Senate Passes Bill Allowing Indefinite Detention of Americans ... Considers Bill Authorizing More Torture

George Washington's picture

By Washington’s Blog

The Senate passed a bill today allowing indefinite detention of American citizens living within the U.S.

While some have claimed that this is incorrect, and that American citizens would be exempted from the indefinite detention within U.S. borders authorized by the Act, the Committee chairman who co-sponsored the bill – Carl Levin – stated today in Senate debate that it could apply to American citizens.

Levin cited the Supreme Court case of Hamdi which ruled that American citizens can be treated as enemy combatants:

“The Supreme Court has recently ruled there is no bar to the United States holding one of its own citizens as an enemy combatant,” said Levin. “This is the Supreme Court speaking.“

Under questioning from Rand Paul, co-sponsor John McCain said that Americans suspected of terrorism could be sent to Guantanamo.

You can hear the statements from Levin and McCain on today’s broadcast of KFPA’s Letters and Politics.

As Raw Story notes:


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 debate is also being streamed live on CSpan-2.

While passage of the bill would make the Founding Fathers roll in their grave, it might not change that much.   As former constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald notes:

With very few exceptions, the McCain-Levin bill, awful though it is, doesn’t create any powers beyond what the O Admin thinks it now has.

Indeed, the U.S. has been a de facto police state for many years.



The same Senate is now considering a bill to repeal the prohibitions against torture:

The ACLU and over 30 other organizations sent a letter to the Senate asking them to oppose an effort in Congress that threatens to revive the use of torture and other inhumane interrogation techniques. If passed, an amendment introduced by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) to the Defense Authorization bill would roll back torture prevention measures that Congress overwhelmingly approved in the 2005 McCain Anti-Torture Amendment, as well as a 2009 Executive Order on ensuring lawful interrogations. It would also require the administration to create a secret list of approved interrogation techniques in a classified annex to the existing interrogation field manual.


In a related development, republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann renewed her attack on the prohibition of waterboarding and other forms of torture ….

Glenn Greenwald pointed out last week:


Andrew Sullivan … today noted that the U.S. under Obama imposes even less accountability for abuse of power and war crimes than does Bahrain:


Bahrain’s Sunni government promised “no immunity” for anyone suspected of abuses and said it would propose creating a permanent human rights watchdog commission. “All those who have broken the law or ignored lawful orders and instructions will be held accountable,” said a government statement, which says the report acknowledges that the “systematic practice of mistreatment” ended shortly after martial law was repealed on June 1.


As Andrew put it: “So a Middle East dictatorship has more democratic accountability for abuse of power, including torture, than the US under Obama.” Beyond things like this and the facts set forth in the last paragraph here, perhaps Andrew could use today’s post of his to help clear up the towering mystery he raised yesterday of liberal disenchantment with Obama. That American war criminals are being aggressively shielded from any and all accountability is not an ancillary matter but one of enduring historical significance.

That’s okay, though, because – according to top military, intelligence and civilian experts on interrogation – torture:

(1) Doesn’t produce actionable intelligence

(2) Reduces national security

(3) Creates more terrorists

(4) And is only useful for:

(A) Producing false confessions; and

(B) As a way of terrorizing the population

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alien-IQ's picture

wake me up when this nightmare ends.

grunk's picture

The biggest mistake you could make is to remain asleep, old timer.

Carlyle Groupie's picture

Unfortunately we have a cuntry full of Aliens too lazy to engage themselves.

Judge Nap. screaming to you; 'wake up sheeple'!

Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

This sounds very bullish .......

For prison supplies.....


252sparky's picture

obama has to veto this. unless he isn't running next fall.

Aerows's picture

How?  There isn't a candidate in sight that is less awful than he is.  Look at the clown show the Republicans have.

It's choosing between a turd sandwich with mustard or a turd sandwich with ketchup at this point, and your only choice is what condiment you want.

FlyPaper's picture

Obama will not veto this.  This is precisely the power he wants; and it ensures the scoundrels in charge stay in charge, with a twist of 'marxism' for flavoring.



Note that you can be whisked away - no Habaes Corpus as guaranteed in the Constitution - for "belligerent" behavior toward the US.   No trial; military just picks you up, wherever you are in the US or abroad and "disappears" you.  This gives the President dictatorial powers.   They can hold you without charges as long as they want.


This is far more serious than anything reported here having to do with the FED, MF Global or any other topic on ZH.


Other links:


NOW YOU KNOW; WHAT are YOU going to do? 





FeralSerf's picture

What the fuck can you do?  It's not that much different from Germany in the 1930s -- only the ethnicities have changed.  The Executive Dept., the ones with the guns, is being given near absolute power.  Think they'll use it?  Is the Pope Catholic?

earleflorida's picture

The People Must "Veto" this, period!

call your senators,... NOW

alien-IQ's picture

no president or dictator ever overturns any laws that grant the government more power to suppress it's people.

it's the presidential viagra. "fuck with me and I'll toss your ass in jail forever for no reason...just because I can".

Remember...whatever you tolerate your government doing to people of other countries...your government will eventually do it to you...and how long have we been doing this to people of other countries? Remember when people cheered for the war? Well this is their fucking prize: Everybody is a potential terrorist suspect now...and everybody will have the same rights we were so happy to grant to terrorists in the name of "safety"...No Rights At All.

Welcome to the new Amerika. And it's here because the people asked for it. It represents "American Values".

"Everyone's values are defined by what they will tolerate when it is done to others. "
William Greider

GOSPLAN HERO's picture

Just like Abraham Lincoln did.

mkkby's picture

Congratulations to Osama Bin Laden.  You won.

my puppy for prez's picture

OBL was a creation of the CIA, and was just an asset used to give excuse for wars that were planned long ago.

Bananamerican's picture

"whatever you tolerate your government doing to people of other countries...your government will eventually do it to you"

Time honored, tested and true. It's the Christian thing huh? "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"

Villains break that rule.

I was as gung-ho to go into Afghanistan after 9/11 as anybody but when news began to filter out about the "Black sites" "extraordinary rendition", Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, "Unlawful combatants", when Ze Homeland Zecuritee und ze TSA were spawned (shit, that's a lotta fascist shit right there doncha think??)  with all the amerikan hyenas so blood gleeful...

i could see that the "good guy-ness" of the land was basically gone.

At that point I lost interest. Call it a life-time of conditioning but I can't root for the bad guy.

I can root for the plucky little guy but i can't root for the bully. I neither admire nor envy the rich and I can't tell my children lies about this hollow land they currently inhabit...

passports it is...

you WILL let us go won't you amerika, when the land is filled with your home sick chickens?

Aerows's picture

It has been time-tested, history-certified and anyone who doesn't get it hasn't paid attention.


It ALWAYS comes home.  There hasn't been a government in history that hasn't turned around and done to their citizens what they do to their enemies.  That's why a wise populace never agrees to torture or indefinite, without trial dentention.


It always ends up being part of the landscape of the country. 

Uchtdorf's picture

Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people.

And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land. King Mosiah, 91B.C.

buyingsterling's picture

True if American values = globalist values. I don't know many globalists. Most people I've met either don't give a shit about much, or they try to hold onto actual things of value, like honor and family. We did not ask for this. It was composed, manufactured, and imposed upon us by an alien elite who does not care about America. The people do care, they just dont know how badly bollixed things are.

To the extent they have assented, it's been the result of propaganda. As Alex Jones noted today, the troll Gingrich's comeback when someone questions the patriot act or other nefarious police state tactics is, 'Do you want to lose an American city?'

Fear has always been used to control people who are just trying to live their lives. When in history have populations been hammered with such dire and fearful questions and expectations? Never. Don't blame the American people. They're in it with us, even though most don't know that, or even know what 'it' is.

my puppy for prez's picture

That's the problem...most Americans are so ignorant of history and what is happening here, that they simply don't care.  They are either preoccupied by their affluent life of toys and playdates, or they are simply completely consumed with just getting by.

I try to tell everyone I can in a reasonable, fact-based manner what the "big picture" is....a global, fascist police state....and that it is happening before our very eyes.  But most seem to suffer from the NORMALCY BIAS:  Since it has never happened to America or me, it can't happen."  So frustrating!!!!

As in Nazi Germany, people thought the Nazi's would NEVER come for's hard to see the forest when surrounded by lots of individual trees.

Glad you listen to Alex Jones.  He can be a little whacky and annoying at times, but his info is good and provable.

Cathartes Aura's picture


Don't blame the American people. They're in it with us, even though most don't know that, or even know what 'it' is.

respectfully disagree.  I listen to people every day, people who are willfully asleep, people who even boast about their pharma prescriptions that keep them from "anxiety" or "depression" or whatever the storyline is they tell their white coat priests to procure their Soma.

they are NOT in this with me, they are absent, on purpose, kicking back in their soft, cloudy minds, enjoying their amrkn dreams.

there's really not much one can do with, for or about them either.

look after those you care for, those who put forth the effort to make sense of this insanity, but acknowledge those who don't.

buyingsterling's picture

Good post. By 'in this with us' I meant we are all in the same boat. The asleep can hardly be on the 'team' if they don't know what it is they should be worried about, or are busy denying it. 

I don't live in a city, which probably makes a difference. Most of the people around me are productive and relatively well adjusted (happy but cynical). Arguably, living in a city of any size (unless you've taken really extraordinary precautions) would at this point seem an act of madness, and willful sleepwalking. Maybe that's why lots of ZHers seem to have such a dim view of Americans - they see mainly city dwellers, who are either crazy, asleep, or are 'awake' but don't even believe their own doomer rhetoric.

Cathartes Aura's picture

yeah, lived most of my life in various large cities, in different countries - glad I had the chance for the experience, but I'd never choose a city again.

and I'll agree with you, the more rural tend to just get on with taking care of the business of getting by - I respect that, and enjoy learning how to best fit in without too much compromise.  folk that keep to themselves, but contribute to the community if needed - that's a real gift to come across, and I'm grateful to be able to subtly add to the mix.

best wishes to you.

alien-IQ's picture

In the court system, prosecutors are often fond of the term "ignorance of the law is no excuse".

I think that if such a statement can be applied to traffic law, tax law, property law...then it should also be applied to the Bill of Rights. If people have their rights taken away and claim it wasn't their fault because "they didn't know"... then all I can say is...ignorance is no excuse.

I don't say this to be mean or cruel. I understand what you are saying and I know many people very much like what you describe: Good people who just "don't know" what's going on. But I've grown tired of them using that excuse on me. I no longer accept it. And now...I just tell them..."ignorance is no excuse". Because you didn't know, you did not stand up against it, because you did not stand up against it it became the law of the land that you are leaving your children to live in. You did this. It was indeed your fault. You chose not to know because you thought your ignorance would absolve you of your responsibility....but it doesn't...and that's what I now tell them: Ignorance is no longer an acceptable excuse...especially if the ignorance was by choice.

RockyRacoon's picture

TPTB are now driven by fears.   Fear that their power will be usurped.  Fear that their stolen fortunes will be taken away.  Fear that their stranglehold on government, and the opposite, will be loosened.  Fear that "we the people" will finally see through the fog of obfuscation and spot the truth of the raping of America.  Fear that the "sheeple" will rise from their couches, Doritos scattered on the floor, and actually DO something.  Fear makes them create open-ended laws that can be used to squelch the vigor of revolt.   Bring it on sonsabitches!

akak's picture

I want to see TPTB get between Rocky and a curbside garbage can on trash night ...

Yo goin' down, suckaz!

boiltherich's picture

OMG Akak, I laughed so hard I tinkled a little!  Poor Rocky, you get no respect sometimes. 

But seriously, I wanted to add to my last post that last night as I was trying to read and post here my computer slowed to a rate that made it impossible, and I have a quad four HP desktop with a cable modem.  I did Alt-Cntr-Del and pulled up my task manager to see what was up and the normal Iexplore transfer rate, usually around 35-55,000 kbs was smoking at near half a million kbs.  It was as if there were 10 internet explorers trying to transfere data simultaniously, if I had WiFi I would suspect neighbors were piggybacking on my signal but like I said I have a cable modem.  I had to quit for the night because it was just taking too long for pages and posts to load.  It was as if some comupter somewhere was reaching into my machine and transfering data at a super high rate of speed and my own use of the machine was being relelgated to "as traffic permits" status.

buyingsterling's picture

This has some validity, but it's got to be examined with some care, as it stands as an indictment of almost every group of innocents that's ever been abused by the wicked and powerful. Wasn't it pretty clear after a few days that the most powerful people in the world had targeted the Libyan government for destruction? By your logic, should Triploi not have emptied, and should we not feel pitiless towards the people who were slaughtered there, as well as in Qaddafi's hometown? Yes, their demise came quickly, but the seeds were there for a long time - Qaddafi didn't drink the globalist kool aid. I could offer many other examples where the writing was on the wall. 

Mostly, it's important to understand that almost all of the history we're fed is one where the government is relatively benevolent. Its worst excesses aren't laid at its feet. Government/elites as an existential threat are not a part of our -popular- (elite fed) tradition. You still have to look for this information, and when you find it, the rest of the popular culture is telling you you're crazy to believe it. IN SPITE of that, people are waking up. Have a good look at some of the comment sections on 'establishment' web sites. There's the usual BS, but a surprising number of people who get it. 

boiltherich's picture

Has that tool ever vetoed anything?  I do not remember one.

Shizzmoney's picture


Doesn't really change anything in terms of prisoner/police state relations.  Besides them now being able to stick a dildo up your ass.

alien-IQ's picture

No man... a dildo up the ass would be viewed as "gay" and these aren't the kind of guys that want to be viewed as "gay" (publicly)...they'll shove a knight stick up the ass...that's much more "manly" and "American".

boiltherich's picture

If it was just a dildo and they were even mildly OK looking, just a tad sensitive (dinner first would be nice) I would not so much object, it is the cattle prods and fat ugly guys that need a bath that freak me out.  HMMMMMM maybe I should not post this lest the matrix record it and tailor my torture fears.

redcorona's picture

With a name like Levin on the Bill you can be sure Obama will pass it without even reading it.

i-dog's picture

What about his co-sponsor, Jesuit John McCain!! He is an absolute disgrace, doing this after his time as a POW.

boiltherich's picture

The repeal of posse comitatus means they can do anything they want any time they want.  Later all, I am out of here come March.  America has been so darned sick for so long, I just do not want to see the final death gasps. 

my puppy for prez's picture

Just remember that they can pick you up ANYWHERE in the world!  Be vewwy caweful....

DavidPierre's picture

Whenever anyone dares to point out the painfully obvious fact that the U.S. and its leaders have for two hundred years consistently acted in a fashion diametrically opposed to the values which America claims to represent, that person is instantly accused of being anti-American.

Am I anti-American because I left over 41 years ago? I don't think so.

But, if believing in free speech and real democracy is anti-American, then I guess I am.

If believing that a government should not lie endlessly is anti-American, then I guess I am.

If believing that a government should not spy on its own citizens is anti-American, then I guess I am.

If believing that a government should not kidnap, torture and murder is anti-American, then I guess I am.

If believing that a government shouldn't slaughter millions of innocent people simply to further enrich the same old handful of psychopathic bastards and their offspring is anti-American, then I guess I am.

Ranger4564's picture

Agreed with both of you. I've been thinking of leaving too.

cossack55's picture

To quote the commander of the 2nd ACR along the Hof corridor about 30 some years ago,

"No one leaves the escarpment alive"

The fight is here. If lost here, there will be no place safe anyway.

i-dog's picture

That's not what the original settlers thought when they escaped persecution in England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France and Holland. Better to move to higher ground before fighting back.

But for those that can't move, one hopes that they will at least put up some fight! Most won't ... in fact, they will be fighting you to "stop making waves; it's not so bad". "Hush now, lest the massah hear you!".

Ask any refugee from Stalin and cold war East Germany. The STASI and NKVD had eyes and ears in every building ... long before the advent of "security" cameras on every lamppost and cocksuckers in Langley reading every email and blog post.

BigJim's picture

I often wonder what happens to the Langley boys who read our posts... they must know, at some level, that they are serving evil.

Back in the cold war days, they could (with some justification) tell themselves that what they were fighting for was the lesser of two evils... but what excuses do they tell themselves now that they are propping up the globalist bankster elite? Few people can admit that what they do is evil... I'll bet 99% of Nazis told themselves that shooting innocent civilians was in some way for the greater good. Of course, they'd been brainwashed by a decade of Deustche uber alles, so killing 'inferior' people wasn't such a hardship.

But the people in Langley have been brought up in a society that ostensibly celebrates cultural diversity and democracy and justice for all. The cognitive dissonance between that and what they know is reality must be utterly heart-rotting.

I guess some people will do anything to make an above-average living.

boiltherich's picture

I will take a stab at it...

They are recruited from a pool of people tested in schools from age 6 to be the persons most likely to believe, does not matter WHAT they believe just that they believe, because faith and belief do not require a person to be REASONable, to need facts, to test against known paradigms in their own minds.  You can take a person who believes as a habit and mold their beliefs to suit your needs.  You would be surprised at how easy that really is by the way. 

In the molding process they are conditioned to see us as Tim McVeigh's, that we all live up on Ruby Ridge somewhere, that we are writing and sharing our manifestoes from dimly lit cabins in the Montana mountains.  Those in power are "asking" them to kindly help out for the greater good of all because we are indeed in serious trouble and troublemakers like ZH'ers are knowingly or not aiding and abetting the powers of evil that we must take extraordinary steps to defend against. 

And lastly it can all be rationalized this way, by admitting that yes we keep the sheep dumb about what is really happening because if they knew how dire the real fight was they would just lay down and die and if that happens the game is up the (insert boogeyman here*) wins.  So it is important that the sheep stay asleep and as a few wake they unfortunately have to be taken out lest they wake the other sheep.  We need this new authority in order to keep them dreaming the consumer dream.


Aliens from the Pleiades

Satan and his fallen angels

Communists and socialists (commy lite)




Medical marijuana growers


Feel free to add as you wish

 P.S.  it gave me a creepy scared sensation just Googling Tim McVeigh and Unabomber from the same ISP on the same day, that has got to be a red flag popping up on the government cloud computer.  You know it is time to abandon a sinking ship when you do not feel safe in your own home, and this/other legislation and financial hijinx of late leaves me not feeling safe at all.

i-dog's picture

Excellent stab. Got right to the heart of them....

BTW, when dealing with any of those people, as with dealing with any uncooperative civil servant, don't ever waste your breath attempting to appeal to their conscience (or humanity) ... they don't have one.

You must threaten either their promotion prospects or, if that doesn't work and you need to escalate, their own families. Remind them that they are also vulnerable. Works every time.

Hugh G Rection's picture

Me 3.  Need to build up some more savings, brush up on my Spanish, then it's margaritas and senoritas in Argentina. 

They can keep wrapping their shitburgers in an American flag, I'm not taking another bite.

mkkby's picture

What makes me even sicker is we have this orgy of consumerism going on right now.  Just when we need to STARVE THE BEAST, all the sheeple are out feeding it with all their might.

Folks, we the people will never turn things around until we go on a consumerism strike.  If we only buy the necesities of life, this fucking system will go down hard and fast... and not one shot fired.  You can't jail someone for not shopping.  That's all it takes.

Uchtdorf's picture

Right!! Think of the millions of dollars the banksters earn off of credit card fees alone.