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Defense Bill Allows For Indefinite Military Detention of American Citizens

As currently drafted, H.R. 1540, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, authorizes the President the authority to indefinitely detain persons, even American citizens arrested on American soil, without trial because they allegedly support the enemy:

SEC. 1034. AFFIRMATION OF ARMED CONFLICT WITH AL QAEDA, THE TALIBAN, AND ASSOCIATED FORCES.
Congress affirms that—
(1) the United States is engaged in an armed conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces and that those entities continue to pose a threat to the United States and its citizens, both domestically and abroad;
(2) the President has the authority to use all necessary and appropriate force during the current armed conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C. 23 1541 note);
(3) the current armed conflict includes nations, organization, and persons who—
(A) are part of, or are substantially supporting, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or
(B) have engaged in hostilities or have directly supported hostilities in aid of a nation, organization, or person described in subparagraph (A); and
(4) the President’s authority pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 11 107-40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note) includes the authority to detain belligerents, including persons described in paragraph (3), until the termination of hostilities.

But, wait… it gets worse. The White House has threatened to veto the bill–but not because of this. In fact, the current draft of Levin-McCain came about because, “according to Senator Carl Levin, it was the Obama administration which told Congress to remove the language in the original bill which exempted American citizens and lawful residents from the detention power.” Josh Gerstein confirms. Rather, the White House wants more flexibility in deciding exactly how it will detain people. The administration’s objections (PDF) expressly state that they believe that the detention authority already “exists under the Authorization for Use of Military Force.” It just wants to be free to chose how to use that power and not be required to use only the military detention option.*

As Adam Serwer puts it in Mother Jones, this bill therefore goes beyond the policy “that was followed almost without exception by the Bush administration: Domestic terrorism arrests are the province of law enforcement, not the military.”

Only a few people come out looking good in this, Mark Udall (D-CO) and Rand Paul (R-KY) chief among them. Udall was the only vote against passing this abomination out of the Democrat-controlled Senate Armed Services Committee and his amendment to strip the detention provisions was voted down 37-61 on Tuesday. Paul, one of the few Republicans to vote “Nay,” quoted James Madison: “The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become instruments of tyranny at home.” We could use a few more like them in both parties–and a lot fewer Lindsey Grahams and Mark Levins.

Supreme Court cases that mightmost certainly would have definitely affirmed that such detentions are unconstitutional (which they manifestly are) have been dodged before simply by remanding detainees over for civilian trials before an adverse ruling could be handed down. If the flexibility the White House wants is to keep playing that game, Congress should indeed clarify the detention powers of the AUMF. But it should be making it clear that that power does not extend to indefinite military confinement of American citizens without trial, not the other way around.


* Disappointingly, the White House sounds like the worst caricatures of the Bush administration, going to great lengths in detailing its concerns that the bill “would raise serious and unsettled legal questions and would be inconsistent with the fundamental American principle that our military does not patrol our streets… and would, in certain circumstances, violate constitutional separation of powers principles.” But not so much as a dependent subclause is devoted to the massive Constitutional defect inherent in indefinite detention of American citizens without trial.

Related Posts:

About Dodd
Dodd, who used to run a blog named ipse dixit, is an attorney, a veteran of the United States Navy, and a fairly good poker player. He can kill a mime using only his thumb. He joined the staff at OTB in May 2007. Follow Dodd on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Ben Wolf says:

    @Dodd

    It can’t be said any better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. Franklin says:

    I’m in basic agreement with you here and already wrote my senator Carl Levin, one of the authors.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    My respect for the Obama administration just went up a few notches. Indeed the primary weakness in our prior indefinite detention policy is that it exempted U.S. citizens and residents. That’s a major and potentially disastrous loophole and one that can’t be justified in the post-9/11 era. Kudos to the behind-the-scenes adults who actually are running things over on Pennsylvania Ave. With luck this bill quickly will pass Congress and then Obama proudly will sign it into law.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 30

  4. Gustopher says:

    I’ve been very, very disappointed with Obama on this and related issues. If the Republicans nominated someone who was credible and opposed to this massively dangerous and expansive police/military state that is being set up, I’d have to make some hard choices.

    Alas, this is one of those cases where both sides do it. Traitors, all of them. Well, the vast majority of them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  5. Ben Wolf says:

    @Tsar Nicholas II: Shorter Nicky: F***k the Constitution.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  6. @Tsar Nicholas II: So nice when conservatives show that all their talk about respect for the Constitution is a load of shit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  7. @Timothy Watson:

    When teapartiers say they want smaller government, what they really mean is that THEY should be allowed to do whatever they want, while everyone else gets the boot to the neck treatment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 9

  8. Rick Almeida says:

    I’m not a lawyer, and I see how the quoted parts of the law can be interpreted this way, but wouldn’t certain Constitutional features (Amendments 4-6 come to mind) preempt using these features against individuals on US soil?

    Please note I’m not trying to cheerlead for the administration or anything, I’m just looking for some legal reasoning.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  9. @Rick Almeida:

    Blah blah blah Not a Suicide Pact blah blah blah Living Constitution blah blah blah.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  10. Dodd says:

    @Ben Wolf: I wish I could believe that was intended as satire.

    @Stormy Dragon: Rand Paul is a Tea Partier. Lindsey Graham is not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  11. mantis says:

    wouldn’t certain Constitutional features (Amendments 4-6 come to mind) preempt using these features against individuals on US soil?

    Yes. A defense authorization bill does not trump the Constitution. Indefinite detention most certainly violates the 5th and 6th Amendments.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  12. @Dodd:

    I was referring more to the grassroots level, like the Tsar, than any particular politician.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  13. Hey Norm says:

    I’m not happy about this at all. Of course the right-wing extremists pretending to be republicans are much worse…so we are forced to choose between two wrongs and no rights. (pun absolutely intended)
    Having said that…if it gets used on these guys…so be it.
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/11/01/4-suspected-us-militia-members-charged-in-plot/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  14. Hey Norm says:

    Yes of course it is un-constitutional…but they play the game in order to prevent the constitutionality from ever being questioned in court.

    “…Supreme Court cases that most certainly would have definitely affirmed that such detentions are unconstitutional (which they manifestly are) have been dodged before simply by remanding detainees over for civilian trials before an adverse ruling could be handed down…”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  15. @mantis: You did read the Supreme Court’s decision in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  16. ptfe says:

    “Welcome to the ongoing production of the popular National Security Farce! Ushers are waiting to escort you to your seats, which, despite our best efforts, may be structurally defective or reside in an adjacent theater. Due to the potentially sensitive nature of the theatrical presentation, many events germane to tonight’s performance will not be depicted and stage lights will not be illuminated. As always, after the show, you’ll have a brief period during which you may provide feedback to the performers; donations are key to making sure your voice is heard. Please note that, as of 9/11/2001, only suggestions which encourage the use of additional expensive props, obscuration techniques, and audience removal methods will be considered. All profits from tonight’s performance will be used to reduce the possibility of viewer alarm in the future.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  17. anjin-san says:

    I’ve been very, very disappointed with Obama on this and related issues.

    Second that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  18. Scott says:

    Couple of things: 1)Speaking as retired military, I can’t imagine that our military leaders (not the civilian ones) want this authority and I hope they have spoken forcibly against it. 2) Notice how al-Qaeda and Taliban are conflated. That is a political statement, not a factual one. How is the Taliban a threat to the United States? They are involved in a civil war in their own country. We just happen to be in the way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  19. Dodd says:

    @Rick Almeida: I didn’t go into it because it’s so patently obvious to me but, yes, this bill is unconstitutional. There are cases where a statute is limited in its applicability by the Constitution but is otherwise upheld. That’s generally the case for neutral rules that can have the effect of transgressing on Constitutional rights if applied in certain ways.

    This isn’t one of those cases. The Constitution unambiguously and incontrovertibly forbids indefinite detention of Americans without trial. If passed into law, it will almost inevitably be struck down (I say “almost” only because, as a rule, I never predict with certainty what judges will do; still, this is about as clear cut as it gets). The portions that do not relate to American citizens and lawful residents may or may not survive (offhand I’d expect a mix of both depending on the circumstances of their detention, but don’t really have time for a full analysis). But using the Supreme Court for post hoc amendment of bills to fix Constitutional defects is no way to legislate.

    Every Congresscritter and Executive Branch official takes an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. Each is allowed to come to their own conclusions about what the document means and that sometimes leads to genuine, good faith disagreements about a particular idea that must be left to the arbiter of last resort. There’s no such excuse for this degree of dereliction of duty.

    @Stormy Dragon: Then you should direct your remarks to the guilty parties instead of defaming an entire movement simply because you assume that a particular individual is part of it. Reaching for any excuse to wield your hammer doesn’t help you persuade anyone that you own any other tools.

    @Scott: The reports I read while preparing this post tend to support your assumption that the military doesn’t want this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  20. mantis says:

    @Timothy Watson:

    You did read the Supreme Court’s decision in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, right?

    Yes, I read the opinions on that case. Only Thomas thinks that Hamdi had no right to a trial or attorney. The other eight justices, though they disagreed on particulars, agreed the government had no right to detain Hamdi indefinitely without trial. Do you disagree?

    Let me also note that Hamdi was allegedly captured in arms on the battlefield in Afghanistan, and his citizenship was not immediately known when he was sent to Gitmo.

    So I’m not sure what the point of your question is. Am I missing something?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I think I am going to be sick.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. michael reynolds says:

    A rare agreement with Dodd.

    What the hell is the matter with Congress? Have they lost what little mind they had left?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  23. @michael reynolds:

    It’s not just Congress, the Obama Administration is in on it too.

    There is (or maybe used to be) a general rule if you’re caught on American soil or accused of committing crimes in the US or against Americans, you’re tried in the civilian court system. The only exception to that I’m aware of is when a group of Nazi saboteurs came into the US via submarine, apparently to target shipyards on the East Coast. Since they were members of the German Army, they were turned over to the military, tried in a military tribunal, and imprisoned pursuant to the Geneva Convention.

    As we’ve learned, deciding what to do with al Qaeda members we’ve captured overseas is not an easy issue. There isn’t a declaration of war per se, and holding them indefinitely without some kind of judicial review doesn’t seem to comport with the Rule of Law. If they’re captured on American soil, though, it seems fairly obvious to me that they belong in the civilian court system.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  24. anjin-san says:

    This is what happens once Pandora’s box is opened. When liberals warned about this sort of thing way back when Bush’s assault on the Constitution started, conservatives asked them why they hated America. And here we are.

    It’s sad, but I suppose not shocking to see Democrats on board with this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  25. anjin-san says:

    If they’re captured on American soil, though, it seems fairly obvious to me that they belong in the civilian court system.

    I would up the ante to very obvious…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. c.red says:

    Reading through your links I’m getting a fairly different take on this. The administration objects to the bill because A) several of these matters have already been settled in the courts and they don’t want new language/legislation changing existing policy in unforseen ways and B) the administration wants the option and flexibility to move a suspect to civilian courts when they choose. I can live with A, pending future developments, and B sounds like a small step in the right direction.

    The indefinite detention of American Citizens is not directly referred to in the official documents that I can see and is only referred to second hand regarding floor debates in the Politico article. After the floor debate. Senator Levins comment may or may not be intended as portrayed and without seeing the stricken language and why specifically it was requested to be stricken I don’t think we can assign intent on the part of the administration as you do.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do not buy into “The War on Terror” arguments. I want ALL this to go to civilian courts and would very much like Obama to start pushing to clear this legal mess away entirely. The bill itself is dissappointing that it has made it as far it has, but I think attacking the administration over it’s stand against it is a bit excessive. I think you are assigning evil intent where there is only red tape and lawyerese.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  27. @mantis: Hamdi was held on a “some evidence” standard with the Court ruling that detainees could be held for the length of hostilities. Hamdi was never charged and was only released after he renounced his United States citizenship and was deported.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. Ben says:

    @c.red:

    The text of the bill broadly grants the president t the power to detain “belligerents” until the termination of hostilities, which is probably never going to occur in a “war on terror”. Thus, the detention of “belligerents” is, in fact, indefinite. And the Government is who decides whether you are a “belligerent”, they don’t have to prove anything, just allege things. I see nothing in this text that would prevent them from labeling a US citizen, detained here on US soil, as a “belligerent”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  29. Dodd says:

    @michael reynolds: You’ve agreed with me often enough over the last few months that you really should stop calling it “rare.” :-P

    @c.red: As is obvious from all the links I included, I spent a fair amount of time seeking out a broad range of views and sources of facts for this post. So I didn’t come to any conclusions lightly. And there’s only one way to interpret this:

    The debate grew rather prickly even among Democrats who rarely find themselves publicly at odds with one another. Levin looked angry and frustrated as Udall, Feinstein and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) argued that changes to language in the previous version of the bill could subject American citizens to indefinite detention.

    “The administration asked us to strike that language,” Levin said, poking his finger into his notes on the lectern.

    Combined with the administration’s own arguments–which are all about Executive privilege and entirely devoid of any expression of concern about the Bill of Rights–it simply won’t fly to whitewash this as “lawyerese.”

    The Posse Comitatus Act has most certainly become deeply embedded in our principles. But Amendments IV-VI are express bedrocks of those principles. Practitioners of “lawyerese” know what the doctrine of expressio unius est exclusio alterius means. And these practitioners went out of their way to affirm their power to detain even American citizens without trial without even a fig leaf for those citizens’ rights.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. Rob in CT says:

    THIS is where Obama is taking us in the wrong direction.

    What the hell are we to do? The GOP and the Dems really do seem to be equivalent when it comes to “national security” overreach.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. mantis says:

    the Court ruling that detainees could be held for the length of hostilities.

    Oh right. The plurality opinion in the Hamdi case did hold that US citizens could be held until the end of hostilities, per the Geneva Convention. I need to go back and read the opinions again to make sure, but I believe this only applies to combatants captured outside the United States in a hostile area, as Hamdi was.

    But I think I see your point now. An American citizen could be picked up on suspicion of terrorism in the United States and declared an enemy combatant, and then held until the “termination of hostilities,” which in the war on terrorism will never arrive. What I wonder is whether this authorization bill really gives the executive the authority to declare US citizens captured on US soil “enemy combatants.” I don’t think it does, but I’m no expert.

    Hamdi was never charged and was only released after he renounced his United States citizenship and was deported.

    It was an unsatisfying solution to a problem with no good solutions. The Hamdi detention should never have taken place as it did, and trying him would have been pointless after all the missteps.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. @Dodd:

    I believe that actions speak louder than words. For every Rand Paul in the Tea Party, there are a dozen Michele Bachmanns. For every Dodd, there are a dozen Pam Gellars. For all the rhetoric it is overwhelmingly a movement that wants to expand government power into every corner of our lives, so yes, I will condemn the whole movement.

    If you and Rand don’t like being characterized that way, then stop associating yourselves with them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  33. @anjin-san:

    This is what happens once Pandora’s box is opened. When liberals warned about this sort of thing way back when Bush’s assault on the Constitution started, conservatives asked them why they hated America. And here we are.

    It started way before that, under the Clinton administration, in response to the Oklahoma City bombing. Many Democrats only cared about it when Bush was in office, not one second before or after.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  34. Moosebreath says:

    “THIS is where Obama is taking us in the wrong direction.

    What the hell are we to do? The GOP and the Dems really do seem to be equivalent when it comes to “national security” overreach.”

    +1

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  35. mantis says:

    Many Democrats only cared about it when Bush was in office, not one second before or after.

    Yet this thread seems full of those that do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  36. c.red says:

    Ben – We’ve had those conditions for awhile now, I remember having this conversation five or six years ago. It is a bad thing and this bill does not make it better and could make substantially worse. It is disappointing that Congress is working to strengthen the police state rather than get rid of it.

    Dodd – Certainly this is a well researched posting and it is definitely something that needs to be brought to the general public’s attention. I even see your point, but I think without seeing the stricken language and with just a very general quote from a congressional debate over the bill with little to no context makes it a little difficult to divine the intent of the administration.

    You could be exactly right on what “the doctrine of expressio unius est exclusio alterius” means. I’ve never come across the phrase and certainly am not a lawyer, so perhaps the Obama administration is attempting a major expansion of the police state, but they have made some pushback against it in the past, so I just don’t think there is enough evidence here to condemn them.

    Bottom line, it looks like a bad bill is making it’s way through the Legislative branch and the Executive branch has stated its intention to veto it, so the bad bill will be dead. We should all be happy with that; balance of powers, Constitution at work and all that. If it is modified in the way you suggest the administration wants and looks like it is actually going to pass without a veto then we definitely need to get up in arms.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. Dodd says:

    @Stormy Dragon: That’s obviously what you want to believe. But that doesn’t make it true. The Tea Party is certainly very diverse–the local group I’m in is quite different in its foci than the other large group in my state–but it is first and foremost about restoring limited government.

    But, like “neocons” a few years ago, it’s become the default classification of every right-of-center person with an opinion a leftie doesn’t like, no matter what the words actually mean. I, for one, would never think of Pam Geller as a TPer. Maybe she thinks herself as one, maybe not/ I wouldn’t know. I can’t remember the last time I heard or read anything of hers. But, being actually involved in it, I know for a fact that there are a score of Rand Pauls for every Michelle Bachmann. They associate with me, not the other way around.

    You may have noticed that this site, at least, hasn’t engaged much in the popular tar-the-whole-Occupy-movement-with-the-cop-car-pooper party game. Just because a speaker at one rally calls for violent overthrow of the US government doesn’t mean the whole movement espouses that position. I make no assumptions about your opinion of the Occupiers but I feel confident that you would at least agree with the previous sentence. The bare minimum respectful discussion requires is that you treat those who you disagree with the same.

    This discussion doesn’t have much to do with the Tea Party. To the extent it does, it would be that one of the Tea Party’s leading lights is on the side of truth, justice, and the American way. Your facile attempt to flog your contrary dead horse is inapposite.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  38. Moosebreath says:

    “You may have noticed that this site, at least, hasn’t engaged much in the popular tar-the-whole-Occupy-movement-with-the-cop-car-pooper party game”

    You clearly have not been reading Doug’s posts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  39. @mantis:

    The people in this thread probably aren’t representative of the party as a whole any more than Dodd is representative of the Tea Party as a whole.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  40. @Dodd:

    I, for one, would never think of Pam Geller as a TPer

    Yes, yes, no true scottsman: http://www.google.com/search?q=pam+geller+tea+party

    You are correct that the Tea Party is like the neo-cons: both are groups who by and large said one thing and did something completely different. Which sucks for the people who really did believe the rhetoric and took several years to figure out they were being used.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  41. mantis says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    The people in this thread probably aren’t representative of the party as a whole any more than Dodd is representative of the Tea Party as a whole.

    Good point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  42. @Dodd:

    I make no assumptions about your opinion of the Occupiers but I feel confident that you would at least agree with the previous sentence.

    My view is that OWS is the direct left-leaning analog of the Tea Party. Both have some good points in terms of identifying systemic problems in our country, but then went off to crazyville in terms of solutions because they were really more interested in featherbedding than actually fixing anything. And both quickly became cat’s paws for one of the major parties.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  43. anjin-san says:

    The people in this thread probably aren’t representative of the party as a whole any more than Dodd is representative of the Tea Party as a whole.

    Dodd is one person. The Democrats who post here are a much larger sample, and they come from diverse backgrounds and demographics. I am not aware of a single one of them who is not concerned/alarmed about the expansion of government power and the erosion of cilvil liberties. Then and now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  44. @anjin-san:

    I am not aware of a single one of them who is not concerned/alarmed about the expansion of government power and the erosion of cilvil liberties.

    Let me put it this way: how many of 15 democrat senators and 90 democrat representatives who voted for this will face successful primary challenges as a result?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  45. anjin-san says:

    15 democrat senator

    There is no such thing as a “democrat senator” or the “democrat party”. Why don’t you call rush and chat about your concerns with him?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  46. sam says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    The only exception to that I’m aware of is when a group of Nazi saboteurs came into the US via submarine, apparently to target shipyards on the East Coast. Since they were members of the German Army, they were turned over to the military, tried in a military tribunal, and imprisoned pursuant to the Geneva Convention.

    Actually, two (one a naturalized American citizen) turned themselves into the FBI and aided in the capture of the other six — who were executed in 1942.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  47. Rob in CT says:

    You may have noticed that this site, at least, hasn’t engaged much in the popular tar-the-whole-Occupy-movement-with-the-cop-car-pooper party game

    Um, Doug put up roughly one post per day that did exactly that.

    But that’s irrelevant anyway.

    The last time I saw poll data on the Tea Party, it was very clear that there was huge overlap with the GOP base.

    70% described themselves as Conservative, 22% as Moderate and 7% as Liberal (vs. 40/38/21 in the general population).

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/127181/tea-partiers-fairly-mainstream-demographics.aspx

    That obviously doesn’t prove that your average TPer is a Bachmann fan (let alone a Gellar fan!).

    I have little doubt that there are many sincere non-crazy people who are about reducing government across the board (military included) and who are not unduly enamored with our national secuity state & police militarization. Meanwhile, the GOP has no intention of acting that way (and granted the Dems have no intention of satisfying many things their liberal base wants either).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  48. Sam,

    I stand corrected

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  49. george says:

    As has been pointed out, this makes their position on smaller gov’t clear – they’re against it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  50. Rick Almeida says:

    @Dodd:

    Thank you for the reply. That’s exactly what I hoped you’d say.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  51. Dazedandconfused says:

    Doug,

    I agree, but from my reading the Obama position is they wish to preserve the ability to put these people through the civilian judicial process, which at least the original form prevented.

    However, I am not a lawyer and do not have much faith in my interpretation of the language in this bill, the WH statement, and the various amendments, some of which seem deceptive and trick-laden. It’s pretty dense stuff.

    Just asking you to look at it what the veto threat was about again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  52. Dodd says:

    @Stormy Dragon: My remark about Geller was quite clearly nothing like a No True Scotsman dodge. As reading the couple of sentence made quite clear. I know next to nothing about her. I assure you that I am representative of the Tea Party. And with that I am done with this sideshow.

    Regardless of what you think of the Tea Party, that movement is all but irrelevant to the topic. Except to the extent that Rand Paul, a TP of the First Rank, is one of the few actually sticking his neck out to fight this despicable bill (which is, you will recall, the actual topic).

    @Stormy Dragon: Not one of the Democrats who voted for this will be subject to a successful primary challenge because of it. The very way you asked the question shows you knew that and were just making a point.

    But you will apparently get whinged at for using a very common locution that the same sorts of people who lustily call their opponents ‘teabaggers’ always get their knickers in a twist over (rather than address the substance) whether you meant it as a slur or were simply using the common locution without realizing or remembering you were dealing with one of them. And, of course, the partisan whinging at you will not only do absolutely nothing to rein in any Democrats, he will work to ensure they’re all re-elected. After all, it’s not their fault they’re doing this. He’s already said it’s all Bush’s fault. They’re blameless–because they’re apparently incapable of independent thought or action.

    @Rick Almeida: I live to serve.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  53. @Dodd:

    whether you meant it as a slur or were simply using the common locution

    I frankly was not aware that certain people considered using “democrat” as an adjective to be a slur, and simply use it because of a need for an adjective to distinguish that I’m talking about something related to the US political party rather than something related to the system of government. Given that (unlike, say, “teabagger”) there is no specifically negative denotation that results, I’m somewhat suspicious that conflating the two ideas is the real reason for the outrage. After all, if your party is the party of democratic government, then everyone else, by extension, must be authoritarian.

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  54. @Dodd:

    I know next to nothing about her. I assure you that I am representative of the Tea Party.

    Well, she seems to get invited to headline an awful lot of tea party conventions for someone that the average tea party member has never heard of.

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  55. Have A Nice G.A. says:
  56. Linton says:

    I find it interesting that Rand Paul is, as Glenn Greenwald put it in a recent article, taking the Russ Feingold role in the current Senate. It’s a mirror image of what Feingold was during the Dubya years, with the parties switched. At first I thought he was going to be a pale imitation of his father with more mainstream GOP views on the War on Terror/National Security/Privacy, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised lately. It’s good to know that there will still be a Paul in DC voicing these concerns after Ron leaves the House. I just hope Kentucky continues to elect him.

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  57. anjin-san says:

    @ Dodd

    I have expressed my deep dissappointment with Obama on this issue in this thread. Please explain how I am a strictly partisan, blame Bush for everything kind of guy given that fact. I am pretty sure I also expressed displeasure with Democrats as a group as well.

    Perhaps it is you who is generalizing based on an existing bias.

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  58. Dodd says:

    @Stormy Dragon: You’re right that there’s no specifically negative connotation to the word. That’s what makes it so funny that people who smear the intentionally offensive word ‘teabagger’ around with such glee get so torqued up about it (someone will now doubtless insist that they used the word themselves first; that person will be ignored so he may as well save himself the time and effort).

    But you will note that reference was made to you calling Rush to discuss the matter. Apparently, he has been known to say that we shouldn’t call members of the Democratic party “Democratic” because, I gather, they aren’t really all that committed to actual democracy if it doesn’t advance their agenda. Hardly a stunning or unique observation. But he’s apparently the highest profile person to insert the idea into the public discourse that they therefore just be called “democrats.” So as soon as you did what millions of people who have never listened to Rush in their lives so often do and refer to their party as ‘Democrat’ rather than ‘Democratic,’ the knee-jerk whinging commenced (despite the fact that reading this thread would give any reasonably intelligent person serious reasons doubt that you’re a regular Rush Limbaugh listener).

    Mind, I only know this because I’ve seen so much of the very same whinging you just got subjected to, starting when I made the same entirely unwitting “error” you did, sparking pretty much word for word the same reaction, over at Fark a few years ago. It’s like they have their “You’re a mind-numbed robot dittohead” responses hotkeyed. To emphasize their own independence of thought, of course.

    I only have so much time in the day for blogs and such. I have five or six, including this one, that I have time to read most days. I only get to listen to the radio in my car and it’s always on Sirius’ NFL or Classic Alternative channels. So pretty much the only time I ever know what Rush–or, for that matter, Pam Geller–has said/done is when someone who doesn’t like them is complaining about whatever they said/did at some site that’s on the list of sources I make time for. Those I take with a grain of salt, obviously. When I say I don’t think of Geller as a TPer, that isn’t anything about her. I really don’t know anything about her except that she’s apparently one of Charles Johnson’s favourite targets of derision. Suffice it to say, that has no negative effect at all on my otherwise inchoate opinion.

    Attempting once more to return to the topic, I’d love to see some of our disappointed friends actually put some pressure on their own leadership to do something about this. So far, only one reader has said they took any action. Instead of arguing about labels, we should be spreading the word that we’re unhappy.

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  59. anjin-san says:

    @ Dodd

    Perhaps you could show an example of me using the expression “tea bagger”. Or are you simply working on the assumption that all liberals do it?

    Anyone who does not know “democrat party” is a deliberate put down that came to us via rush either watches too much fox news, does not get out much, or both.

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  60. G.A.Phillips says:
  61. Dodd says:

    @anjin-san: I don’t believe that I said that you yourself ever did so. I said that the sorts of people who whinge about this silliness are the same sorts who happily use the word “teabagger.” My apologies if I was too loose with my language and appeared to imply that the two sets were perfectly coextensive. I certainly don’t pay anywhere near enough attention to your posts to know whether you belong in just the one set you self-identified with or both.

    I tend to doubt Stormy Dragon is any more of a ‘Fox News viewer’ (another facile slur in lieu of actual independent thought; small wonder I so rarely waste my time on your ‘contributions’) than he is a devotee of Rush. Myself, I don’t watch TV news on any channel; I think FNC, CNN, and MSNBC are somewhere in the 300s on my DirecTV but on the rare occasions I have a specific reason to watch one of them, I have to search screen by screen in the guide to find them. Yet here we both are, actively participating in a political blog, which puts us among the ~20% most politically aware citizens of a country full of people who largely ignore politics outside of election season (and, alas, a great many do even then). In truth, I was considerably more plugged in back when I quite unknowingly set off the same pathetic little hissy fit he did today than I time permits me to be now.

    The only people who do know of Rush’s put down are those of his listeners who happened to actually hear him say it and the denizens of leftwing outlets/blogs that are the source of all of the whinging. No. One. Else. Cares. (I don’t even want to know where one would have to “get out” to in order to ensure one was aware of every little thing Rush Limbuagh says. I think I’d prefer daily root canals to spending time in such a place.)

    Now that the Rush non sequitur is behind us, perhaps you’d like to actually answer the substance of his question: Which Democratic Congresscritters do you see getting successfully primaried because they supported this? And what will you yourself do to hold Democratic feet to the fire for their part in this execrable display?

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  62. anjin-san says:

    @ Dodd

    I suspect the reason that you are so enamored with the sound of your own voice is because no one else is. At any rate, anyone who make this statement:

    I assure you that I am representative of the Tea Party.

    has essentially removed himself from the ranks of people who need to be taken seriously.

    It’s interesting how no one on the right ever admits to listening to rush. or to Fox. No matter, you don’t actually have to tune in. 90% of the right wing conceptual universe flows from very narrow headwaters, and rush and fox are the two biggest springs feeding the torrent o’ ignorance…

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  63. anjin-san says:

    You may have noticed that this site, at least, hasn’t engaged much in the popular tar-the-whole-Occupy-movement-with-the-cop-car-pooper party game

    LOL, just caught this. Gosh Dodd, you are such a serious guy, your contempt really wounds me. Why don’t you run along now and tell everyone how “overmatched” I am?

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