Intelligent Discontent

Steve Daines: In Favor of Indefinite Detention of Americans

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Representative Steve Daines voted today to allow indefinite military detention of Americans, making hollow his claims of concern about the NSA surveilling electronic communication of Americans.

To be fair, perhaps Daines was persuaded by the rhetorical wizardry of some of his House Republican colleagues like Tom Cotton, who offered this defense of eroding bedrock constitutional principles:

“There was a phrase in that game called ‘olly olly oxen free’ — meant you could come out, you were safe, you no longer had to hide,” Cotton argued. “This amendment is the olly olly oxen free amendment of the war on terrorism. It invites Al Qaeda and associated forces to send terrorists to the Untied States and recruit terrorists on U.S. soil.”

That’s not The Onion; it’s the erosion of our civil liberties on a massive scale. Perhaps Mr. Daines might want to grab a copy of the Bill of Rights that has more than the Second Amendment included.

For further frame of reference, consider the position taken by Senator Tester, who co-sponsored legislation blocking indefinite detention:

“American citizenship is an honor that comes with certain inalienable rights,” Tester said.  “One of those rights is due process, and I’m going to do everything in my power to prevent the government from taking that right away.  We can defend our country without trampling the Constitution.”

 

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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a sixteen year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate. In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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