Feinstein Bill a Great Step Forward for the Illusion of Civil Rights

Lowering the Bar:

Obama wasn't entirely happy with the bill. In a "signing statement" - something else he opposed when he was running for president - he said he was signing it "despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists." Aha - he DOES care about our rights, is something you might say if you then stopped reading. [...]

In other words, his "reservations" stem from concerns that the bill may infringe on his own authority, not because he cares whether you rot in jail without a trial. That's consistent with the revelation that the White House actually insisted there not be an exception for citizens, back when the NDAA was oozing through Congress. So, that's super. [...]

Feinstein has introduced a bill, the "Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011" - and here I had been thinking due process was already guaranteed - that would amend the NDAA to say that

An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States apprehended in the United States, unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention.

Sounds great! Until you get to that last clause. What's that all about? Well, Feinstein calls it a "'clear-statement rule' that requires Congress to expressly authorize detention authority" when it comes to U.S. citizens. Okay, but, see, that doesn't "guarantee due process" (or Sixth Amendment rights). In fact, it suggests that even Feinstein thinks Congress can just take it away, as long as it clearly says that's what it's doing, instead of sneaking around like it's been doing. So that is not making me feel much better.

I don't think I linked to his previous rant about this, which contained the perfect summary,

I don't want you to think your representatives took a collective dump on the Sixth Amendment without talking it over first, because they did debate a little before voting to end the Republic.
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