Senate set to vote for indefinite detention of Americans

AFP Photo / Karen Bleier
A terrifying bill that will turn the US into a battlefield with dire effects for Americans has snuck into the Senate, and as lawmakers rush legislation through Congress, the nightmare National Defense Authorization Act is close to becoming a law.

Bipartisan support has allowed for the National Defense Authorization Act to quickly go through Congress, and while opponents of a particular amendment attempt to strike the bill from becoming a law, trickery on the Senate floor is keeping the Act on its way to approval. If a Senate vote this week passes, Section 1031 of the legislation would turn America into a “battlefield,” says supporter Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina.), and everyday citizens could be indefinitely detained by the military and held without charge.

An amendment to the act proposed by Colorado Senator Mark Udall was shot down via vote on Tuesday, and on Wednesday lawmakers moved to limit debate on legislation. A vote could now come as early as Thursday of this week. Should the Senate follow through as did the House, only the president of the United States of America himself could save his citizens from military rule.

President Barack Obama has vowed to veto the legislation should it make it all the way to the oval office, but with support waning for the commander-in-chief, a Republican could usurp Obama within a year and pass the bill into law. The defense bill, with a price tag of $662 billion, is actually substantially more affordable than what Obama had asked Congress to come up with. Given the country’s dire economic condition and the president’s plea to the public that he can save the country, pinching pennies by way of approving the National Defense Authorization Act could be more than likely for the Obama.

“He has said he will. Whether he will is a difficult question because, politically, it’s difficult to veto a defense spending bill that [is] 680 pages long and includes authorization to spend on a whole range of military programs,” Daphne Eviatar, senior associate of Human Rights First’s Law and Security Program, adds to Democracy Now.

Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has attempted to propose an amendment that would explicitly remove Section 1031 right off the bill, but with lawmakers agreeing 88-12 today to hurry through legislation, his counter-clause is likely to never be brought up. The result? An amendment that gives the government the ability to imprison Americans without charge, indefinitely, that Republican Congressman Justin Amash has called “one of the most anti-liberty pieces of legislation of our lifetime.”

Goodbye, state detention centers and holding cells in cities far and wide. The National Defense Authorization Act stands to send Americans — guilty or not — all the way to Guantanamo. Ready your orange get-up and pray the president follows through with his promise to sink the bill, lest you want the US military to be the one doing the sinking on you. As RT reported earlier today, Congress is also on the move to legalize torture techniques, a ruling that will welcome waterboarding back into the repertoire at Gitmo.