You are hereBlogs / Ralph Lopez's blog / Congress Pushes Through Military Detention of Americans in Time for "Bill of Rights Day."

Congress Pushes Through Military Detention of Americans in Time for "Bill of Rights Day."

By Ralph Lopez - Posted on 13 December 2011

Please send to every veteran you know. We need them now. Please submit a call for action Thursday to your OWS General Assembly.

Wasting no opportunity to display the kind of unbridled, almost exuberant arrogance which finally got Tunesian and Egyptian juntas driven out of the country, a House and Senate conference committee, deaf to any outcry, passed the National Defense Authorization Act yesterday with the treasonous overturn of the Bill of Rights still intact.  That's not even the good part.  


The lawmakers said they hoped the House and Senate could vote on the final bill by Thursday and send it to the president.

Thursday is December 15.  Bill of Rights Day.

"The legislation would deny suspected terrorists, even U.S. citizens seized within the nation's borders, the right to trial and subject them to indefinite detention. The lawmakers made no changes to that language.

Civil rights groups still pressed for a presidential veto.

"The sponsors of the bill monkeyed around with a few minor details, but all of the core dangers remain — the bill authorizes the president to order the military to indefinitely imprison without charge or trial American citizens and others found far from any battlefield, even in the United States itself. The bill strikes at the very heart of American values," Christopher Anders, senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement. "Based on suspicion alone, no place and no person are off-limits to military detention without charge or trial.""

Never mind the probably 20-something reporter who doesn't know the difference between civil rights and civil liberties.  This constitutional coup continues to be ignored by the broadcast media as if it were a minor change in soup packaging regulations.

As for a veto by Obama, they are playing some kind of game because Carl Levin (D-MI) let the cat out of the bag on the Senate floor when he told us that it was Obama himself who requested the detention-of-Americans provision.

In military custody you can be tortured and driven insane through permanent isolation, be given drugs, and deprived of all contact with family, friends, legal counsel, and the outside world for the rest of your life.  The proposed law allows nothing less.

Torture?  The bill specifies that the military detention of Americans can be indefinite, without limit.  How will anyone know if you've been tortured if they never have to let you out, or let you see anyone?

So look at it this way.  On Bill of Rights Day, everything grandpa or great grandpa fought for in World War II could be gone.  We fought a form of government which threatened, in a very real sense, to take over the world and institute fascism and the rule of force for a thousand years.  Hitler dreamed of the "1000 Year Reich," in which stormtroopers under his direct command could kill or imprison anybody for any reason, or no reason.  It was to be in the name of dealing with "enemies of the state," which meant enemies of the rulers.  In World War II Americans fought so that a darkness would not descend upon the world in which people no longer had "inalienable rights."

Just such a power is Congress about to pass on Bill of Rights Day.

People are taking action.   The Massachusetts ACLU and allies are marching on the Federal Building in Boston's Government Center, where John Kerry's and Scott Brown's offices are, to demand a halt to what Anonymous calls an "outright declaration of war against the American people" and "the most traitorous act ever witnessed in the Senate" which "effectively ends the Bill of Rights in America."  Both Kerry and Brown have put themselves down as "domestic enemies" of the "United States Constitution" by voting for the provisions.

I won't call them "Senator" Kerry or "Senator" Brown.  They are my senators no longer.

The Boston march is one of a number of actions taking place across the country, like Charlottesville, VA where citizens are going to Congressman Hurt's office.  A Facebook for general posting of actions, video and photos is here.

It boils down to this: if this passes, every fiber of courage which was mustered by the young men who had to do a horrible job, every sacrifice and act of breathtaking valor on those bloody beaches, all of it, was for absolutely, exactly nothing.   And guess when they are going to smile in our faces and tell us that we now have no more rights, due process, right to counsel, or any other protection of the Constitution than any Afghan or Iraqi prisoner hanging from the ceiling at Bagram or Abu Ghraib?  On one of our proudest days, Bill of Rights Day.


On Thursday December 15 the Massachusetts ACLU will lead a march from Dewey Square to the JFK Federal Building in Government Center, where Senator John Kerry's and Senator Scott Brown's offices are located, to protest their votes for S. 1867 National Defense Authorization Act which allows the indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial. WE ARE CALLING FOR SIMILAR ACTIONS ACROSS THE Facebook page "Occupy U.S. Senate and Representatives District Offices, No Military Detention of Americans."

It Was for Nothing.


A Message from Anonymous to the American People

Sketch by Sgt. Thomas V. Curtis, a former Reserve M.P. sergeant, showing Afghan prisoner chained to ceiling in Bagram.

Torture room, Abu Ghraib



Support This Site


Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.



Speaking Truth to Empire


Families United


Ray McGovern


Julie Varughese


Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.



Find the perfect Purple Bridesmaid Dresses for your bridesmaids from




Ca-Dress Long Prom Dresses Canada
Ca Dress Long Prom Dresses on

Buy Books

Get Gear

The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.