230

    The notion that progressives should sit on their hands in November, though, is far scarier than that. We can argue whether Obama has not been true to the progressive ideals that were imprinted upon him (IMHO he has been very close to the President that was elected). But to let a Republican candidate, for whom civil liberties are an obstruction, would be foolish.

    • but I will add that it is galling

      if there was one thing that the Founders cared about, it was habeas corpus. I get that, and it really sucks. Maybe our strict constructionalists will come to the rescue on this one.

  4. This seems so clearly unconstitutional...

    …that I have to wonder whether people who voted for this want the political benefit of being tough on terror (though I thought the popularilty of such things was waning) while secretly hoping that the courts will step in and stop this from happening.

    • As to constitutionality,

      Scalia is on record as opposing indefinite detention without charge for American citizens, at least in the circumstances of the Hamdi case. I’m not sufficiently well-versed in the differences between this bill and what went on in Hamdi to know whether Scalia’s vote there would accurately predict what he’d do here, but it’s at least possible that there are five votes against this.

      • Certainly,

        the case for the proposition that the bill is constitutional is stronger because Congress is authorizing these procedures. From the opinion quoted in the previous comment (which was authored by now-retired Justice Stevens, and joined by Scalia):

        I frankly do not know whether these tools are sufficient to meet the Government’s security needs, including the need to obtain intelligence through interrogation. It is far beyond my competence, or the Court’s competence, to determine that. But it is not beyond Congress’s. If the situation demands it, the Executive can ask Congress to authorize suspension of the writ–which can be made subject to whatever conditions Congress deems appropriate, including even the procedural novelties invented by the plurality today. To be sure, suspension is limited by the Constitution to cases of rebellion or invasion. But whether the attacks of September 11, 2001, constitute an “invasion,” and whether those attacks still justify suspension several years later, are questions for Congress rather than this Court. See 3 Story §1336, at 208-209.6 If civil rights are to be curtailed during wartime, it must be done openly and democratically, as the Constitution requires, rather than by silent erosion through an opinion of this Court.

  5. "Who the @#$% else ya gonna vote for, chumps?!"

    “A Republican? They suck even worse!”

    That seems to be 2012′s Democratic Party battle cry.

    • So scary but so true

      There is just no choice. Obama’s an asshole, but Gingrich? Romney? Perry? No friggin way am I gonna vote for one of those scumbags. No way in hell. The GOP is everything I hate about Obama, plus some additional odious shit. This is why large scale protests were inevitable- for so many of us, there are no good choices offered on how we want our country to be governed. It sucks.

      • If politics is the art of compromise...

        There is one candidate that we don’t mention. He is consistent. Supports the Constitution. Against senseless war. For law applying to banks. Respects the Occupy movement. Is loathe to the mainstream Republicans. Ignored or marginalized by the press. Supported by such progressives as Ralph Nader. And notorious for partnering with liberals such as Frank, Kucinich, Grayson.

        Perhaps he is the most progressive of all candidates.

        Or Rocky Anderson?

        “Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates.” –Gore Vidal

  6. campaign promises

    It’s fair to say that what Obama said in a campaign don’t hold much water. That’s nothing new, few presidents are able to honor all their campaign promises. Obama is astutely aware that the U.S. needs the ability to detain people we know to be dangerous without the evidence that might stand up in a federal criminal court.

    The real question is whether or not he was aware of this fact during the campaign. In other words, I think he was intentionally making promises he had not intention of keeping.

    • "Know to be dangerous" based on what?

      The courts have been at it for several centuries in this country to define effective standards for truth. It requires remarkable self-assurance — credulousness, some might say — to sweep that away as irrelevant.

      By this argument, we should get rid of trials altogether since presumably prosecutors (who swear to follow the law) know it all.

  7. I can't see this surviving the inevitable court challenge

    I think Obama signed this because he wanted the other stuff in the bill to go through and he assumes that the courts will strike this toxic provision down. It is so blatantly and obviously unconstitutional that I doubt even Antonin Scalia would vote to uphold it. If I’m proved wrong on this, then I’ll be worried, but until then I’m not going to lose sleep over it.

    • A lot of people thought that about the Patriot Act

      And it’s still chugging along, largely because it’s hard to show grounds for suing when it’s almost impossible to prove you’ve been directly effected by it, given the security and secrecy behind it.

      Your mistake is in thinking there will be an inevitable court challenge. If you lock someone up, don’t give them access to an attorney and maybe don’t even inform the public where they are or that you’ve detained them at all, it’s awfully hard to take it to court.

      Indefinite detainment + military custody + shadowy process = a good recipe for the government to just “disappear” people, which I think is the inevitable conclusion of policies like this.

      RyansTake   @   Fri 16 Dec 9:25 PM
  8. At this point, I think the Obama team has come up...

    …with the campaign slogan for 2012:

    Who else are you gonna vote for, Romney?

    or maybe

    Vote for me or the Supreme Courts gets it…

  9. This cemented it for me,

    I can’t in good faith vote for him. I won’t vote GOP either, so I see no other option than a protest vote for a Democrat I can believe in. I think I’ll write in Ted Kennedy’s name as a protest vote.

    RyansTake   @   Fri 16 Dec 9:38 PM
    • Maybe not as bad as you think -

      see the update in the main post.

      • Whether or not, David

        doesn’t really matter. It’s still indefinite detention without access to our criminal justice system. No thanks.

        RyansTake   @   Thu 22 Dec 9:33 AM
    • Me too

      I wrote in “Bill Clinton” for President in 2000 and 2004 (I voted in Precinct 7 in Brookline at that time, so it was a purely token gesture).

      I’m very likely to do the same in 2012.

    • Hmm.

      I think 2000 was the last time that the Democrat I voted for president was not a write-in.

      sabutai   @   Sat 17 Dec 12:58 PM
  10. Regarding the conflicting reports...

    I know when this was first raised on BMG I noted that it explicitly did not apply to American citizens, but I haven’t been tracking so i don’t know about final language.

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