Good news, everyone! Ever since launching major foreign invasions got a little too expensive and pointless (mostly expensive) even for Congress, and Times Are Tough, our nations’ lawmakers have decided to start “focusing on the domestic issues” like everyone keeps asking them to do, ad nauseum. But since it is impossible for Congress to agree any piece of legislation relating to actual domestic issues like, say, rising poverty, they’ve defaulted back to their only known area of total agreement, “permanent war.” So here’s an idea, what if there were a way to just combine the two? Oooh, the Senate likey: yesterday they passed a bill effectively declaring the United States its own shiny new warzone that would codify the military’s power to hunt on its own soil for anyone — foreign national or American citizen — that they determine meets the vaguely-worded criteria of being “a participant in the course of planning or carrying out an attack or attempted attack against the United States” and ship them off to an internment camp to rot away without trial, forever. Will Bradley Manning finally get some company from his fellow citizens?
There were many, many idiotic defenses of this rancid bill that passed with bipartisan support, but let’s hear from our old standard warmonger neocon jaw-flapping pal Lindsey Graham as he drops yet another pick-up line on longtime crush John McCain, who co-sponsored the bill. Via HuffPo:
“The enemy is all over the world. Here at home. And when people take up arms against the United States and [are] captured within the United States, why should we not be able to use our military and intelligence community to question that person as to what they know about enemy activity?” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said.
“They should not be read their Miranda Rights. They should not be given a lawyer,” Graham said.
Opponents of the bill tried in vain to point out that the FBI and Homeland Security already get billions of dollars to stop domestic terrorists instead of more reasonably pointing out that this legislation is completely insane, but since those guys have such a horrible track record of “no successful major terrorist attacks in the U.S. since 9/11,” this obviously calls for the military to use its war powers to indefinitely detain “enemy combatants” (whoever they are, probably everyone who refused to go shopping on Black Friday?) against its own citizens.
Doesn’t that sound, uh, vaguely unconstitutional, sort of? Nah, said the bill’s other sponsor, Democrat Carl Levin of Michigan, in his floor speech:
The Supreme Court said — and I’m going to read these words again – “there is no bar to this nation’s holding one of its own citizens as an enemy combatant.”
Yeah, Levin’s probably right. The 14th-century legal concept of habeus corpus was just getting to be a little too “progressive.” Better stick to the older, more tried-and-true “military rule” concept favored by leaders for helping the restive masses learn to shut the hell up. [NYTimes/HuffPo/Daily Kos]