The original title of this piece was “Detain Lindsay Graham.”
I’m no fan of the South Carolina senator. Senators Graham(R), McCain(r), and Leven(D) are behind a piece of legislation that would designate America as part of a world wide battlefield, and allow the military to indefinitely detain Al Queda suspects wherever apprehended. As he demonstrated during the uproar over the Florida Koran burning, Graham is no stickler on the niceties of constitutional protections. I don’t know much about Leven, but the statute of limitations on exposing stupidity in war heroes ran out on McCain a long time ago.
When I heard abut this, I wondered why this story wasn’t bigger news I ran across it in a comment posted to an article on more general constitutional issues on Pajamasmedia which linked me to the ACLU and the Hill.
The ACLU Had this to say:
In support of this harmful bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) explained that the bill will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and people can be imprisoned without charge or trial “American citizen or not.” Another supporter, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) also declared that the bill is needed because “America is part of the battlefield.”
I couldn’t find exaclty were the quote came from,and there is no citation, as there is not for the following:
In response to proponents of the indefinite detention legislation who contend that the bill “applies to American citizens and designates the world as the battlefield,” and that the “heart of the issue is whether or not the United States is part of the battlefield,” Sen. Udall disagrees, and says that we can win this fight without worldwide war and worldwide indefinite detention.
Who these “proponents” are who make these contentions is again, not stated.
And it got me pretty worried, and I wasn’t buying McCain and Leven’s clarifications in the Washington Post, as quoted in the Hill. There was quite an uproar across the blogsphere, but when I had read a number of online takes it hit me that I was getting hits mostlyon the left, and among the Ron Paul crowd, with many claiming that this provision could be extended to any body for any reason.
So I decided to read the bill. Here’s the money shot:
- (a) Custody Pending Disposition Under Law of War-
- (1) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in paragraph (4), the Armed Forces of the United States shall hold a person described in paragraph (2) who is captured in the course of hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) in military custody pending disposition under the law of war.
- (2) COVERED PERSONS- The requirement in paragraph (1) shall apply to any person whose detention is authorized under section 1031 who is determined–
- (A) to be a member of, or part of, al-Qaeda or an associated force that acts in coordination with or pursuant to the direction of al-Qaeda; and
- (B) to have participated in the course of planning or carrying out an attack or attempted attack against the United States or its coalition partners.
- (3) DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR- For purposes of this subsection, the disposition of a person under the law of war has the meaning given in section 1031(c), except that no transfer otherwise described in paragraph (4) of that section shall be made unless consistent with the requirements of section 1033.
- (4) WAIVER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY- The Secretary of Defense may, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, waive the requirement of paragraph (1) if the Secretary submits to Congress a certification in writing that such a waiver is in the national security interests of the United States.
- (b) Applicability to United States Citizens and Lawful Resident Aliens-
- (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.
- (2) LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.
Not only does the provision not extend to American citizens, but it also excludes legally resident aliens, and it is limited to Al Queda or Al Queda related activities.
Much of the hysteria is therefore unwonted. Now, I have never liked that term “Homeland Security.” It sounds translated from German. And it’s funny, during World War Two we seemed to just fine with the FBI chasing spies in the U.S., so there are issues here.
The most troubling aspect of this furor for me is that once again we see the obsession with, or diversion to Al Queda, as Islamist regimes take power throughout the Middle East, and Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers and enablers lobby on Capital Hill. The “moderate Islamist” leader of Tunisia’s Islamist party Ennadha holds forth there today, hosted by MPAC(Muslim American Political Action). Not long ago we had a young Dominican home grown jihadi picked up by NYPD. Whether this focus on the tatters of the force that brought down the Twin Towers is ignornace, willful blindness, a calculated and cynical ploy to make us beleive that these guys in congress are “doing something”, or a combination of all of these, I don’t know.
What I do know Is that the Obama administration’s appeasement of Islam, the failure of the opposition party on the whole to call him on it, and the refusal of the political establishment of both parties, the media and academia’ to address the violence at the core of Islamic scripture are far greater dangers to American security than the remnants of Al Qeda could ever hope to be.
And you can’t trust the ACLU. I knew that.