10-6-2011By C. Dixon Osburn
Director, Law and Security
Great news! U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid vowed this week to block the controversial defense authorization bill because it calls for indefinite military detention in the United States. This dangerous bill would, in effect, make the military the judge, juror, and jailer of all terrorism suspects.
Working with retired admirals and generals, experienced interrogators, and national security experts, Human Rights First launched an educational campaign this summer to let Senators know that the bill harkens back to Japanese internment camps and would force the military to take on this new, unwanted mission. Senator Reid heard us, but now we need to make sure that Senators Carl Levin and John McCain, who continue to support these unwise provisions, hear YOU.
Congress should strengthen established and effective counterterrorism tools, not force the military to take on law enforcement functions. And keeping Guantanamo open as a permanent fixture of second-class justice is the wrong way forward for our nation’s security and reputation.
The bill is going back to Senators Levin and McCain, chair and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, for reconsideration. Tell Senators Levin and McCain that we have the tools that we need to fight terrorism. Urge them to strip the defense authorization bill of language that calls for indefinite military detention!