February 11, 2012
I wonder sometimes, can’t anyone in the press corps do any digging besides Michael Ventura? His “Letters at 3AM” column for February 10, 2012, from the Austin Chronicle.
It Came From The White House
It is a murky story, and no one knows its end.
During the long congressional tussle over the National Defense Authorization Act, some legislators actually read the small print and were alarmed by a section permitting the military, at the order of the president, to arrest designated enemies without warrants and hold them indefinitely without trial. “Without trial” is the usage in the bill; “until the end of hostilities” is its code for “indefinitely.” That section also permits a detainee’s “transfer” to “any other foreign entity” — i.e., disappearance.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., noticed that to subject American citizens to arrest without warrant and to detain us without trial violates the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments of the Constitution. Feinstein proposed to specifically exempt American citizens from the NDAA’s arrest policy.
Her clarification of the NDAA passed the Senate by a vote of 98 to 1. That’s as bipartisan as it gets, even in good times. In these times, passage of Feinstein’s clarification was a miracle of agreement.
Yet in the NDAA’s final version, as signed by President Obama, American citizens are not exempt. How did that happen?