Friday, December 2, 2011

U.S. Senate Passes Bill with Questionable Terror Policies

The Senate passed S. 1867 a $662 billion Pentagon funding bill Thursday night after fights among lawmakers over terrorism-related provisions.  One such provision would authorize indefinite detention without trial and give preference to military detention of terror suspects instead of the civilian justice system.  Senator Marco Rubio suggests that these provisions could only be used on suspects with direct connections with organizations like Al-Qaeda but we know how well the Federal Government is at bending definitions.

The Obama administration threatened to veto the legislation, arguing the executive branch should decide how to try terror detainees despite this, the liberal Michigan Democrat and Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, rejected call after call by senior Obama administration officials to overhaul how his defense bill handles the treatment of suspected terrorists.  Both parties emerged disagreeing over whether the law allowed or disallowed indefinite detention of Americans.  But after an outcry conveyed by both liberals and conservatives, lawmakers arrived at a compromise that essentially concluded the indefinite detention was allowed while saying current policy wouldn't change.

A few Republicans led by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, have railed against provisions that Mr. Paul argued violated the Constitution, aligning himself with liberal Democrats.  

This legislation is along the lines of the Patriot Act. Disguised as a simple funding measure, it's actions and amendments in my opinion will continue to hamper our rights and freedoms.  



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