Archive for November 27th, 2011

Kill This Bill!


by lizard

As pundits and news consumers digest the bipartisan failure of the Super Committee, a terrible piece of legislation called the National Defense Authorization Act—produced through a bipartisan effort of the Senate Armed Services Committee—will get a vote tomorrow.

The Senate Armed Services Committee, led by Senators Carl Levin (D-Michigan) and John McCain (R-Arizona), approved the bill despite its provisions for military detention of any suspect (even those apprehended within the United States) accused (not proven) of involvement in any terror-related offense. Presumably, military detention would include those accused of offenses as innocuous as “lying to a federal agent,” unrelated to actual terrorism yet classified as terror-related.

The White House and Democrat leadership apparently oppose this legislation. Did anyone bother telling Carl Levin?

Hopefully this bill will be killed tomorrow, but it makes one wonder why a Democrat like Levin would work to produce such a legislative monstrosity. Does Reid have any control? Is the White House powerless? Or is this how “bipartisanship” works these days on Capitol Hill?

We live in a nation where, apparently, we enjoy no electoral alternative to human rights abuses. Will the real Americans please stand up?

Even worse than the betrayal of Democrats, however, is the betrayal of Congress–by itself. Our Founders dedicated the Constitution’s first Article to Congress, to reflect its primacy after our revolution against a unilateral monarchy. The central theme of the Constitution is its system of checks & balances to limit executive power and prevent tyranny.

But rather than resist executive power, today’s congressional leaders actively expand it. Over the past decade, Congress has granted presidents from both political parties every power they have sought: the power to eavesdrop en masse on every American household without individualized suspicion, the power to ignore the Nuremberg principle and torture with impunity, the power to initiate unilateral war, and more.

Levin-McCain is substantively, procedurally, and structurally even worse: It actively outflanks the executive, granting powers that neither the White House nor the Pentagon want, and have even pledged to resist. Madison and Jefferson would each roll in their graves at Congress betrayal of their legacy.

Gee, I feel so much safer. Thanks jackasses.




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