Letter writer Richard Hansen is entirely correct in his expression of concern about the bill of rights being under attack (Daily Camera Open Forum December 23rd). How did we ever get to the point where our Congress passes a law that includes the potential for American citizens to be locked up indefinitely without trial? This onerous portion of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would include US citizens on US soil who the President determines is a terrorist. Locking people up indefinitely without trial will be an extreme violation of one of our most fundamental rights.
Unfortunately, both major political parties have a hand in this onerous law that it is about to be signed by the President. This measure was co-sponsored by Senators McCain (R-AZ) and Levin (D-MI). The measure had broad bi-partisan support in both the Senate and the House in large part because it is part of the defense funding bill. Senator Udall tried valiantly to get the language in the bill revised or deleted, but ultimately voted for the NDAA because it was tied to the entire military budget including pay for the troops. Senator Udall courageously tried to separate the clauses in the NDAA that provide extraordinary powers to the President from the rest of the defense funding bill – unfortunately this effort failed.
It is worthy of note that the Secretary of Defense, the Directors of the CIA and other senior military and intelligence leaders are against this measure. So why is there support for this measure in Congress? And why is the President, who originally threatened to veto the bill, now willing to sign it? Where is the change that we can believe in?