Tell the Senate NO to Indefinite Military Detention
See this important article in the New York Times which reads…
When President Obama came into office in 2009 he promised to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and end the extra-judicial system that his predecessor had created to imprison terrorist suspects without trial, often without even filing charges. He has broken that promise.
Mr. Obama failed to close down Guantanamo through a combination of inaction and political ineptness. His administration made significant changes to President George W. Bush’s military tribunals, but at the same time left the door open to the concept of indefinite detention.
Now, Congress seems to be on the verge of passing a law that would make indefinite detention a permanent part of the American way.
Here’s what’s going on:
The Senate is debating the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a series of provisions that mandate military interrogation and detention for any suspected member of Al Qaeda, and authorize indefinite detention of terrorist suspects without trial. (The law is written so broadly that parts of it could also cover U.S. citizens.)
The provisions were co-sponsored by Senators Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, and John McCain, Republican of Arizona, both of whom should know better. Their excuse was that some Republicans had proposed worse rules. But the smart response to that situation would have been to block faulty legislation outright, not to make a really bad deal.
A deal, by the way, that Senator Patrick Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who heads the Senate Judiciary Committee, said was hashed out behind closed doors without consultation with his committee, or the Intelligence Committee, or the Defense Department, the F.B.I. or the intelligence community.
These new policies would all but remove the F.B.I., federal prosecutors, and federal courts from the business of interrogating, charging and trying suspected terrorists. Never mind that they have a track record of doing just that, legally and in the open. Instead, it would put those functions in the hands of the military, which is not very good at it, and doesn’t want to do it…