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McCain Proposes Indefinite Detention Without Trial for Citizens 


Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) has introduced a bill that would allow the President to imprison an unlimited number of American citizens (as well as foreigners)John McCain indefinitely without trial. Known as The Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010, or S. 3081, the bill authorizes the President to deny a detainee a trial by jury simply by designating that person an “enemy belligerent.”

The bill, which has eight cosponsors, explicitly names U.S. citizens as among those who can be detained indefinitely without trial:

An individual, including a citizen of the United States, determined to be an unprivileged enemy belligerent … may be detained without criminal charges and without trial for the duration of hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners in which the individual has engaged, or which the individual has purposely and materially supported, consistent with the law of war and any authorization for the use of military force provided by Congress pertaining to such hostilities. [Emphasis added.]

Note that the Bush administration once said that the so-called “war on terror” would last a generation or more, and the U.S. military has officially classified many former Guantanamo detainees, such as England’s Tipton Three, as having “returned to the battlefield” for merely granting an interview for the movie The Road to Guantanamo. Another five innocent Uighur (Ethnic Turkish Muslims from China) detainees had been listed as having “returned to the battlefield” after their release because their lawyer had written an op-ed protesting their prolonged detention without trial after they had been mistakenly picked up by a greedy bounty hunter. Writing an opinion or speaking an opinion against the party in power in Washington can — and already has — made some people “enemy belligerents.”

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires that “No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,” and the Sixth Amendment stipulates the due process of law that all are required to receive:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

The requirement for a jury trial has no exceptions for military reasons, and doesn’t even exempt foreigners. It simply employs the phrase “all criminal prosecutions,” words that unequivocally apply to the military and civilian justice systems, as well as to both citizens and foreigners. The Founding Fathers truly applied Christ’s command to “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you,” but John McCain’s new bill wouldn’t even do to American citizens what we would assume were basic rights. There is no greater tyranny than indefinite imprisonment at the whim of an executive without legal recourse, and that is precisely what McCain and eight other senators would impose upon America.

McCain defended his bill in a speech on the Senate floor March 4, stating:

The legislation would authorize detention of enemy belligerents without criminal charges for the duration of the hostilities consistent with standards under the law of war which have been recognized by the Supreme Court. Importantly, if a decision is made to hold a criminal trial after the necessary intelligence information is obtained, the bill mandates trial by military commission where we are best able to protect U.S. national security interests, including sensitive classified sources and methods, as well as the place and the people involved in the trial itself.  More…

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Luis R. Miranda is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief at The Real Agenda. His career spans over 19 years and almost every form of news media. He attended Montclair State University's School of Broadcasting and also obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica. Luis speaks English, Spanish Portuguese and Italian.

Response to McCain Proposes Indefinite Detention Without Trial for Citizens

  1. Dan Scott

    Are You Scheduled For Government Interrogation If Senate bill 3081 Is Passed?

    On March 4, 2010, Sen. John McCain introduced S.3081, The “Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010.”

    Sen. McCain’s S.3081 would eliminate several Constitutional protections allowing Government to arbitrarily pick up Americans on mere suspicion—with no probable cause. Your political opinions and statements made against U.S. Government could be used by Authorities to deem you a “hostile” “Enemy Belligerent” to cause your arrest and indefinite detention. S.3081 is so broadly written innocent anti-war protesters and Tea Party Groups might be arrested and detained just for attending demonstrations; Government can charge that attending demonstrations “materially supported hostilities.”

    Considering how often Sarah Palin defends Free Speech, one can’t help wonder why Palin is helping McCain’s reelection to the U.S. Senate after he introduced possibly the most anti-Free Speech Bill in Modern U.S. History. Perhaps Palin or her Tea Party supporters haven’t considered McCain’s legislation might be used by a corrupt government administration to crush them. Tea Parties might question Palin whether she supports Sen. McCain’s bill the “Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010.” (S.3081)

    Under S.3081, an “individual” need only be Suspected by Government of “suspicious activity” or “supporting hostilities” to be dragged off and held indefinitely in Military Custody. Government will have the power to detain and interrogate any individual without probable cause. Government need only allege an individual kept in detention, is an Unprivileged Enemy Belligerent suspected of; having engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States; its coalition partners; or U.S. civilians. How could one prove to Government they did not purposely do something? “Materially Supporting Hostilities” against the United States could include any person or group that spoke out or demonstrated disapproval against an agency of U.S. Government. It is foreseeable many Americans might go underground to Resist Government Tyranny. Definition for Unprivileged Enemy Belligerent: (Anyone Subject to a Military Commission)

    At least under the Patriot Act, law enforcement generally needed probable cause to detain a person indefinitely. Passage of S.3081 will permit government to use “mere suspicion” to curtail an individual’s Constitutional Protections against unlawful arrest, detention and interrogation without benefit of legal counsel and trial. According to S.3081 Government is not required to provide detained individuals U.S. Miranda Warnings or even an attorney.

    S.3081 if passed will frighten Americans from speaking out. S.3081 is so broadly written, it appears any “individual” who writes on the Internet or verbally express an opinion against or an entity of U.S. Government or its coalition partners might be detained on the basis he or she is an “unprivileged enemy belligerent”, “supporting hostilities against U.S. Government.” The “supporting hostilities” provisions in S.3081 are so broad Government could use “suspicion” to detain U.S. corporate executives on the premise their corporations “supported hostilities” by providing goods or services to a nation engaged in hostilities against the United States.

    How might Americans respond should Government use this bill to take away their loved ones, family members and friends on mere suspicion? It is foreseeable McCain’s bill will drive lawful political activists underground, perhaps creating the domestic terrorists McCain said we needed to be protected from.

    McCain’s bill mentions “non-violent acts” supporting terrorism in the U.S. and or emanating from America against a Coalition Partner. Non-violent terrorist acts” are covered in the Patriot Act to prosecute Persons that support “coercion to influence a government or intimidation to affect a civilian population.” However, U.S. activists and individuals under S.3081 would be much more vulnerable to prosecution, if (charged with suspicion) of “intentionally providing support to an Act of Terrorism”, for example American activists can’t control what other activists might do illegally—they network with domestically and overseas. Under the Patriot Act, law enforcement generally needs probable cause to detain or prosecute someone. But under S.3081, law enforcement and the military can too easily use (hearsay or informants) to allege “suspicious activity” to detain an individual. It is problematic under S.3081 that detained individuals in the U.S. not involved in terrorism or hostile activities, not given Miranda Warnings or allowed legal counsel will be prosecuted for ordinary crimes because of their alleged admissions while in military custody.

    Notably, McCain’s S.3081 mandates (merging) Federal, State and Local Police and subsequently the U.S. Military to detain and hold Individuals in the U.S., even without probable cause. Interestingly a Rand Report prepared for the Army, recently made public, appears to suggest that U.S. Government develop a Local, State and Federal U.S. “National Police Stabilization Force merging State law enforcement with the Feds. What could happen to State Rights and what Laws and Jurisdiction would be used to prosecute state Citizens arrested by a National Police Stabilization Force? A National Police Force could potentially be sent by the President into any State with the approval of its governor, against the wishes of its Citizens? To clarify the Rand Corporation report visit:

    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=122533

    Historically it is foreseeable under S.3081 that “erroneous informant information” could be used to detain innocent Individuals. Other countries have used lying informants to imprison; even execute political opposition.

    Under S.3081 government may use an individual’s phone call and email information to allege without probable cause “suspicious or hostile activity against a U.S. civilian population or the United States to detain Americans.”

    (Make Your Own Determination If The Analysis Herein Is Correct) See McCain’s 12-page Senate bill S.3081 at:
    assets.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/politics/ARM10090.pdf

    FYI: below is enclosed a copy of “Hitler’s Discriminatory Decrees signed February 28, 1933.” Although the Nazi Decrees are written differently than S.3081, the McCain bill could bring America to the same place crushing free speech and personal liberty. Note how the Nazi Government in Section (1) and (4), similar to U.S. S.3081, suspend personal liberty— shutdown Free Speech to intimidate Citizens speaking out against Government:

    See Section 1
    “Sections 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124, and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. Thus, restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press, on the right of assembly and the right of association, and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic, and telephonic communications, and warrants for house-searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.”

    Similar to McCain’s S. 3081, but using different wording the Nazi Government in Section (4) see below, suspended Constitutional rights, ordered the arrest of Citizens for any ACT that might incite or provoke disobedience against state authorities. McCain’s S.3081 instead mentions detaining and prosecuting Individuals for “supporting hostilities” against U.S. Government. S.3081 is so broadly written any person or group attending a protest could be arrested without provable cause and detained if government charged a protest-supported hostilities.

    See Section 4
    Whoever provokes, or appeals for or incites to the disobedience of the orders given out by the supreme state authorities or the authorities subject to then for the execution of this decree, or the orders given by the Reich Government according to Section 2, is punishable—insofar as the deed, is not covered by the decree with more severe punishment and with imprisonment of not less that one month, or with a fine from 150 up to 15,000 Reichsmarks.

    DECREE OF THE REICH PRESIDENT FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE PEOPLE AND STATE

    Note: Based on translations by State Department, National Socialism, 1942 PP. 215-17, and Pollak, J.K., and Heneman, H.J., The Hitler Decrees, (1934), pp. 10-11.7

    In virtue of Section 48 (2) of the German Constitution, the following is decreed as a defensive measure against Communist acts of Violence, endangering the state:

    Section 1
    Sections 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124, and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. Thus, restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press, on the right of assembly and the right of association, and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic, and telephonic communications, and warrants for house-searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.

    Section 2
    If in a state the measures necessary for the restoration of public security and order are not taken, the Reich Government may temporarily take over the powers of the highest state authority.

    Section 4
    Whoever provokes, or appeals for or incites to the disobedience of the orders given out by the supreme state authorities or the authorities subject to then for the execution of this decree, or the orders given by the Reich Government according to Section 2, is punishable—insofar as the deed, is not covered by the decree with more severe punishment and with imprisonment of not less that one month, or with a fine from 150 up to 15,000 Reichsmarks.

    Who ever endangers human life by violating Section 1, is to be punished by sentence to a penitentiary, under mitigating circumstances with imprisonment of not less than six months and, when violation causes the death of a person, with death, under mitigating circumstances with a penitentiary sentence of not less that two years. In addition the sentence my include confiscation of property.

    Whoever provokes an inciter to or act contrary to public welfare is to be punished with a penitentiary sentence, under mitigating circumstances, with imprisonment of not less than three months.

    Section 5
    The crimes which under the Criminal Code are punishable with penitentiary for life are to be punished with death: i.e., in Sections 81 (high treason), 229 (poisoning), 306 (arson), 311 (explosion), 312 (floods), 315, paragraph 2 (damage to railroad properties, 324 (general poisoning).

    Insofar as a more severe punishment has not been previously provided for, the following are punishable with death or with life imprisonment or with imprisonment not to exceed 15 years:

    1. Anyone who undertakes to kill the Reich President or a member or a commissioner of the Reich Government or of a state government, or provokes to such a killing, or agrees to commit it, or accepts such an offer, or conspires with another for such a murder;

    2. Anyone who under Section 115 (2) of the Criminal Code (serious rioting) or of Section 125 (2) of the Criminal Code (serious disturbance of the peace) commits the act with arms or cooperates consciously and intentionally with an armed person;

    3. Anyone who commits a kidnapping under Section 239 of the Criminal with the intention of making use of the kidnapped person as a hostage in the political struggle.

    Section 6
    This decree enters in force on the day of its promulgation.

    Reich President
    Reich Chancellor
    Reich Minister of the Interior
    Reich Minister of Justice

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