Your Front Yard is a Battlefield: Senate To Vote On Legislation That Allows U.S. Military to Detain Citizens Without Charge or Trial

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Top Tier Gear USA

While nearly all Americans head to family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, the Senate is  gearing up for a vote on Monday or Tuesday that goes to the very heart of who we are as Americans. The Senate will be voting on a bill that will direct American military resources not at an enemy shooting at our military in a war zone, but at American citizens and other civilians far from any battlefield — even people in the United States itself.

Senators need to hear from you, on whether you think your front yard is part of a “battlefield” and if any president can send the military anywhere in the world to imprison civilians without charge or trial.

The Senate is going to vote on whether Congress will give this president—and every future president — the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world. Even Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) raised his concerns about the NDAA detention provisions during last night’s Republican debate. The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself.

The worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial provision is in S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which will be on the Senate floor on Monday. The bill was drafted in secret by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and passed in a closed-door committee meeting, without even a single hearing.

I know it sounds incredible. New powers to use the military worldwide, even within the United States? Hasn’t anyone told the Senate that Osama bin Laden is dead, that the president is pulling all of the combat troops out of Iraq and trying to figure out how to get combat troops out of Afghanistan too? And American citizens and people picked up on American or Canadian or British streets being sent to military prisons indefinitely without even being charged with a crime. Really? Does anyone think this is a good idea? And why now?

The answer on why now is nothing more than election season politics. The White House, the Secretary of Defense, and the Attorney General have all said that the indefinite detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act are harmful and counterproductive. The White House has even threatened a veto. But Senate politics has propelled this bad legislation to the Senate floor.

But there is a way to stop this dangerous legislation. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) is offering the Udall Amendment that will delete the harmful provisions and replace them with a requirement for an orderly Congressional review of detention power. The Udall Amendment will make sure that the bill matches up with American values.

In support of this harmful bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) explained that the bill will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and people can be imprisoned without charge or trial “American citizen or not.” Another supporter, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) also declared that the bill is needed because “America is part of the battlefield.”

The solution is the Udall Amendment; a way for the Senate to say no to indefinite detention without charge or trial anywhere in the world where any president decides to use the military. Instead of simply going along with a bill that was drafted in secret and is being jammed through the Senate, the Udall Amendmentdeletes the provisions and sets up an orderly review of detention power. It tries to take the politics out and put American values back in.

In response to proponents of the indefinite detention legislation who contend that the bill “applies to American citizens and designates the world as the battlefield,” and that the “heart of the issue is whether or not the United States is part of the battlefield,” Sen. Udall disagrees, and says that we can win this fightwithout worldwide war and worldwide indefinite detention.

The senators pushing the indefinite detention proposal have made their goals very clear that they want an okay for a worldwide military battlefield, that even extends to your hometown. That is an extreme position that will forever change our country.

Now is the time to stop this bad idea. Please urge your senators to vote YES on the Udall Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.

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  • Joey

    This is insane and stupid. I honestly don’t think it will be passed. I’m in the military but I will not have any part of this if it is passed.

    • UNsheepled 1

      I would not state that openly . You would be hauled off, dispatched with first. History repeats. There are too many thug like people in armed services and in police already

  • Gary

    Even if this Orwellian measure were to pass the Senate, it still must pass the House, and obtain the president’s signature. Constitutionally speaking; isn’t all legislation supposed to be initiated in the House, and not the Senate?
    The SCOTUS should weigh in on this as well, but don’t hold your breath.

    • joe

      only spending bills must originate in the house

  • Lucy

    US Citizens are supposed to be “endowed with certain inalienable rights”. The moment exceptions are made to the “inalienable” part of the rights is the moment “inalienable” loses all meaning and the moment the rights are little more than a memory.

    I’m not usually one to say this, or to hit the panic button, but if even half of this is true, this isn’t America anymore.

  • professor

    “On December 5, 1947, Einstein and Morgenstern accompanied Gödel to his U.S. citizenship exam, where they acted as witnesses. Gödel had confided in them that he had discovered an inconsistency in the U.S. Constitution, one that would allow the U.S. to become a dictatorship.”


  • Jay

    I call BS, I think this is not a valid issue. Please find this passage in Bill. Please point out my mistake.


    (b) Applicability to United States Citizens and Lawful Resident Aliens-

    (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.

  • kikz

    so, what’s to keep the ‘saving grace’ udall amendment frm being rescinded/overridden at a later date?

  • GreggH

    This is how the 1% will protect itself from the 99% – by pushing for legislation that will allow US citizens to arrested and held without charge indefinitly so as to protect their wealth. The 99% cannot possibly influence the Senate to oppose this insanity. This is why the 2nd Amendment is there – the right to bear arms isn’t so you can hunt, it’s so you can protect yourself from tyranny.

  • paul

    time to lock and load and get ready to take our country back from these damn liberals?

    • UNsheepled 1

      Lest you forget your NEOCONS wrote the damn bill!

      • robert

        levin and mc cain couple of libs thier

  • Concerned Citizen

    This will pass with flying colors. Our Senators and Congress do whatever the United Nations wants. The people will not stop anything. They have already been dumbed down to the point where they are incapable of even stringing a few sentences together. The battle was lost in 1913 when the banks took over our Government. Don’t even bother calling your senators.

    • I would rather die fighting oppression than live under it, for a life not lived freely isn’t a life at all.

  • Concerned Citizen

    and your second amendment will do nothing. You will just be gassed out from above if you ever tried something that stupid. Stop your complaining, go back to your TV, watch your football, play your angry birds and let the banksters finish what it started.

  • Ratcraft

    This story is bullshit.
    Here are the sections


    In this subtitle, the term ‘individual detained at Guantanamo’ means any individual who is located at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on or after March 7, 2011, who–

    (1) is not a citizen of the United States or a member of the Armed Forces of the United States; and

    (2) is in the custody or under the effective control of the Department of Defense.


    Section 127b of title 10, United States Code, is amended–

    (1) in subsection (c)(3)(C), by striking ‘September 30, 2011’ and inserting ‘September 30, 2014’; and

    (2) in subsection (f)(1), by striking ‘December’ and inserting ‘February’.
    Don’t shoot the messenger, this story is blowing up and it’s hogwash.

    • Jay


      First the ACLU page has an error that has been passed on to other pages, including this one in paragraph four incorrectly calling it S. 1867 instead of S. 1253. Each has a SEC 1032 with different text, and unlike the words you post.

      So, which Bill are you looking at? It’s neither 1867 or 1253, what is the exact Bill number you are quoting.

  • PowerandPolitic

    This provision is in preperation for a war that will eventually reach American soil. If any one has been paying any attention to government this year you will notice us pulling Army forces from Iraq and preparing them for a war on American Soil. All other services will be deployed overseas to block and push the war towards eastern Asia. Pay attention to all acts gaining provisions and most importantly the UN and our Department of Defense. The only thing between us and China are a few small Islands. Watch how the UN and our Department of Defense is strategizing our armed forces in the direction of the south pacific and our west coast.

  • Sue

    I got on the website and read most of the bill. From what I can understand thru all of the legal jargon, Obama and others are not in favor of this.

  • Orwells Protege

    Here’s the fact that people need to wake up to. This has absolutely nothing to do with party anymore. Politicians on both sides of the aisle were bought and paid for by multinational corporations and they’re the ones running things. It used to be mostly the republicans but at this point the Dems are clearly riding that meal ticket too. When the corporations and government are working together its called fascism which is on the far right side of the political spectrum. Its what caused the Great Depression and World War II. Sadly, there are still those who buy the propaganda that it has anything to do with socialism which is on the far left side of the political spectrum. It couldn’t possibly further from that. Socialism is a government set up to help the people. Fascism is when the corporate owned government benefits from the people.

    • ppcgm

      Socialism protects only those at the top of the power hierarchy. They retain their wealth and power while stripping everyone below them of their property and freedom. As with the “fair” trade bills and the welfare state that we have now, it just spreads the poverty and misery equally among the masses.

      • Orwells Protege

        Actually that’s completely inaccurate. You need to look up the definitions of socialism and fascism. ALL forms of government been abused but, by definition socialism is meant to benefit the people. Fascism BY DEFINITON protects only those at the top of the hierarchy. The “fair” trade bills, which were started by Clinton, pushed hard under Bush and have continued under Obama contribute to fascism. They make us as a country dramatically poorer. They are a right wing/fascistic idea because they benefit the corporations and the people at the top only. The “welfare state” is a form of socialsm . . . it benefits the people. Due to the fascistic policies of the last few decades more and more people are in need of that form of socialism. Those at the top, the corporate leaders of our government, want to eliminate it and persuade fools to think its bad even though they will likely need it someday, because they don’t want it coming out of their profits. The fact is we’ve been paying into this wonderful system and and we should be able to use it when we need it. It has no impact on our deficit because its all internal. Its our money. We’re just getting it back. The problem is that the corporate leaders want to keep it for themselves, as if they haven’t robbed us enough. Those are the same fools who think that they are not part of the 99% when, in fact, they definitely are. They’re just not accurately informed enough to recognize it. Very sad.


    We need a petition to give our legislators a fifty percent pay cut and make them pay for thier own health policies. They are all rich anyway.
    Is this what they call, Homeland Security — putting the army in our back yard to shoot civilians?


    This is pure nonsense. Unlike most people I research everything that sees a bit far fetched.

    There is so damn much nonsense posted on the internet. There is NOTHING in that bill about incarcerating Americans without due process and holding them indefinitely. Hussein of the White House would love that but has not been able to put it into law yet.

    First off, there is a National Defense Authorization Act passed every year. It is nothing new. Secondly I check every story that I read. This one if true is scary. It is not true. This is a link to all info about the bill. NOTHING from Fox, Heritage, World Net Daily. In short nothing from any serious source
    PDF files, which the Government uses are a real pain. You cannot copy them with the ease allowed by other formats but this is the link that shows S1031 and S1032
    For the sake of brevity I have copied those brief sections of the bill in question that bother the ACLU so much and is putting the fear of imminent arrest into Americans.
    S1031…Authority to detain unprivileged enemy belligerents captured pursuant to the authorization Use of Military Force.
    S1032…Required military custody for members of Al Qaeda and Affiliated entities.
    Now I see why the ACLU opposes this.
    Let’s dissect the meaning of these two sentences:
    Afghanistan has been a very unreliable ally. One of their demands that when we capture an enemy combatant we are only allowed to interrogate them for four days and then they must be turned over to Afghanistan who gives them a good meal and sends them on their way. S1031 allows us the authority to now keep these terrorists. America’s enemies won’t like that sentence, especially the ACLU.
    S1032 reinforces the concept put forth in S1031 and further adds that Eric Holder cannot bring the scum into the courts of New York where they would be tried and freed forthwith. It lays down a Requirement that members of . Al Qaeda and Affiliated entities. remain in the custody of the military.
    Were I a member of Congress I would find no fault with this. Some do and will find fault and they will largely be members of the far left wing of Congress.
    Far be it from me to defend John McCain as that weasel is firmly on the payroll of George Soros but I can find no fault with this legislation. Beware those who do for they are either disloyal Americans or the really petty variety that just likes to distort a story for the value of sensationalism, and all it takes is one of those and then the lie goes viral. What I have written here won’t reach the viral status as lies travel much faster.
    One furthe though…The story is that this was done behind closed doors just a few days ago. The bill was written June 17, 2011