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Due process and indefinite detention in America

Americans love Magna Carta.

They understand that its affirmation of habeas corpus - charge me or let me go free - and its prevention of indefinite detention is key to justice under the law.

Americans have taken many principles from Britain's Constitution into the US Constitution, and we hope they fight, all the way to the US Supreme Court, against a bill recently signed by that underminer of liberty around the globe, US President Barack Obama.

Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a controversial component that would allow the military to indefinitely detain American citizens arrested in the United States, without charge.

Of course, only terror suspects would be detained.

Do we hear George Orwell laughing grimly?

. . .Recently two retired four-star Marine generals called on the president to veto the bill in a New York Times op-ed. . .

“Due process would be a thing of the past,” wrote Gens Charles C. Krulak and Joseph P. Hoar. “Current law empowers the military to detain people caught on the battlefield, but this provision would expand the battlefield to include the United States – and hand Osama bin Laden an unearned victory long after his well-earned demise.”

We are about to see whether Magna Carta and the U.S. Constitution are going to eat dust in 'the land of the free'.

Thanks to Instapundit for the link.

Comments (3)

jlh:

Don't worry--he says he won't use it. Of course the prominent Democrat and the prominent Republican who headed the Senate committee tell us that it was Obama himself who insisted that the clause by Democrat Levin to exempt American citizens be removed. Perhaps he is just trying to be fair--we wouldn't want to violate the "constitutional rights" of aliens without doing the same to US citizens.

One might also ask whether any of the other 98 senators was disturbed at all by this provision.

Angela Plowman:

That sounds extremely worrying and I cannot understand how the US government can possibly pass this!

Cat:

Under the EU Arrest Warrant, Brits can now be arrested in their own homes and extradited to Europe for a 'crime' -- even for a 'crime' which they were unaware they had committed. In other words, Brits are now vulnerable to the justice systems of 26 other EU countries. . .

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