McCain and Lieberman’s dangerous bill

On March 4th, Senators McCain and Lieberman quietly introduced a bill that Salon Magazine’s Glen Greenwald calls “the single most extremist, tyrannical and dangerous bill introduced in the Senate in the last several decades, far beyond the horrific, habeas-abolishing Military Commissions Act.”

It is senate bill S.3081, the “Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010,” which now has nine sponsors including newly elected Senator Scott Brown.

This bill appears to be Senators McCain and Lieberman’s response to President Obama choosing to have the Christmas “underwear bomber,” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, tried in civilian courts. And, according to Greenwald, it is also “designed to formally authorize what the Bush administration did to U.S. citizen Jose Padilla—arrest him on U.S. soil and imprison him for years in military custody with no charges.”

This bill grants the president the power to order, arrest, interrogate and imprison anyone—including U.S. citizens—considered to be a “suspected belligerent” or a “high value detainee.” According to the bill, a person is considered a “high value detainee” if he/she fulfills one of the following criteria:

(1) poses a threat of an attack on civilians or civilian facilities within the U.S. or U.S. facilities abroad; (2) poses a threat to U.S. military personnel or U.S. military facilities; (3) potential intelligence value; (4) is a member of al Qaeda or a terrorist group affiliated with al Qaeda, or (5) such other matters as the President considers appropriate.

In other words, an individual doesn’t even have to pose a threat to be picked up, detained and interrogated by the military. Individuals can merely be determined to be of “potential intelligence value” or come under the vague mandate of “such other matters as the President considers appropriate.” After the arrest, “The High-Value Detainee Interrogation Team must make a preliminary determination whether the detainee is an unprivileged enemy belligerent, within 48 hours of taking detainee into custody.” The final determination of whether or not the person is an “unprivileged enemy belligerent” is made by the Secretary of Defense and the Attorney General. And then, the so-called unprivileged enemy belligerent can be held indefinitely in military custody.

Liliana Segura, writing at Alternet, says  “This is a defining characteristic of a military dictatorship. Where’s the outrage?”

The ACLU has expressed its vigorous opposition to the legislation, labeling it nothing less than a “direct attack on the Constitution.” “Indefinite detention flies in the face of American values and violates this country’s commitment to the rule of law,” states Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office.

The frightening aspect of this bill, besides the fact that it shreds the Constitution, is that it gives the president and the military the power to turn the “war on terror” against politically active American citizens who may express dissent against the policies of the government.

Madonna Gauding Madonna Gauding (255 Posts)

Madonna Gauding is a freelance writer, illustrator and book designer living in St. Louis. MO. She is the author of 10 books on a variety of "mind, body, spirit" topics.


  • Dan Scott

    Does Palin Support McCain’s bill—Indefinite Detention of Citizens On Mere Suspicion?

    On March 4, 2010, Sen. John McCain introduced S.3081, The “Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010.”

    Sen. McCain’s S.3081 would eliminate several Constitutional protections allowing Government to arbitrarily pick up Americans on mere suspicion—with no probable cause. Your political opinions and statements made against U.S. Government could be used by Authorities to deem you a “hostile” “Enemy Belligerent” to cause your arrest and indefinite detention. S.3081 is so broadly written innocent anti-war protesters and Tea Party Groups might be arrested and detained just for attending demonstrations.

    Considering how often Sarah Palin defends Free Speech, one can’t help wonder why Palin is helping McCain’s reelection to the U.S. Senate after he introduced possibly the most anti-Free Speech Bill in Modern U.S. History. Perhaps Palin or her Tea Party supporters haven’t considered McCain’s legislation might be used by a corrupt government administration to crush them. Tea Parties might question Palin whether she supports Sen. McCain’s bill the “Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010.” (S.3081)

    Under S.3081, an “individual” need only be Suspected by Government of “suspicious activity” or “supporting hostilities” to be dragged off and held indefinitely in Military Custody. Government will have the power to detain and interrogate any individual without probable cause. Government need only allege an individual kept in detention, is an Unprivileged Enemy Belligerent suspected of; having engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners. How could one prove to Government they did not purposely do something? “Materially Supporting Hostilities” against the United States could include any person or group that spoke out or demonstrated disapproval against an agency of U.S. Government. It is foreseeable many Americans might go underground to Resist Government Tyranny. Definition for Unprivileged Enemy Belligerent: (Anyone Subject to a Military Commission)

    At least under the Patriot Act, law enforcement generally needed probable cause to detain a person indefinitely. Passage of S.3081 will permit government to use “mere suspicion” to curtail an individual’s Constitutional Protections against unlawful arrest, detention and interrogation without benefit of legal counsel and trial. According to S.3081 Government is not required to provide detained individuals U.S. Miranda Warnings or even an attorney.

    S.3081 if passed will frighten Americans from speaking out. S.3081 is so broadly written, it appears any “individual” who writes on the Internet or verbally express an opinion against or an entity of U.S. Government or its coalition partners might be detained on the basis he or she is an “unprivileged enemy belligerent”, “supporting hostilities against U.S. Government.”

    How might Americans respond should Government use this bill to take away their loved ones, family members and friends on mere suspicion? It is foreseeable McCain’s bill will drive lawful political activists underground, perhaps creating the domestic terrorists McCain said we needed to be protected from.

    McCain’s bill mentions “non-violent acts” supporting terrorism in the U.S. and or emanating from America against a Coalition Partner. Non-violent terrorist acts” are covered in the Patriot Act to prosecute Persons that support “coercion to influence a government or intimidation to affect a civilian population.” However, U.S. activists and individuals under S.3081 would be much more vulnerable to prosecution, if (charged with suspicion) of “intentionally providing support to an Act of Terrorism”, for example American activists can’t control what other activists might do illegally—they network with domestically and overseas. Under the Patriot Act, law enforcement generally needs probable cause to detain or prosecute someone. But under S.3081, law enforcement and the military can too easily use (hearsay or informants) to allege “suspicious activity” to detain an individual. It is problematic under S.3081 that detained individuals in the U.S. not involved in terrorism or hostile activities, not given Miranda Warnings or allowed legal counsel will be prosecuted for ordinary crimes because of their alleged admissions while in military custody.

    Notably, McCain’s S.3081 mandates (merging) Federal, State and Local Police and subsequently the U.S. Military to detain and hold Individuals in the U.S., even without probable cause.

    Historically it is foreseeable under S.3081 that “erroneous informant information” could be used to detain innocent Individuals. Other countries have used lying informants to imprison; even execute political opposition.

    Under S.3081 government may use an individual’s phone call and email information to allege without probable cause “suspicious or hostile activity against the a U.S. civilian population or the United States to detain Americans.”

    (Make Your Own Determination If The Analysis Herein Is Correct) See McCain Senate bill S.3081 at:
    assets.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/politics/ARM10090.pdf

    FYI: below is enclosed a copy of “Hitler’s Discriminatory Decrees signed February 28, 1933.” Although the Nazi Decrees are written differently than S.3081, the McCain bill could bring America to the same place crushing free speech and personal liberty. Note how the Nazi Government in Section (1) and (4), similar to U.S. S.3081, suspend personal liberty— shutdown Free Speech to intimidate Citizens speaking out against Government:

    See Section 1
    “Sections 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124, and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. Thus, restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press, on the right of assembly and the right of association, and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic, and telephonic communications, and warrants for house-searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.”

    Similar to McCain’s S. 3081, but using different wording the Nazi Government in Section (4) see below, suspended Constitutional rights, ordered the arrest of Citizens for any ACT that might incite or provoke disobedience against state authorities. McCain’s S.3081 instead mentions detaining and prosecuting Individuals for “supporting hostilities” against U.S. Government. S.3081 is so broadly written any person or group attending a protest could be arrested without provable cause and detained if government charged the protest-supported hostilities.

    See Section 4
    Whoever provokes, or appeals for or incites to the disobedience of the orders given out by the supreme state authorities or the authorities subject to then for the execution of this decree, or the orders given by the Reich Government according to Section 2, is punishable—insofar as the deed, is not covered by the decree with more severe punishment and with imprisonment of not less that one month, or with a fine from 150 up to 15,000 Reichsmarks.

    DECREE OF THE REICH PRESIDENT FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE PEOPLE AND STATE

    Note: Based on translations by State Department, National Socialism, 1942 PP. 215-17, and Pollak, J.K., and Heneman, H.J., The Hitler Decrees, (1934), pp. 10-11.7

    In virtue of Section 48 (2) of the German Constitution, the following is decreed as a defensive measure against Communist acts of Violence, endangering the state:

    Section 1
    Sections 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124, and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. Thus, restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press, on the right of assembly and the right of association, and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic, and telephonic communications, and warrants for house-searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.

    Section 2
    If in a state the measures necessary for the restoration of public security and order are not taken, the Reich Government may temporarily take over the powers of the highest state authority.

    Section 4
    Whoever provokes, or appeals for or incites to the disobedience of the orders given out by the supreme state authorities or the authorities subject to then for the execution of this decree, or the orders given by the Reich Government according to Section 2, is punishable—insofar as the deed, is not covered by the decree with more severe punishment and with imprisonment of not less that one month, or with a fine from 150 up to 15,000 Reichsmarks.

    Who ever endangers human life by violating Section 1, is to be punished by sentence to a penitentiary, under mitigating circumstances with imprisonment of not less than six months and, when violation causes the death of a person, with death, under mitigating circumstances with a penitentiary sentence of not less that two years. In addition the sentence my include confiscation of property.

    Whoever provokes an inciter to or act contrary to public welfare is to be punished with a penitentiary sentence, under mitigating circumstances, with imprisonment of not less than three months.

    Section 5
    The crimes which under the Criminal Code are punishable with penitentiary for life are to be punished with death: i.e., in Sections 81 (high treason), 229 (poisoning), 306 (arson), 311 (explosion), 312 (floods), 315, paragraph 2 (damage to railroad properties, 324 (general poisoning).

    Insofar as a more severe punishment has not been previously provided for, the following are punishable with death or with life imprisonment or with imprisonment not to exceed 15 years:

    1. Anyone who undertakes to kill the Reich President or a member or a commissioner of the Reich Government or of a state government, or provokes to such a killing, or agrees to commit it, or accepts such an offer, or conspires with another for such a murder;

    2. Anyone who under Section 115 (2) of the Criminal Code (serious rioting) or of Section 125 (2) of the Criminal Code (serious disturbance of the peace) commits the act with arms or cooperates consciously and intentionally with an armed person;

    3. Anyone who commits a kidnapping under Section 239 of the Criminal with the intention of making use of the kidnapped person as a hostage in the political struggle.

    Section 6
    This decree enters in force on the day of its promulgation.

    Reich President
    Reich Chancellor
    Reich Minister of the Interior
    Reich Minister of Justice

  • Dan Scott

    Does Palin Support McCain’s bill—Indefinite Detention of Citizens On Mere Suspicion?

    On March 4, 2010, Sen. John McCain introduced S.3081, The “Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010.”

    Sen. McCain’s S.3081 would eliminate several Constitutional protections allowing Government to arbitrarily pick up Americans on mere suspicion—with no probable cause. Your political opinions and statements made against U.S. Government could be used by Authorities to deem you a “hostile” “Enemy Belligerent” to cause your arrest and indefinite detention. S.3081 is so broadly written innocent anti-war protesters and Tea Party Groups might be arrested and detained just for attending demonstrations.

    Considering how often Sarah Palin defends Free Speech, one can’t help wonder why Palin is helping McCain’s reelection to the U.S. Senate after he introduced possibly the most anti-Free Speech Bill in Modern U.S. History. Perhaps Palin or her Tea Party supporters haven’t considered McCain’s legislation might be used by a corrupt government administration to crush them. Tea Parties might question Palin whether she supports Sen. McCain’s bill the “Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010.” (S.3081)

    Under S.3081, an “individual” need only be Suspected by Government of “suspicious activity” or “supporting hostilities” to be dragged off and held indefinitely in Military Custody. Government will have the power to detain and interrogate any individual without probable cause. Government need only allege an individual kept in detention, is an Unprivileged Enemy Belligerent suspected of; having engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners. How could one prove to Government they did not purposely do something? “Materially Supporting Hostilities” against the United States could include any person or group that spoke out or demonstrated disapproval against an agency of U.S. Government. It is foreseeable many Americans might go underground to Resist Government Tyranny. Definition for Unprivileged Enemy Belligerent: (Anyone Subject to a Military Commission)

    At least under the Patriot Act, law enforcement generally needed probable cause to detain a person indefinitely. Passage of S.3081 will permit government to use “mere suspicion” to curtail an individual’s Constitutional Protections against unlawful arrest, detention and interrogation without benefit of legal counsel and trial. According to S.3081 Government is not required to provide detained individuals U.S. Miranda Warnings or even an attorney.

    S.3081 if passed will frighten Americans from speaking out. S.3081 is so broadly written, it appears any “individual” who writes on the Internet or verbally express an opinion against or an entity of U.S. Government or its coalition partners might be detained on the basis he or she is an “unprivileged enemy belligerent”, “supporting hostilities against U.S. Government.”

    How might Americans respond should Government use this bill to take away their loved ones, family members and friends on mere suspicion? It is foreseeable McCain’s bill will drive lawful political activists underground, perhaps creating the domestic terrorists McCain said we needed to be protected from.

    McCain’s bill mentions “non-violent acts” supporting terrorism in the U.S. and or emanating from America against a Coalition Partner. Non-violent terrorist acts” are covered in the Patriot Act to prosecute Persons that support “coercion to influence a government or intimidation to affect a civilian population.” However, U.S. activists and individuals under S.3081 would be much more vulnerable to prosecution, if (charged with suspicion) of “intentionally providing support to an Act of Terrorism”, for example American activists can’t control what other activists might do illegally—they network with domestically and overseas. Under the Patriot Act, law enforcement generally needs probable cause to detain or prosecute someone. But under S.3081, law enforcement and the military can too easily use (hearsay or informants) to allege “suspicious activity” to detain an individual. It is problematic under S.3081 that detained individuals in the U.S. not involved in terrorism or hostile activities, not given Miranda Warnings or allowed legal counsel will be prosecuted for ordinary crimes because of their alleged admissions while in military custody.

    Notably, McCain’s S.3081 mandates (merging) Federal, State and Local Police and subsequently the U.S. Military to detain and hold Individuals in the U.S., even without probable cause.

    Historically it is foreseeable under S.3081 that “erroneous informant information” could be used to detain innocent Individuals. Other countries have used lying informants to imprison; even execute political opposition.

    Under S.3081 government may use an individual’s phone call and email information to allege without probable cause “suspicious or hostile activity against the a U.S. civilian population or the United States to detain Americans.”

    (Make Your Own Determination If The Analysis Herein Is Correct) See McCain Senate bill S.3081 at:
    assets.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/politics/ARM10090.pdf

    FYI: below is enclosed a copy of “Hitler’s Discriminatory Decrees signed February 28, 1933.” Although the Nazi Decrees are written differently than S.3081, the McCain bill could bring America to the same place crushing free speech and personal liberty. Note how the Nazi Government in Section (1) and (4), similar to U.S. S.3081, suspend personal liberty— shutdown Free Speech to intimidate Citizens speaking out against Government:

    See Section 1
    “Sections 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124, and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. Thus, restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press, on the right of assembly and the right of association, and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic, and telephonic communications, and warrants for house-searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.”

    Similar to McCain’s S. 3081, but using different wording the Nazi Government in Section (4) see below, suspended Constitutional rights, ordered the arrest of Citizens for any ACT that might incite or provoke disobedience against state authorities. McCain’s S.3081 instead mentions detaining and prosecuting Individuals for “supporting hostilities” against U.S. Government. S.3081 is so broadly written any person or group attending a protest could be arrested without provable cause and detained if government charged the protest-supported hostilities.

    See Section 4
    Whoever provokes, or appeals for or incites to the disobedience of the orders given out by the supreme state authorities or the authorities subject to then for the execution of this decree, or the orders given by the Reich Government according to Section 2, is punishable—insofar as the deed, is not covered by the decree with more severe punishment and with imprisonment of not less that one month, or with a fine from 150 up to 15,000 Reichsmarks.

    DECREE OF THE REICH PRESIDENT FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE PEOPLE AND STATE

    Note: Based on translations by State Department, National Socialism, 1942 PP. 215-17, and Pollak, J.K., and Heneman, H.J., The Hitler Decrees, (1934), pp. 10-11.7

    In virtue of Section 48 (2) of the German Constitution, the following is decreed as a defensive measure against Communist acts of Violence, endangering the state:

    Section 1
    Sections 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124, and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. Thus, restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press, on the right of assembly and the right of association, and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic, and telephonic communications, and warrants for house-searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.

    Section 2
    If in a state the measures necessary for the restoration of public security and order are not taken, the Reich Government may temporarily take over the powers of the highest state authority.

    Section 4
    Whoever provokes, or appeals for or incites to the disobedience of the orders given out by the supreme state authorities or the authorities subject to then for the execution of this decree, or the orders given by the Reich Government according to Section 2, is punishable—insofar as the deed, is not covered by the decree with more severe punishment and with imprisonment of not less that one month, or with a fine from 150 up to 15,000 Reichsmarks.

    Who ever endangers human life by violating Section 1, is to be punished by sentence to a penitentiary, under mitigating circumstances with imprisonment of not less than six months and, when violation causes the death of a person, with death, under mitigating circumstances with a penitentiary sentence of not less that two years. In addition the sentence my include confiscation of property.

    Whoever provokes an inciter to or act contrary to public welfare is to be punished with a penitentiary sentence, under mitigating circumstances, with imprisonment of not less than three months.

    Section 5
    The crimes which under the Criminal Code are punishable with penitentiary for life are to be punished with death: i.e., in Sections 81 (high treason), 229 (poisoning), 306 (arson), 311 (explosion), 312 (floods), 315, paragraph 2 (damage to railroad properties, 324 (general poisoning).

    Insofar as a more severe punishment has not been previously provided for, the following are punishable with death or with life imprisonment or with imprisonment not to exceed 15 years:

    1. Anyone who undertakes to kill the Reich President or a member or a commissioner of the Reich Government or of a state government, or provokes to such a killing, or agrees to commit it, or accepts such an offer, or conspires with another for such a murder;

    2. Anyone who under Section 115 (2) of the Criminal Code (serious rioting) or of Section 125 (2) of the Criminal Code (serious disturbance of the peace) commits the act with arms or cooperates consciously and intentionally with an armed person;

    3. Anyone who commits a kidnapping under Section 239 of the Criminal with the intention of making use of the kidnapped person as a hostage in the political struggle.

    Section 6
    This decree enters in force on the day of its promulgation.

    Reich President
    Reich Chancellor
    Reich Minister of the Interior
    Reich Minister of Justice