Sunday, November 27, 2011

Must be election time

 12/4/2011 - Update
Well, Sen. Ayotte failed to make a name for herself as our latest tough-as-nails-on-terrorists politician.  (Romney will have to find something else to tout about her).  Her amendment never even came up for a vote.  Yaaaaaaayyyy!!!!!

Unfortunately, McCain and Levin managed to push through their venomous sections of the National Defense Authorization Act. Gitmo will continue to stand as a monument to infamy -- as well as a possible home even to American citizens accused and convicted of terror without benefit of trial.  Andy Worthington best tells the story of our deranged Senate:


Torture and indefinite detention are again rearing their ugly heads. An amendment and two other provisions, tucked cozily into the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (S. 1867), to be voted on in the Senate tomorrow or Tuesday, threaten to take our country farther back into the pre-Enlightenment era.

  •     Amendment 1068 to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (S. 1867), proposed by freshman Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire (mentioned as a possible running mate for Mitt Romney),  would authorize a classified list of additional interrogation methods  beyond those allowed by  the Army Field Manual.  Civil rights groups fear that this amendment  could be used to establish more aggressive interrogation techniques, as it supersedes the executive order  President  Obama signed two days after taking office in 2009, requiring  that prisoners "shall in all circumstances be treated humanely and shall not be subjected to violence to life and person (including murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment, and torture), nor to outrages upon personal dignity (including humiliating and degrading treatment).”    The ACLU has already drafted a letter addressed to senators, which has been co-signed by more than 30 other human rights organizations, strongly condemning the proposed amendment ( ).   
   Please contact your senators and tell them to oppose Amendment 1068 to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (S. 1867).
  •   The second issue involves sections 1031 and 1032 of the same bill (National Defense Authorization Act).  These sections contain provisions for expanded powers of indefinite detention.  Specifically, these provisions would
1)  Explicitly authorize the federal government to indefinitely imprison without charge or trial American citizens and others picked up inside and outside the United States;
(2)  Mandate military detention of some civilians who would otherwise be outside of military control, including civilians picked up within the United States itself; and
(3)  Transfer to the Department of Defense core prosecutorial, investigative, law enforcement, penal, and custodial authority and responsibility now held by the Department of Justice.

    Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) is offering the Udall Amendment that will delete the harmful provisions and replace them with a requirement for an orderly Congressional review of detention power.
     Please contact your senators and tell them to support the Udall Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (S. 1867) and to oppose Sec. 1031 & 1032.

If you reside in PA, here’s contact info for our senators:
 Sen. Robert P. Casey, Jr.
(202) 224-6324
Phila. Office:  (215) 405-9660
Sen. Patrick J. Toomey
(202) 224-4254
Phila. Office: (215) 241-1090

Contact info for all US senators can be found at:

More info on these two issues:

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