By Rebecca DiFede — As recently reported by NetRightDaily, the Senate passed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, a $662 billion Defense bill. It gives the military the power to lock up any and all suspected terrorists, whether captured here or abroad, and hold them indefinitely. Despite empty veto threats from our illustrious president, the bill passed 93-7.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) added in an amendment that guaranteed the current laws on the detention of citizens would stand, and in extreme cases the Supreme Court can decide if an exception would be granted. So at least if you were an American you would be somewhat protected from government locking you up and throwing away the key.
However, all that might be at stake. A new bill has been introduced that will override that amendment by allowing the government, upon suspicion of terrorist activity, to strip you of your citizenship (or naturalized status), disqualifying you from any and all the freedoms provided by the Constitution.
It is called The Enemy Expatriation Act (H.R.3166) and it is the stuff of nightmares. Introduced by Charles Dent [PA-15], and co-sponsored by Jason Altmire [PA-4], Robert Latta [OH-5] and Frank Wolf [VA-10], this bill allows the government to remove the nationality of anyone who the government says is participating in terrorist activity. The Senate companion bill, S. 1698, was introduced by Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-CT), with Sen. Scott Brown as its sole cosponsor.
People can come into your home, arrest you, strip you of your citizenship and detain you as long as they see fit because they suspect that you might be doing something they don’t like.
Speechless? You should be.
For the most part Americans have always agreed, that despite party ties, freedom was our main priority. “The land of the free and the home of the brave” was the one sentence everyone in America could count on to describe their country.
But now with the introduction of this new bill, it seems that the “land of the free and the home of the brave” is becoming “the land of the imprisoned and the home of those under suspicion”, which is probably not the future that our framers had in mind when they severed ties with the abusive King George III.
If this bill passes and goes to the President’s desk, the freedom and liberty that separates us from communist and fascist countries with brutal dictators will be in jeopardy. The rights given to us by the Constitution are practically the definition of what it means to be an American, and with our citizenship comes the guarantee that those rights will always be there to protect us.
But now some in our government, in their infinite wisdom, have decided to try and put an end to that freedom, and challenge the very fabric of our democracy by giving the power to revoke individuals national status to the government for having a mere suspicion of someone’s wrong-doings — without judicial review or due process.
Never before in our lifetimes has the government come so close to fully transforming into a dictatorship as it has now. The new defense bill, if coupled with this expatriation bill, makes me shudder at the thought of what else is hiding beneath our soon-to-be king’s well-guarded sleeves.
Rebecca DiFede is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government.