The U.S. Senate on Friday passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. Within that bill, still to be voted on by the House before being sent off to the President, is a chilling provision allowing for the military detention of American citizens suspected of involvement in terrorism. U.S. citizens suspected of being terrorists could be detained indefinitely by the military without a trial.SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN--COURAGEOUS CIVIL LIBERTARIAN
In the Senate debate, Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) argued "We are not a nation that locks up its citizens without charge, prosecution, and conviction." Senator Feinstein chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee.
She compared the provisions to the incarceration of Japanese citizens during World War II, for which the U.S. government formally apologized in 1988.
"This constant push that everything has to be militarized -- I don't think that creates a good country," declared Feinstein. "This country is special because we have certain values. And due process of law is one of those values. And so I object, I object to holding American citizens without trial. I do not believe that makes us more safe."
So concerned was Sen. Feinstein she offered up an amendment to confine military detention to those apprehended "abroad," i.e., off U.S. soil. However, the amendment failed by a 45-55 vote in the Senate.
The Senate vote for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, including the clearly unconstitutional provision for indefinite military detention of U.S. citizens considered to be suspected terrorists, passed by a 93-7 vote on December 1.
Among the "Yes" votes: Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).