Indefinite Detention

Capitol  Fiscal Cliff

On Tuesday November 30th the U.S. Senate voted to keep a controversial provision in the defense spending bill that would allow indefinite detention of any terrorism suspect, including American citizens. Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) articulated the profound and dark implications of this provision: “[W]hat we are talking about here is that Americans could be subjected to life imprisonment. Think about that for a minute. Life imprisonment. Without ever being charged, tried, or convicted of a crime. Without ever having an opportunity to prove your innocence to a judge or a jury of your peers. And without the government ever having to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. I think that denigrates the very foundations of this country.”

Dahlia Lithwick from Slate provides the details of this tyrannical congressional act. President Obama has said he will veto the entire defense spending bill if the one that reaches his desk has the detainee provision in it. Let’s hope so.

Feature photo by the Associated Press.