citizen-earth
truedemocracy:

via ACLU:
America’s criminal justice system should keep communities safe, treat people fairly, and use fiscal resources wisely. But more Americans are deprived of their liberty than ever before - unfairly and unnecessarily, with no benefit to public safety. Especially in the face of economic crisis, our government should invest in alternatives to incarceration and make prisons options of last – not first – resort.

truedemocracy:

via ACLU:

America’s criminal justice system should keep communities safe, treat people fairly, and use fiscal resources wisely. But more Americans are deprived of their liberty than ever before - unfairly and unnecessarily, with no benefit to public safety. Especially in the face of economic crisis, our government should invest in alternatives to incarceration and make prisons options of last – not first – resort.

 The Senate voted Tuesday to keep a controversial provision to let the military detain terrorism suspects on U.S. soil and hold them indefinitely without trial — prompting White House officials to reissue a veto threat.

The measure, part of the massive National Defense Authorization Act, was also opposed by civil libertarians on the left and right. But 16 Democrats and an independent joined with Republicans to defeat an amendment by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) that would have killed the provision, voting it down with 61 against, and 37 for it.

Democrats who were also concerned about liberties compared the military policing of Americans to the detention of Americans in internment camps during World War II.

"Congress is essentially authorizing the indefinite imprisonment of American citizens, without charge," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who offered another amendment — which has not yet gotten a vote — that she said would correct the problem. "We are not a nation that locks up its citizens without charge."

Backers of military detention of Americans — a measure crafted by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) — came out swinging against Udall’s amendment on the Senate floor earlier Tuesday.

"The enemy is all over the world. Here at home. And when people take up arms against the United States and [are] captured within the United States, why should we not be able to use our military and intelligence community to question that person as to what they know about enemy activity?" Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said.

"They should not be read their Miranda Rights. They should not be given a lawyer," Graham said. "They should be held humanely in military custody and interrogated about why they joined al Qaeda and what they were going to do to all of us." [OMG…these people are running our government…so frightening!!]

The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act would authorize defense spending on military personnel, weapons and war. The first draft of the bill won support from both parties in Congress in October, passing out of the Senate Armed Services Committee with just Udall dissenting. A similar House bill allocating $690 billion for the Pentagon passed in May, without the controversial measure. It could be changed when the differing versions are merged, if Congress desires.

The prominent political and legal blogger Glenn Greenwald comments on the growing Occupy Wall Street movement. “What this movement is about is more important than specific legislative demands. It is expressing dissent to the system itself,” says Greenwald. “It is not a Democratic Party organ. It is not about demanding that President Obama’s single [jobs] bill pass or anything along those lines. It is saying that we believe the system itself is radically corrupted, and we no longer are willing to tolerate it. And that’s infinitely more important than specific legislative or political demands.” Greenwald also discusses the possible shutdown of the online whistleblower website WikiLeaks due to a “financial blockade” led by MasterCard, Visa and PayPal. “The reason why all these companies cut off funds is because the government pressured and demanded that they do so,” Greenwald says. “So, no due process, no accusation of criminal activity. You could never charge WikiLeaks with a crime. They’re engaged in First Amendment activity. And the government has destroyed them through their pressure and influence over the private sector… WikiLeaks has shed more light on the world’s most powerful factions than all media outlets combined, easily, over the last year, and that’s the reason why they’re so hated.”