Original Content at http://www.opednews.com/articles/Arrest-McCain-and-Levin-No-by-Ralph-Lopez-111129-913.html
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Associate Member, or higher).
November 29, 2011
Arrest McCain and Levin Now. Senate to Vote on Military Detention of Americans.
By Ralph Lopez
A disinformation campaign is in progress to convincing people that American citizens are exempt. But it is not so. Although there is an exemption for American citizens from the mandatory detention requirement in section 1032 of the bill, there is no exemption from the authorization to use the military to indefinitely detain people without charge or trial in section 1013. McCain included a red herring.
Why would the Oath required by law to be sworn by US officers recognize a class of criminals, "domestic enemies" of the "United States Constitution," if there were no such thing? Now Chris Anders, Legislative Counsel for the ACLU writes:
Anders warns us that the worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial provision is in S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which is scheduled for a Senate vote on Wednesday, November 30.
Addressing a disinformation campaign aimed at convincing people that American citizens are exempt, Anders takes strong exception and explains:
Sen. Lindsey Graham put it as bluntly as it could be put on the Senate floor:
In an unusual closing of ranks, many conservative websites have picked up and run the ACLU Alert either verbatim or as part of their own action alerts. ConservativeByte.com in "Senate Moves To Allow Military To Arrest Americans Without Charge Or Trial" writes:
Translation: this is not a liberal or conservative thing. This is an American thing.
In support of the bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said that the bill will "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." Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) declared that the bill is needed because "America is part of the battlefield."
Anders in his legislative alert asks a good question: Why now?
Although Obama has threatened to veto the bill over the provision, this is not the first time McCain has revealed his totalitarian, un-American impulses. Last year he was lead sponsor S. 3081 which outlined the process by which Americans may be held indefinitely, without notice of their Miranda Rights, and without ever being charged with a crime, after being arrested in their own country. Due to popular outcry, the bill never became law.
What today's action tells us is that this was not a one-off by McCain and whatever anti-Constitution gang he can round up at the moment. He will keep trying until this president or another one signs it. The ACLU is recommending people lobby their senators to support the Udall Amendment which will delete the harmful provisions and replace them with a "requirement for an orderly Congressional review of detention power."
I have a better idea. In crafting this backroom deal and attempting to form what amounts to an anti-Constitution faction, McCain and Levin have betrayed their primary oath of office to "protect, uphold and defend the United States Constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestic."
Although the Bill of Rights has been steadily eroded since the arrest of American citizen Jose Padilla as an "enemy combatant" by the Bush administration, Bush released him to a civilian trial just before his detention was properly tested in the Supreme Court, after being upheld in the Fourth Circuit. The test would have been whether "enemy combatant" or any other abrogation of the Bill of Rights which applied to traditional war could apply in the first open-ended "war" from which, as the "enemy" is a loose network rather than a hierarchy, there is no one from whom to accept surrender. Thus the question has been left open, until this attempt to codify what is in essence flatly unconstitutional.
At his trial none of the original plots alleged by the government against Padilla, such as a plan to blow up a "dirty bomb" in New York or blow up apartments using gas lines, were ever mentioned. He was convicted mainly on the strength of an Al-Qaeda "application form" which included a line for "emergency contact." Not only would this laughable measure point an incriminating finger at whomever was listed, it flies in the face of interviews with Jihadis who say when you go to Jihad, if you tell your family anything, you tell them only that you will not be coming back.
Interestingly, the attorney for another terrorism suspect, Binyam Mohamed, said that during his imprisonment in CIA "black box" prisons, he was told that he would be implicating people such as Padilla, under torture, which included slicing his genitals with razor blades. Attorney Clive Stafford Smith said his client told him:
Smith explains this in his book "The Eight O'Clock Ferry to the Windward Side." Andy Worthington writes:
The Founders created two categories of enemies in the Oath of Office: foreign and domestic. Furthermore, they stipulated that the enemies to be primarily defended against would be not enemies of the president, nor even of the nation at large, but specifically enemies of "the United States Constitution." The Constitution declares in the Sixth Amendment of the Bill of Rights that:
The creation of a permanent state of war in the "war on terror" is precisely what the Founders warned of the most strenuously. McCain and Levin have treacherously undertaken to overturn the Bill of Rights of the Constitution permanently through this device. Since the law, in the mandatory Oath of Office, essentially creates a class of criminal, a "domestic enemy" of the "United States Constitution," it is incumbent upon loyal senators to declare treason within their midst, and to direct the Sergeant at Arms to effect the arrest of John McCain and Carl Levin as such domestic enemies.
This has been a long time coming.
Please send them this link and article in their contact form:
Jose Padilla, US citizen held in isolation in military custody for 3 1/2 years without charges or trial. Reportedly driven insane before eventual trial.
Ralph Lopez majored in Economics and Political Science at Yale University. He writes for Truth Out, Alternet, Consortium News, Op-Ed News, and other Internet media. He reported from Afghanistan in 2009 and produced a short documentary film on the situation. He has also been published in the Boston Globe and the Baltimore Sun.