Sen. Paul: New indefinite detention rule puts every American at risk

By Eric W. Dolan
Tuesday, November 29, 2011 16:32 EDT
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Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) in a video release published to YouTube.
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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) released a video on Tuesday in which he blasted a controversial provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which the Senate is debating this week.

The provision would authorize the military to indefinitely detain individuals — including U.S. citizens — without charge or trial.

“If these provisions pass, we could see American citizens being sent to Guantanamo Bay,” Rand said in the video. “This should be alarming to everyone watching this proceeding today. Because it puts every single American citizen at risk.”

“There is one thing and one thing only protecting innocent Americans from being detained at will at the hands of a too-powerful state — our Constitution, and the checks we put on government power,” he continued. “Should we err today and remove some of the most important checks on state power in the name of fighting terrorism, well, then the terrorists have won.”

“Detaining citizens without a court trial is not American. In fact, this alarming arbitrary power is reminiscent of Egypt’s ‘permanent’ Emergency Law authorizing preventive indefinite detention, a law that provoked ordinary Egyptians to tear their country apart last spring and risk their lives to fight.”

The bill was drafted by Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and John McCain (R-AZ) during a closed-door committee meeting, without a single hearing.

The Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have all sent letters to Congress opposing the indefinite detention provision. The White House has threatened to veto the bill because of it.

“We must stand up to tyranny disguised as security,” Paul concluded. “I urge my colleagues to reject the language on detainees in this bill, and to support amendments to strip these provisions from the defense bill.”

Watch video, uploaded to YouTube, below:

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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