UPDATE: Obama has dropped his threat to veto the bill and is now expected to sign it into law. Remember – it was Obama’s White House that demanded the law apply to U.S. citizens in the first place.
The bill which would codify into law the indefinite detention without trial of American citizens is about to be passed and sent to Obama’s desk to be signed into law, even as some news outlets still erroneously report that the legislation does not apply to U.S. citizens.
“The House on Wednesday afternoon approved the rule for the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), setting up an hour of debate and a vote in the House later this afternoon,” reports the Hill.
Mainstream news outlets like The Hill, as well as neo-con blogs like Red State, are still pretending the indefinite detention provision doesn’t apply to American citizens, even though three of the bill’s primary sponsors, Senator Carl Levin, Senator John McCain, and Senator Lindsey Graham, said it does during speeches on the Senate floor.
“It is not unfair to make an American citizen account for the fact that they decided to help Al Qaeda to kill us all and hold them as long as it takes to find intelligence about what may be coming next,” remarked Graham. “And when they say, ‘I want my lawyer,’ you tell them, ‘Shut up. You don’t get a lawyer.’”
As Levin said last week, it was the White House itself that demanded Section 1031 apply to American citizens.
“The language which precluded the application of Section 1031 to American citizens was in the bill that we originally approved…and the administration asked us to remove the language which says that U.S. citizens and lawful residents would not be subject to this section,” said Levin, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee.
Senator McCain also told Rand Paul during a hearing on the bill that American citizens could be declared an enemy combatant, sent to Guantanamo Bay and detained indefinitely, “no matter who they are.”
Quite how those still in denial could even entertain the notion that the bill would not apply to American citizens when the Obama administration is already enforcing a policy of state assassination and killing American citizens it claims are “terrorists,” without having to present any evidence or go through any legal process, is beyond naive.
With the White House having largely resolved its concerns with the bill, which had nothing to do with the ‘indefinite detention’ provision, Obama could put pen to paper as early as tomorrow on a law that if recognized will nullify the bill of rights – ironically tomorrow is “Bill of Rights Day”.