The US has long been the world’s leader in espousing human rights and respect for civil liberties. They still preach this ideal to other countries.
Their Constitution with appropriate Amendments guarantees their citizens these rights in the name of ‘Liberty, Equality and Justice’. Some extracts:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordainand establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
“Amendment 4 – Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
“Amendment 5 – Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified12/15/1791.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
And for the President himself, (one having been video’d crossing his fingers during the oath:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
And yet, we have this post from ‘WIRED”, titled “Senate Wants the Military to Lock You Up Without Trial” telling us that all is not well in the USA.
“Here’s the best thing that can be said about the new detention powers the Senate has tucked into next year’s defense bill: They don’t force the military to detain American citizens indefinitely without a trial. They just letthe military do that. And even though the leaders of the military and the spy community have said they want no such power, the Senate is poised to pass its bill as early as tonight.
There are still changes swirling around the Senate, but this looks like the basic shape of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. Someone the government says is “a member of, or part of, al-Qaida or an associated force” can be held in military custody “without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.” Those hostilities are currently scheduled to end the Wednesday after never. The move would shut down criminal trials for terror suspects.
But far more dramatically, the detention mandate to use indefinite military detention in terrorism cases isn’t limited to foreigners. It’s confusing, because two different sections of the bill seem to contradict each other, but in the judgment of the University of Texas’ Robert Chesney — a nonpartisan authority on military detention — “U.S. citizens are included in the grant of detention authority.”
So despite the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of a right to trial, the Senate bill would let the government lock up any citizen it swears is a terrorist, without the burden of proving its case to an independent judge, and for the lifespan of an amorphous war that conceivably will never end. And because the Senate is using the bill that authorizes funding for the military as its vehicle for this dramatic constitutional claim, it’s pretty likely to pass.
It would be one thing if the military was clamoring for the authority to become the nation’s jailer. But to the contrary: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta opposes the maneuver. So does CIA Director David Petraeus, who usually commands deference from senators in both parties. Pretty much every security official has lined up against the Senate detention provisions, from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to FBI Director Robert Mueller, who worry that they’ll get in the way of FBI investigations of domestic terrorists. President Obama has promised to veto the bill.
Which is ironic. After all, Obama approved of the execution without trial of Anwar al-Awlaki, al-Qaida’s YouTube preacher, based entirely on the unproven assertion that Awlaki was dangerous. Awlaki was an American citizen. So Obama thinks he has the right to kill Americans the government says are terrorists, but he doesn’t want the military to lock them up forever without trial. OK then.
Weirder still, the bill’s chief architect, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), tried to persuade skeptics that the bill wasn’t so bad. His pitch? “The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States,” he said on the Senate floor on Monday. The bill would just let the government detain a citizen in military custody, not force it to do that. Reassured yet?”
But there’s a reason this measure goes into the defense bill: Voting against the defense bill is usually considered political suicide. That’s why the bill will almost certainly pass tonight. If Obama backs down from his veto threat, get ready to see Americans at Guantanamo Bay.
This is the country that the Australia leaders wish to ally/align themselves to, without reference to our citizens, without proper government processing. Even let the US military have a presence here, creating an image of Australia which will be equated to that of the USA. One which is revealed above as undesirable to decent peace-loving and freedom-loving citizens. Maybe the President will veto this, maybe!. Yet this is what his senate want and he is responsible for many misdeeds.
Not something to be desired! If hypocrisy was the worst thing it is still abhorrent, yet their sins are far worse.