PA Senators Vote to Detain American Citizens Indefinitely

Bill would give government power to arrest and detain indefinitely Americans with too much food in their home

WASHINGTON, DC – Both U.S. Senators from Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey (Rep.) and Robert P. Casey, Jr. (Dem.), voted to strike down an amendment to Senate Bill 1867 (National Defense Authorization Act) yesterday, which would have prevented the United States government from detaining American citizens indefinitely on mere suspicion of terrorist ties.

The Udall amendment would have removed controversial and possibly unconstitutional provisions of the bill which authorizes the U.S. military to apprehend and imprison, without charge or trial, U.S. citizens, anywhere in the world, including America.

The Udall amendment offered by Senator Mark Udall (D-Colo.) would have replaced those provisions with a requirement for congressional review of detention power.

As the legislation stands, the U.S President now, and in the future, will have the authority to label anyone a terror suspect and imprison them indefinitely without due process of law, effectively eliminating Habeas corpus and suspending Posse Comitatus.

The legislation will allow the government to detain anyone considered a “terror suspect”.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said on the Senate floor possession of more than a seven day supply of food by an American citizen qualifies that person as a “terror suspect”. Paul gave other examples, including the possession of weather-proof ammo or persons missing fingers. All could be considered “terror suspects”, according to Paul.

In effect, Senators Casey and Toomey voted to grant the United States government the authority to arrest and detain American citizens, as well as use military force against those citizens, at home or abroad, on the mere suspicion that person has terrorist ties.

The legislation will again be considered next week when House and Senate conferees meet in conference committee.

President Obama has threatened to veto the bill in its current form, although some political insiders have questioned the sincerity of the White House’s threat, referencing the argument the bill is tied to defense spending.


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One Comment

  1. WiZZiK says:

    James Madison, father of the Constitution, warned, “The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become instruments of tyranny at home.” Abraham Lincoln had similar thoughts, saying, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter, and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

    During war, there has always been a struggle to preserve constitutional liberties. During the Civil War, the right of habeas corpus was suspended. Newspapers were closed. Fortunately, those actions were reversed after the war.

    The discussion now to suspend certain rights to due process is especially worrisome, given that we are engaged in a war that appears to have no end. Rights given up now cannot be expected to be returned. So we do well to contemplate the diminishment of due process, knowing that the rights we lose now may never be restored.

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