I’ve been vilified on the internet for daring to attempt to reason with people who won’t criticize our president, even in light of horrible abuses of our constitutional rights as citizens.
I’ve learned my lesson: tweeting while sick and attempting to reason with the unreasonable are two things I will no longer do. When my thoughts are muddled, I’ll stay off the twitter machine. And I’ll no longer engage those who don’t debate in good faith.
That said, I have many reasons to be worried about the provisions in the Defense Authorization Act the allow for the indefinite detention of anyone deemed to be a terrorist – or even a terrorist sympathizer.
One who argued with me about this provision in the bill kept referring to a 1 1/2 page summary of the 900+ page bill – and badgered me repeatedly with “did you read it? I read it!..” Well, a summary does NOT tell you what’s in the entire bill.
It went on, sounding a lot like Monty Python’s Argument Clinic “Yes there is. No there isn’t. Yes there is. No there isn’t…” We were discussing whether or not there is language in the bill pertaining to detention of US citizens.
Hal Sparks referred me to Sec 1031, paragraph b, part 1 … which reads
(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.
And I pointed out that it says there’s no REQUIREMENT to detain US citizens, but there’s nothing that prohibits it. I suggested he read Section 1031, which he claimed
@HalSparksHal Sparks@nicolesandler section 1031 isn’t even in the final bill
“The bill continues to authorize heavy spending on defense despite the end of the 9-year-old war in Iraq. Ironically, the Senate vote came on the same day when Defense Secretary Panetta was in Baghdad officially declaring that our military mission there has ended and that virtually all of the combat troops will leave Iraq by the end of the year. At a time when we have tripled defense spending since 1997 and spend more today on defense than the rest of the world combined, I get concerned that my deficit-hawk friends say we’ve got to cut Social Security, Medicare, education, health care and other programs that help working families, but when it comes to defense spending the sky is the limit.
“This bill also contains misguided provisions that in the name of fighting terrorism essentially authorize the indefinite imprisonment of American citizens without charges. While we must aggressively pursue international terrorists and all of those who would do us harm, we must do it in a way that protects the Constitution and the civil liberties which make us proud to be Americans.” (emphasis mine)
If that doesn’t do it for you, how about Senator Ron Wyden?
Again, I’m not worried that President Obama might try to paint me as a terrorist sympathizer because I criticize some of his actions — but I do worry that a future president (Gingrich, Perry, Bachmann, Rubio ….) might.
And I’m sad that some people who claim to be progressives chose to get nasty with those of us who are questioning the chipping away at our civil liberties. Once again, if they keep fighting people who are ostensibly on the same side, we will likely lose.
Rather than stand up for what’s right, they seem to be fighting against those trying to protect what’s right…
Today on the show, after laying out my case on the NDAA, I checked in with my friend Zach Roberts. Zach is a photojournalist who works with Greg Palast and on a number of other projects. He’s been covering Occupy Wall Street and, for his troubles, was arrested on Saturday.
Saturday was the two month anniversary of the beginning of the Occupy movement, and the one year anniversary of when a vendor in Tunisia set himself on fire, prompting the start of the Arab Spring.
Talk about having our civil liberties taken from us! The cops should be protecting the protesters, not arresting them…
In the second hour, as she does every Monday morning, I was joined by Nicole Belle of Crooks and Liars for a recap of the Sunday talking head shows. She usually gives us a truly eloquent written recap but, thanks to internet difficulties, you’ll have to just follow the links below and check it all out there…