Sen. Paul Filibusters Military Spending Bill Over Summary Detention

Seeks Vote on Amendment to Allow Captured Americans Right to Trial

by Jason Ditz, November 15, 2012

American citizens captured on American soil getting the right to a public jury trial. Not only is the question controversial, but even the idea of bringing up the matter to a vote is sparking anger from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D – NV), who says it is getting in the way of the latest massive military spending bill.

Estimated at roughly two-thirds of a trillion dollars, Sen. Reid sought to push the vote through for a rubber stamping by Thanksgiving, and got a promise from Sens. Carl Levin (D – MI) and John McCain (R – AZ) that “non-germane amendments” wouldn’t even be considered. This has prompted Sen. Rand Paul (R – KY) to filibuster the bill.

That’s because Sen. Paul’s amendment seeks to guarantee that whenever the US military captures American citizens on American soil, they get a real trial. A recent Appeals Court ruling said it was in the “public interest” to allow the military to ignore due process and detain Americans as long as it wants without recourse to a court.

Sen. Reid argues that the bill is “non-germane” and shouldn’t even get a vote. Given the number of hawks in the Senate, even if it does get a vote there’s no guarantee it would pass, but even public debate would be an uncomfortable reminder to Americans that the military can disappear them off the streets at will per last year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

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