The Federal Bill That Can Make You Disappear
My friend Brian was so kind as to inform me via Facebook of a new bill that would pose a grave threat to the civil liberties of American citizens.
Here's the link to the full bill:
Of particular note is this section here:
SEC. 5. DETENTION WITHOUT TRIAL OF UNPRIVILEGED ENEMY BELLIGERENTS.
9An individual, or its coalition partners in which the individual has engaged, or which the individual has purposely and materially supported, consistent with the law of war and including a citizen of the United States, determined to be an unprivileged enemy belligerent under section 3(c)(2) in a manner which satisfies Article 5 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War may be detained without criminal charges and without trial for the duration of hostilities against the United States any authorization for the use of military force provided by Congress pertaining to such hostilities.
This would basically authorize things like detention of Jose Padilla--an American citizen who was taken off a plane at an airport and held incommunicado as an "enemy combatant "with ever-changing justification for several years until the federal government, faced with a Supreme Court challenge it could no longer avoid, deigned to file charges in a civilian court.
The U.S. Constitution was devised in part to prevent abuses like this, with such things like the right to habeus corpus, a speedy trial, etc. It does not say "with the exception of terrorism."
If an American citizen is determined to be a member of al Qaeda, there exists a procedure already--try them for treason, for making war against the U.S. or providing aid and comfort to its enemies. That is the legal, constitutional way of dealing with such people, and has already been applied to Adam Gadahn. And, if the penalty is justified (it more than likely is), hang them.
This is the United States, not some banana republic. No U.S. President, nor member of Congress or any government official whatsoever, has no right to make anyone disappear.
Those interested in making their voices heard about this abomination should go to http://www.congress.org/ and use it to write the president, their senators, and their local representative to keep this thing from even coming close to becoming law.