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Make Mine Freedom

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Rights Targeted in Defense Bill

In this year of Presidential politics, the citizens of the United States of America are once again exposed to the menace of campaigning candidates and all that it entails. Such times seem good for America because they cause the mass populace to consider issues that have presumably lain dormant since the last Presidential election.

However, with everyone’s attention on the field of luke-warm GOP candidates, the United States Senate has once again surprised us all by passing legislation in the middle of the night that puts your Liberty and mine squarely in the cross-hairs of an unscrupulous executive office. The legislation to which I refer is S. 1867, “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.”

At first blush, one would recognize this as a defense appropriations bill and would be correct. One might also assume that one appropriations bill is the same as the next. However, that is an erroneous assumption.

While S. 1867 does appropriate funding for the military and defense, it also includes (or does not include) several important elements.

In June, the same Defense appropriation bill had a different bill number, S. 1253, with different language in section 1031.  In June, section 1031 included this paragraph:

(d) Constitutional Limitation on Applicability to United States Persons- The authority to detain a person under this section does not extend to the detention of citizens or lawful resident aliens of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.

Sometime between June and December 1st, this protection was removed. Consequently, the most egregious offense is that, unlike previous versions of the bill, Section 1031 of S. 1867 does NOT restrain the President from indefinitely detaining without trial US Citizens merely on suspicion of aiding “terrorism.” It is a frightening consideration.

A US Citizen may become disenfranchised and disillusioned with the United States as a concept and as an entity. We’ve seen it before. Jose Padilla and Ayman Awlaki are two such cases. One was tried and convicted in Federal court. The other was assassinated during a covert operation.

Regardless of what you may think of these two cases, there is no circumstance under which a US Citizen’s rights to a fair and speedy trial should be eliminated. Yet, that is exactly what this hidden piece of legislation does. It places your Liberty and mine on trial as it never has been before in our lifetimes.

From the Senate floor, Senator Lindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina said, “1031, the statement of authority to detain, does apply to American citizens and it designates the world as the battlefield, including the homeland.”
The second travesty of S. 1867 is that it completely repeals Article 125 of the United States Uniform Code of Military Justice which says:

(a) Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration , however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense.
(b) Any person found guilty of sodomy shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

With the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” it is understandable that a Left-leaning Senate would want to legalize Homosexuality where it is otherwise illegal. I don’t fault them for that. However, they have inadvertently made bestiality legal in the United States Armed Forces.

Legislation must be restored that prohibits bestiality and sodomy or any other sexual act with a minor.