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Defense Bill Includes Authorization for Indefinite Detention of US Citizens

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Stop Indefinite Military Detention of US CitizensWith little public warning Democrat leaders in the Senate are attempting to rush through a National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1867) which includes controversial provisions which could open the door to authorizing the military to detain United States Citizens within the US and hold them indefinitely without charge or trial.  They could even potentially face military justice instead of trial in a civilian court, with no regard for their Constitutionally protected rights.

Earlier this month Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Lee (R-UT) attempted to negotiate a compromise with Senate leaders which would have changed sections 1031 and 1032 of the bill to protect the rights of citizens, but their suggestions were rejected in committee and they and other civil libertarians in both parties are now supporting Senator Paul’s amendment to strike those sections entirely from the bill.

The ostensible goal of these provisions of the bill is to make it easier to prosecute terrorists and their allies, but ambiguities in the wording and a section which allows the President to override some of the restrictions in the bill open the door to an unprecedented use of the military to detain and even try US civilians.

The Republican Liberty Caucus has launched a write-in campaign to support the Paul amendment and wrote of the bill:

“You may think that this sort of insane legislation which totally undermines our Constitutionally protected rights can’t be real. You may find it hard to believe that most Republicans are supporting it. You may not think this could happen in your America. Yet this outrage is entirely real.”

Representative Justin Amash (R-MI) has been an outspoken critic of the bill  and was one of only five Repubiicans to vote against it when it passed the House in May.  Amash points out that  “the President should not have the authority to determine whether the Constitution applies to you, no matter what the allegations.”

Amash explains that the language of the bill is “carefully crafted to mislead the public.”   He also addresses the claims of supporters of the bill that  the problem sections has been fixed, explaining that “it does not preclude U.S. citizens from being detained indefinitely, without charge or trial, it simply makes such detention discretionary.”

We have already given up too much of our liberty and given far too much power to the government under the threat of terrorism and for the illusion of security.   It’s time to take responsibility for our own safety and demand that lawmakers stand up for our rights.

Although the vote on this bill was originally planned for Monday it now seems likely that it will take place on Tuesday instead.  The bill itself is likely to pass with strong bipartisan support, but grassroots efforts might be able to at least pass the Paul Amendment and remove these troubling anti-liberty sections from the bill.

Your email or phonecall might make all the difference.  To contact your Senators use this form.

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About Dave Nalle

Dave Nalle is Executive Director of the Texas Liberty Foundation, Chairman of the Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, South Central Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus and an advisory board member at the Coalition to Reduce Spending. He was Texas State Director for the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, an adviser to the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, Communications Director for the Travis County Republican Party and National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He has also consulted on many political campaigns, specializing in messaging. Before focusing on political activism, he owned or was a partner in several businesses in the publishing industry and taught college-level history for 20 years.
  • see, Cindy, we can appreciate Dave’s libertarian stance while we approaching the status of a police state on a daily basis.

  • Found this sort of visual perspective on the state of freedom in the “land of the free”, that goes along with your article, Dave.

    Twitter Accounts and names of Senators Who Supported the Sections of the 2012 NDAA Which Strip Americans of Freedom


    Here is a list of twitter IDs for senators who voted for/against S1867 Defense Authorization act.

    Senators who voted for:

    @senjohnbarrasso @senronjohnson @senrockefeller @sen_joemanchin @pattymurray @us_sen_cantwell @markwarner @senatorleahy @orrinhatch @kaybaileyhutch @senalexander @senbobcorker @johnthune @senronjohnson @grahamblo @senwhitehouse @sentoomey @senbobcasey @jiminhofe @robportman @sensherrodbrown @senjohnhoeven @kayhagan @senschumer @sengillibrand @tomudall @SenatorMenendez @senatorlautenberg @jeanneshaheen @senatorayotte @senatorreid @deanheller @mike_johanns @senbennelson @clairecmc @rogerwicker @alfranken @stabenow @sencarllevin @johnkerry @scottbrownma @senatorsnowe @senatorcollins @davidvitter @senlandrieu @mcconnellpress @moranforkansas @tomharkin @senatorlugar @sendancoats @senatorkirk @senatordurbin @daniel_inouye @senatorakaka @senatorisakson @saxby08 @senbillnelson @chriscoons @senatorcarper @joelieberman @senblumenthal @markudall @mbennet @barbaraboxer @johnboozman @senjohnmccain @lisamurkowski @senatorbigich @senshelbypress @senatorsessions

    Senators who voted for the NDAA who do not have twitter accounts:
    Kohl (D-WI) Webb (D-VA) Reed (D-RI) Conrad (D-ND) Bingaman (D-NM) Cochran (R-MS) Klobuchar (D-MN) Cardin (D-MD) Mikulski (D-MD) Roberts (R-KS) Kirk (R-IL) Durbin (D-IL) Feinstein (D-CA) Pryor (D-AR) Kyl (R-AZ)

    Following are the senators who voted *against* the act who are on twitter.

    @marcorubio @chuckgrassley @senrandpaul @senatorburr @johncornyn @tomcoburn @senmikelee @senatorsanders @jimdemint @senjeffmerkley @ronwyden

    Senators who votes against who are *not* on twitter:

    Cornyn (R-TX), Crapo (R-ID), Risch (R-ID)

    From: occupypolice.org

  • Later then.

  • Rog, thanks for continued interest in the dreadful NDAA (we’ve not identical goals, I had said, but also not completely dissimilar ones.) I have to get back to work, and also get busy making a bunch of phone calls now. All the best in your studying/writing for this week.

    Igor, looks like a mess to me, too.

  • Given the present composition of SCOTUS, I don’t place much faith in that institution. And I wish I could be as optimistic as you are about future outcomes. I still see it as another step in erosion of our rights.

    I think Irene makes a valid point. We don’t know what future executives might do, let alone this one.

  • Igor

    The purpose of a ‘signing statement’ was for the president to protect himself in case congress requires him to do something that proves unconstitutional. It’s pretty easy to see the quandry that congress could create by such a law.

    But there is an underlying requirement and assumption that the offending law be brought up to the supreme court in some fashion, usually through a test case. But overuse of signing statements has created a logjam of incomplete law.

    The result has been a de facto refusal to carry out the law and the ascendancy of scofflaws. So, we finally have fiat law.

  • At least he’ll go down in history as having said he’d had objections while signing it.

    Doesn’t make me feel much better, though. The next President might be THRILLED about those detention clauses. How do the other potential candidates stand on them? (besides Ron Paul, I know he’s against it.)

  • Far too flippant a caption under the picture of him signing the NDAA.

    President Obama said he didn’t like certain sections of the bill, so he attached a non-binding “signing statement” to it saying so. But section 1021 is still in the bill, and now it is law.

    Here’s a video about the NDAA that has a more sombre tone. I’ve heard reports that it has gone viral.

  • BTW, Irene, email Clav.

    He’s got a message for you.

  • The only thing that will change Obama’s mind are the the prospects of losing the re-election.

    And if I decide to vote in 2012, I’d vote for a dog catcher instead if they be in the running.

  • Good job, Rog&Dr.D! Still worthwhile to contact Congressvolken as well as President Obama, though, to express outrage (as well as thanks to those who are hanging tough for the Bill of Rights.)

    A strange and wonderful crew of senatorial bedfellows (including the 13 who courageously said ‘NAY’ to the NDAA abomination) have proposed the “Due Process Guarantee Act for 2011” Best to keep the pressure on so Capitol Hill will be ready for it.

  • I did it anyway. Let the suckers come and knock on my door, if they so desire,.

  • The following is a pro forma petition, ready for signing.

    Of course, your name may as a result appear on the “terrorist” list, so beware.

  • While it’s too late for writing to one’s Congresspersons, the ACLU does still have a thing on their site that lets you write to the President: the last mind that there is any hope of changing.

    It’s a form letter, but you can personalize it a bit too. This is what mine says:

    “Dear President Obama,

    “I am appalled that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was passed by the House of Representatives with provisions that could authorize the indefinite detention of civilians, including American citizens, without charge or trial, anywhere in the world.

    “As the President of our country, the American people look to you to uphold the freedoms and values America was built on. With the Senate having passed the bill as well, I am counting on you to uphold your earlier promises and veto indefinite detention.

    “Although I know that if you sign the bill (as with most members of Congress who supported its passage) you will do so with the best of intentions, I am worried that its wording leaves the door open for unscrupulous politicians, law enforcement officers or military personnel to carry the reach of law far beyond what is considered appropriate in the light of this nation’s constitutional commitment to a free, fair and open justice system.

    “If you fail to veto the bill, I call on you to publicly commit to limiting your use of this authority to actual battlefields only. We cannot let our country enshrine worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial, far from any battlefield, permanently into law.

    “These provisions in the NDAA strike at the very heart of who we are as a country. They are inconsistent with fundamental American values embodied in the Constitution. That is why I calling on you to reject the bill’s indefinite detention authority.

    “Sincerely, etc.”

  • Igor

    All you terrorist hunters will be glad to hear that there’s a new target for your paranoia: congress is considering a bill to declare that anyone who opposes animal use in experiments or animal handling in general can be declared a terrorist, thus subjecting them to anti-terrorism laws, such as detention without habeus corpus and torture.

    O happy day.

  • troll

    …how can any ‘progressive’ even consider casting a vote legitimizing this government in 2012?

  • “It’s the War on Terror, stupid!”

    Frankly, the Bill makes perfect sense. Since OWS, the one percent has been pegged as the enemy. Well, we can’t have that, so we must manufacture one in its stead — our lonely terrorist.

    When there aren’t too many things to unite the people, the politics of fear will do it every time.

  • A little over 10% actually, but that’s twice as many as it was a week ago.

  • That’s a sad birthday the Bill of Rights just had. At this point, it’s time to increase the pressure on reps, Senators and the President. Several senators, including Bernie Sanders, intend to introduce a “Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011” to resolve the detainee issue in the NDAA, even if Obama doesn’t veto the bill. We have the 20% in the Senate now that does 80% of the hard work. Keep the momentum going so that Senators like Bernie Sanders can convince more of their colleagues that trashing the bill of rights is not a good idea.

  • U think it’s too late, Irene. Except for the few, they’re all traitors.

  • Thanks Chris. Info in Roger’s link could be included in a letter to President Obama and one’s Senators.

  • I fixed it.

  • I thank all regulars and irregulars* at BC who have and/or will be contacting their Senators asking them to oppose NDAA because of its detention clauses.

    I also thank Dave Nalle for writing this article, and those who have left comments encouraging others to see how dangerous this act is.

    *Your link in #48 doesn’t work, Roger. 😉

  • OK freedom-lovers. I have some bad news and some good news and something else for you all to do.

    Against thoroughly bipartisan opposition, the Senate passed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act today, unfortunately with the offending detention provisions still intact.

    The Republican nay votes came from Senators Coburn(OK), Crapo (ID), DeMint (SC), Lee (UT), Paul (KY), and Risch (ID).

    Democrats voting nay were Senators Cardin(MD), Durbin (IL), Franken(MN), Harkin (IA), Merkley (OR), and Wyden (OR).

    Making the opposition a baker’s dozen was Senator Bernie Sanders, the Independent from Vermont.

    Your checklist for which you will need this handy list of senators’ phone numbers and emails.

    Please send a brief thank you message to these Senators for their nay votes. It is good news that there are six more Senators opposing the Act with the detention clauses than there were on December 1. Opposition in the House this week grew from 10 to at least 40 Congressmen. A renewed appreciation for the Bill of Rights is beginning to blossom at the grassroots level and on Capitol Hill.

    If either of your senators are not on the list of those who voted nay, contact them and recommend that they meet with those thirteen senators and get themselves enlightened. Here’s more good news: they will have another chance to vote for liberty with the “Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011″ that is in the works, to counteract the offensive detention clauses in the NDAA.

    The NDAA stink-bomb will be landing on the Chief Executive’s desk any time now for him to sign, and his press secretary said this week that this is what the President intends to do. Use this link to encourage President Obama to take the long view and consider what avenues of sick opportunity these detention clauses open up for petty tyrants currently at the local level and those who may soon occupy state and federal positions. Ask him to veto it. Even Rachel Maddow, one of President Obama’s most constant supporters, is horrified at the prospect of NDAA becoming law. Tell him that, too.

  • A relevant link to your concerns, Dave.

  • It’s incrementalism as regards the grab of power by the political class.

  • Igor

    The supporters of those amendments to the NDAA feign surprise that anyone is concerned. They cite three items:

    -they claim there is specific language stating that they don’t change any existing law (“then why the amendments?”, one may ask)

    -they claim that they already have those rights per previous Supreme Court rulings (“then why the amendments?”, one may ask)

    -they claim that the new NDAA rules allow the president to retain final control (“what, so he can excuse his own cronies?”, one may ask)

  • Igor

    Cannon, I would have more respect for your opinion if you had brought up BOTH parties while Dave Nalle was trying to attribute it to only one party. You let yourself look unjust when you embraced Nalles injustice by omission.

    “28 – Cannonshop
    #27 Igor, do you think they WON’T?? This is pure power-both parties at the top CRAVE it…”

  • Good morning! Call those Senators! Don’t wait.

  • That is, tell your SenatorS, both of them, to vote no on the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act unless the detainee provisions are removed.

  • Now it’s time to call and/or email Senators, quickly, as soon as you see this. The NDAA Conference Report passed the House by a vote of 283-136 so its now on its way to back to the Senators. Obama’s secretary has said the President will NOT veto the bill, so this may be our last chance to stop it before it reaches his desk.

    Here is a very convenient list of phone numbers and email addresses for all the Senators. You can leave a message even if you’re calling after hours, as I’ve just done.

    Tell your Senator to vote “no” on 2012 National Defense Authorization Act unless the detainee provisions are removed.

  • I should hope they’re not purely financial, Christoper, for if that were true, then indeed it would be a wasted effort.

  • I fully agree with Irene; these bills are a real threat to the freedom of all Americans and sets a terrible precedent.

    To quote from the article she linked to:

    “an American media blackout on NDAA is still in effect — Anderson Cooper, Chris Matthews, Bill O’Reilly and the other broadcast “journalists” have been disgustingly silent on what is undoubtedly the most important news story of the past decade. The single most important news story since September 11th, 2001.

    Combined, NDAA and SOPA simply destroy American democracy. That isn’t hype. That isn’t exaggeration. Within a few days, your freedom of speech will be gone — post something controversial online, and the government can legally “disappear” it.”

    Surely this is even more fundamentally important than the concerns of the Occupy movement, which are purely financial.

  • Fat chance. He feels bound to appeal to the hawks to get re-elected, because he’d certainly lost much of his liberal-minded base.

  • DO SOMETHING! On their way out the window: amendments #4,5,6,7 and 8.

    We need to thank the 40 members (the last time this afternoon I checked) of the House who have signed a letter expressing deep concern over the detention clauses in the 2012 National Defense Appropriations Act. And we need to encourage those who are not yet on board to seriously consider those concerns.
    There are some who have signed on since this letter was posted, so check for updates so you’ll know what to say about it to your Congressman.

    President Obama, I HOPE you CHANGE the dangerous direction the USA will be taking if this Act goes through. Veto it.

  • John

    I’m against the National Defense Authorization Act.

  • troll

    thanks for the clarification Dave – my question was premature

  • Troll, the still still has to go through reconcilliation this coming week before a final version is up for a straight up or down vote with no further amendments. Some effort is being made the modify the language in reconcilliation.


  • Samantha

    Watch this Rand Paul clip then you really will be scared by the loop holes in wording.

    On another note, are you seriously dividing into party lines over something we should ALL agree on? Our civil liberties are disappearing before our eyes. Look at the Bill of Rights and tell me how many still apply to you, because after this it will be less then half. At the rate the government is scrapping the constitution we will be a part of a military state with infinite power given to the executive branch in no time. So i implore you to write to your congressmen and tell them how outraged you are by this, then vote them ALL out because they no longer deserve their position.

  • Cannonshop

    #31 Tommy, check the PATRIOT ACT- Habeas Corpus is suspended in “Terrorism” cases.

  • Maurice

    #26 I stand corrected.

  • There is always the privilege of a writ of habeas corpus which applies, especially since the legislation that passed is federal. If for no other reason, it deserves a veto.


  • troll

    as of today it’s a done deal in the Senate – so…where’s that veto?

  • Cannonshop

    If you’re even a little bit in doubt, would you trust Dick Cheney with the power to imprison american citizens under military detention in the United States indefinitely? or Karl Rove?

    If you’re a “Progressive”, “Liberal”, or if you THINK you’re a “Conservative” or “Libertarian”, or if you just respect the concept of the idea that the Law applies to ALL citizens, from the gutter to the White House, this thing should scare the stuffing out of you.

  • Cannonshop

    #27 Igor, do you think they WON’T?? This is pure power-both parties at the top CRAVE it, like a junkie craves heroin. Both see it as a weapon to use on their enemies if they can JUST get it snuck in somewhere.
    When Dave Nalle, Glenn Contrarian, Tommy Mack, and I agree that something is a bad idea, well…ya kinda might want to consider that it MIGHT be a bad idea…for reals a bad idea, dangerous to the fundamental philosphical underpinnings of our Nation, even.

    This thing is the kind of law that had the black-helicopter people spooled up in the nineties, dude…only , it’s not some obscure little, easily overturned, easily dismissed executive order here, this the equivalent of declaration of a police state, the end of Posse Comitatus, the end of Habeas Corpus, and the deliberate and systematic repudiation of the Bill of Rights.

    It’s another writ of Impirium, another law that begs for a dictator to abuse it, another threat, in short, to you, and everything and everyone that you might actually care about in your life. Why?

    The PATRIOT ACT, for one, allows them to define anyone, anywhere, for any reason, a terrorist, thus authorizing the military to secure, detain, or possibly even kill that someone, coupled with this, the few and weak restrictions in THAT law are tossed out and it’s made a ‘judgement call’.

    Imagine the uses…a GOP president could have the Occupy people dragged off to Nevada and tossed in a hole never to be seen again, no charges necessary, no legal representation, no Habeas Corpus. Likewise a Democrat could have someone at a Tea Party (or the whole bunch en-masse) secured and tried, no press, no jury, and disposed of, no protections as citizens apply here.

    And, like 2nd Amendement based challenges for better than thirty years, a pliant Supreme court can refuse to hear challenges, thus it could be in effect potentially continuously once it’s passed and signed.

    Think about how long it took for the 14th Amendment to actually APPLY (from the 19th century when it was ratified, into the late middle 20th century when Jim Crow was FINALLY overturned), how hard would it be for an unethical pol to use something like this, combined with the Domestic Surveillance capability permitted under PATRIOT, to dispose of ‘enemies of the State’?

    It’s a frikking NIGHTMARE if you value your own freedom, nevermind the freedom to object.

    Incidentally, I know a lot of people who hated John McCain before 2008, Glenn. It’s not a surprise to THEM he’d co-author these provisions, in this bill.

  • Igor

    Maybe the Ds have a majority in the senate, but it takes a super-majority of either 67 or 60 (depending on filibuster wrangling) to move anything, so it requires both parties to do it.

  • More like “Our government has been doing bad things for quite a while.”

  • Dave, oh by the way, Democrat leaders should be Democratic leaders. The Senate is controlled by Democrats.

    Sneaky is as sneaky does. Bipartisanship works.


    Just saying,

  • Maurice

    Our government does bad things.

  • As a card carrying member of the ACLU, when Dave and I agree, take notice.

    There is something about our Bill of Rights that centers us. As to the rest, well, the 1st Amendment covers it.



    Wasn’t Jesus a liberal?

  • Igor, that’s because the Senate is controlled by Democrats. Harry Reid is a Democrat. Duh.


  • doctordrewl

    It’s clear… whenever the Dems and GOP agree on anything, watch out! We always here that there’s not enough “bipartisanship” in Washington… but the truth is… there is way too much! Especially stuff like this, which is never fairly debated… We spent how many weeks talking about raising the debt ceiling in the media? How many for Healthcare? But when the prospects of Nazi-style detention is discussed… not a whimper from the presstitutes, until it’s already “in the bag” for the good ‘ole boys. I’m sick of the charade… There’s only one party in this country. It has two heads… but one embarrassingly small pea-brain.

  • Paul

    Sad to see some complaining about the use of the word Liberal, Zzzzzz Wake up this effects all of us regardless of witch Mob family you’ve been duped into supporting. This is no surprise two war hawks generously rewarded by the real power in The District of Columbia, witch seems fitting when you consider the similarities of the two (Country & Sovereign Kingdom) It wouldn’t matter who the president was this would still be happening, it’s those who remain administration after administration who are pulling the strings and if we succumb to the conditioning of “Divide and Conquer” witch has been being waged on us for decades we only make the job all that much easier for them to control us all more and more ! This was conceived behind closed doors by a Democrat & a Republican, funny how the only thing they can agree a pone is how to strip away more of our rights and create more money for the paranoid out of control war on terror ! What a F’ing Joke ! So either we sit pouting and pointing fingers at each other about social issues or we stand together and speak as one letting them know we will not stand for this obscene attack on our constitutional rights.
    I hope you choose the later. Thanks for letting me rant =)

  • Steve

    I thought things had got bad here in the UK but this bill is the closest thing to pure tyrannical fascism as I’ve yet to see.

    I always wondered how the German people could have sat back and let the Nazis take over there country, seems like I’m starting to see for myself.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    It’s just sad to me that McCain – whom I did respect at one time, and who has been one of the few Republicans to stand up against torture – is for indefinite detention.

    Such is not the American way. I would expect ‘indefinite detention’ from, say, Stalinists or Maoists…but Americans? That is egregiously unconstitutional and repugnant to our our most cherished traditions.

  • Igor

    First sentence of the article: “With little public warning ,Democrat leaders in the Senate are attempting to rush through a National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1867) which includes controversial provisions…”

  • Igor. Where did I say that Democrats were pushing this bill? It’s a bi-partisan bill sponsored by McCain and Levin as Tommy Mack notes. It also has bipartisan opposition.

    And for the record, since I wrote this article Rand Paul and his Republican allies have signed on in support of the Udall Amendment which now has substantial bipartisan support.


  • National Defense Authorization Act, Senate Bill 1867 that was secretly drafted in committee by Senators Carl Levin and John McCain, allows for indefinite detention without charge or trial provisions. The Obama White House has threatened to veto the bill if they are not removed from it. The Udall amendment changes those provisions.

    The ACLU opposes passage Senate Bill 1867 and has provided a link to make it easy for you to urge your senators to vote YES on the Udall amendment to the Defense Authorization bill which would remove the harmful provisions from the bill and in their place, mandate a process for Congress to use an orderly process to consider whether any detention legislation is needed.


  • Igor

    Dave says the Ds are pushing this thing but then it turns out McCain (R) is the sponsor.

    Tilting the truth is going to give you a hernia, Dave.

  • And having just watched some of the debate I have to add that John McCain, who authored this bill, when asked by Rand Paul whether it would apply to US citizens hemmed and hawed a bit and then basically said yes, clearly indicating that such was his intent.


  • And Dr. D. As Jim Webb argued a few minutes ago on the floor of the Senate, the fact that the wording IS potentially ambiguous is itself reason enough to oppose that section of the bill.


  • Sam. Read your own quote. It’s the misleading language which Justin Amash refers to.

    Not that it does not say “ability” or “authority” but “requireent” – this means that the law DOES authorize the detention of US citizens, but it is left up to the discretion of the executive branch whether to use that authority or stick with conventional methods.

    If you consider the difference in meaning between “require” and other words they could have used there is no question that they have left the door open for detaining US citizens.


  • ‘Amash explains that the language of the bill is “carefully crafted to mislead the public.”‘

    Poisoning the well much, Congressman?

    Unless we’re both being misled, I’m with Sam Erb (comment 4). Section 1032 specifically places restrictions on the application of 1031 as it concerns US citizens and lawful permanent residents.

    And if I, Sam and most Americans are being misled and don’t understand the bill, why should “our email or phone call” to our Senators make any difference, since clearly we don’t know what the @$#! we’re talking about?

  • The following segment is relevant to your article, Dave.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    John –


    Race (or haven’t you heard of the recent support of racial profiling by Republicans?).

    Gender (or haven’t you heard of the Lily Ledbetter Act, opposed by Republicans for so long, but signed on Obama’s first day in office?)

    And then there’s the War on Science – or haven’t you heard of the Republicans’ opposition to Anthropologic Global Warming, or the Evangelicals’ (who are so powerful within the GOP) war on evolution? And do you happen to remember the GOP’s response to the oil spill last year?

    No, do NOT give me such tripe as false equivalencies between Republicans and Democrats – they’re NOT the same, they’re NOT equal.

  • John Thacker

    A slight typo in the article, Justin Amash is a Republican from Michigan.

    Glenn– I haven’t seen any evidence that liberals or Democrats care more about a person’s personal freedom than conservatives or Republicans. Both simply want to be free to do what they want to do, but don’t care about the freedom of people to do things with which they disagree.

    Liberals and Democrats are more likely to favor mandatory FDA restrictions on salt, on electronic cigarettes (that involve no harm to others), on guns, on the types of speech that they don’t like, etc.

    Even on areas where liberals are better, like on many drugs, elected Democrats are no better than Republicans.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    I am not simply a Democrat – I am a Progressive. And ‘liberal’ also means accepting that we should be free to do what we will…but you are more financially conservative than you are financially liberal. That’s why – if there’s no viable libertarian candidate – most self-proclaimed libertarians will vote Republican even though Republicans care not at all about a person’s personal freedom.

    Liberals believe that your freedom ends where mine begins. Conservatives believe that freedom does not end regardless of whose personal freedoms get trampled in the process. THAT, Dave, is the difference between thee and me..

  • Sam Erb


    Your blog sparked my interest, so I read sections 1031 and 1032. Page 362 line 15 – 25 clearly state the applicability of the law to US citizens.

    Here is an excerpt:
    (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS.—The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.

    Would like to hear your thoughts.


  • But would mean depriving someone of a catchall term.

    It’s precisely the recourse to such fuzzy terms that enable one to engage in fuzzy thinking.

  • Please stop misusing the term liberal when you mean Democrat or Socialist.


  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    If the bill is as poorly-written as you say, let me be the first to say that I’m against the National Defense Authorization Act.

    Please remember that it’s liberals and NOT conservatives who are most strongly against such outrages – but the vast majority of libertarians vote conservative and not liberal.

    If I had my way, we’d go ahead and do absolutely squat about the “super-committee’s” failure to come up with a compromise, thereby requiring that billions be cut not only from social programs, but from defense spending as well. I really wonder what the libertarian response is to this particular conundrum.