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Intro: "Strange bedfellows on Capitol Hill, ranging from Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) to Rep. Jeff Landry (R-La.), are joining forces to change controversial detainee language that was signed into law by President Obama last month."

Portrait, Sen. Al Franken. (photo: Jeffrey Thompson/Getty Images)
Portrait, Sen. Al Franken. (photo: Jeffrey Thompson/Getty Images)

Sen. Franken and Conservatives Unite to Fight Indefinite Detention

By Joe Picard and Jeremy Herb, The Hill

28 January 12


trange bedfellows on Capitol Hill, ranging from Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) to Rep. Jeff Landry (R-La.), are joining forces to change controversial detainee language that was signed into law by President Obama last month.

The bipartisan effort is a clear indication that the debate on the government's power to detain suspected terrorists, including U.S. citizens, will continue into 2012.

"Any statute that could possibly be interpreted to allow a president to detain American citizens without charge or trial is incredibly alarming," said Landry, a freshman lawmaker and member of the Tea Party Caucus who has introduced a bill in the House to clarify the law.

When Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) last month, he paired it with a signing statement, noting he had "serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists."

He's hardly the only one.

Both libertarian Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who is running for president, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, for example, have issued statements saying the NDAA provisions violate the Fifth Amendment.

At question is a provision in the new law wherein Congress affirms the president's right to detain persons who were "part of or substantially supported al Qaeda, the Taliban or associated forces." The president may detain these persons "under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities."

President George W. Bush originally claimed a similar right under the Authorization for Use of Military Force, a law passed in 2001, shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. To the dismay of some on the left, Obama has asserted the same claim, and Congress has now codified it.

The provision, however, does not specifically exempt U.S. citizens, and that's the rub.

"You go down a slippery slope," Franken told The Hill. "To not give people a hearing, to not give an American citizen the right to have his case heard in a court - I think that's one of our basic rights. Once we're starting to get rid of our basic rights, we're in real trouble."

The president vowed that his administration would never use these powers against American citizens.

"The president promises, that's nice," Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) told The Hill. "But what about the next, or another, administration? This administration's promise is no guarantee against how the law may be used by future administrations."

Supporters of the detention provisions argued that the president already has the authority to detain U.S. citizens, and that such powers are necessary in the global war on terror.

"The threat to our homeland is growing," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said during debate on the bill in the upper chamber. "Homegrown radical terrorists are becoming the threat of the 21st century, and now is not the time to change the law."

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney took a similar position, saying during a debate last week that American citizens who join al Qaeda "are not entitled to due process." His answer was booed by the South Carolina crowd.

Nadler argued against assuming someone is a terrorist, stressing that is "why we have due process, to determine the truth."

That the language could open the door to indefinite detention of U.S. citizens raised concerns in both chambers before the bill was passed.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) offered an amendment specifying exemption from the detention provisions for U.S. citizens. It was rejected, 45-55, as most GOP senators voted no. Republicans who backed Feinstein's measure included Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.), Mike Lee (Utah), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Susan Collins (Maine) and Jerry Moran (Kan.).

The Senate subsequently passed an eleventh-hour amendment saying the section would not alter existing law relating to the detention of U.S. citizens.

The problem is that existing law on the issue of detaining U.S. citizens and treating them as enemy combatants has yet to be resolved by the courts.

Legal experts pointed to two cases since 2001 where a court decision on the president's authority regarding the detention of U.S. citizens could have been rendered. They cite the cases of Jose Padilla, during the Bush administration, and Ali Saleh al-Marri, under Obama.

Both were American citizens and were held in military detention - Padilla for three and a half years, al-Marri for almost eight. In each case, the administration used its power to move the accused from military supervision into the civil court system for trial before a U.S. federal court could rule on the detention issue.

In a third case involving a U.S. citizen, Yaser Hamdi, the Supreme Court ruled that Hamdi could be detained, but he was captured in Afghanistan, not the United States.

Kirk told The Hill recently that the end result of the NDAA is a "muddle" that doesn't take a position on citizen military detention.

Landry echoed that sentiment: "The problem is the vagueness of the law. To allow the executive branch to encroach upon the liberties of American citizens based on an interpretation of a vague law is dangerous."

Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute and co-founder of the Lawfare blog, said concerns about an administration being eager to detain U.S. citizens to test its power are overblown because the sitting judges on the Supreme Court would likely strike it down.

"There is still no law that says you can't do it, and there's still no law that says you can do it," Wittes said. "There are probably five justices on the Supreme Court who would say you can't do it. And that's going to discipline any administration."

Kirk said he expects the high court will eventually rule that citizens cannot be detained indefinitely.

"If a future president uses the authority, it will be smacked down quickly," Kirk said.

Landry, however, said that would be small consolation for some U.S. citizens in indefinite military detention. Those cases can take years to resolve through the legal system.

"To fix a law like this is Congress's responsibility," he said.

Feinstein has reintroduced her defeated amendment to exempt American citizens. The bill has bipartisan support in the Senate, and a version has been introduced in the House.

While it remains to be seen how far the bills will go this year, Landry remains optimistic. He said he has received a commitment from House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) that the panel will revisit the law.

"I have a commitment from the chairman," Landry said. "If he gives us the hearing he's promised, and we go through the regular legislative procedure, we could get this whole thing resolved in under 60 days. The law will be clear and the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens will be protected." your social media marketing partner


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+59 # Scott479 2012-01-28 18:39
"The president vowed that his administration would never use these powers against American citizens."
The fact that our president felt compelled to issue this statement says all you need to know about the NDAA. He will be remembered, in time, more for signing this into law than for being our first mixed race president.
+24 # Gordon K 2012-01-29 03:01
According to constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, the language potentially allowing indefinite detention of American citizens was put in the NDAA at the insistence of the Obama administration. That makes the president's veto threat pure theatrics.
+27 # Progressive Patriot 2012-01-29 03:58
Unfortunately, unless Congress reverses this, there's nothing to stop a future president from using it ... OR to force Obama to keep his word, which hasn't always been shown to be worth much.
+3 # John Locke 2012-01-31 23:05
Progressive Patriot: we are talking about the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendment, these are Fundamental Civil Rights that No congress or President can legislate away lawfully... They exist irrespective of our constitution, and may be the subject of a revolution if any in Washington dare to exercise the NDAA against an American Citizen...I am not threatening, I am simply stating my belief.
+19 # Obwon 2012-01-29 09:57
These are the powers of a King, not the powers of a President, and certainly not powers that should be available anywhere under a Constitutional democracy of any kind. They are, therefore an abomination, a perversion of law to such an extent that it renders law to be meaningless.

You cannot cite these powers and still say that there is a Constitution and/or a rule of law, anywhere these powers are found to exist. Because one refutes the existence of the other.

Because this was approved, it means that our leadership, our elected Congress and our Chief Executive have ruled that this nation shall have no laws! That is exactly what has been done!

It does not help that to soothe the public, they say they will not abrogate the current laws "AT THIS TIME", while they hold the banishment of law at the ready for use in the future.

Of course, understand that they who have violated the laws in so many ways, so many times, have a dire need to banish the law, for fear they might be held accountable at some time.
+20 # Obwon 2012-01-29 10:07
This is not law, this is the nullification of all law, since it nullifies the rights of anyone accused for secret reasons to have any access to the law at all. The "trick" is that the persons to be accused, seems likely to be a very small segment of the populace, however, there are no rules that can make such an offer true!

Thus large segments of the population can become accused persons at any given point in time, and, at least in theory, there would be nothing anyone could do about it, at least not within the bounds of any remaining laws that one would have anyone believe could still apply.

In truth this is the nullification of all law, by starting at the root of all law, the rights of the citizenry. Contrary to popular belief, if even one American Citizen has no rights, then no American Citizen has any rights! It worked that way, as history has demonstrated time and again, in Rome, in Germany and unfortunately it will do so here.
+43 # Rick Levy 2012-01-28 19:30
If you balance Obama's support for the NDAA against his accomplishments , the former wouldn't just tip the scales,it would knock them over.
+25 # ER444 2012-01-29 03:17
Amen. AND if we are counting on the Supreme Court to declare this unconstitutiona l... I have a bridge I want to sell you. We are a land of law not promises, and this law must be struck down in the halls of Congress!!
+7 # Texas Aggie 2012-01-29 15:00
I about laughed myself sick at the very thought that there were five SC justices that would find it unConstitutiona l to hold American citizens indefinitely without trial or any other chance to argue the charges. At the very most, I count four and suspect that it may even be less.
+22 # John Locke 2012-01-29 10:54
"The threat to our homeland is growing," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said during debate on the bill in the upper chamber. "Homegrown radical terrorists are becoming the threat of the 21st century, and now is not the time to change the law."

This is a subtle attack against OWS who the government considers a real threat to the statis Quo...
+1 # Obwon 2012-01-30 08:50
Here, let me translate: He's saying that it's way too dangerous to live under rule by the people, with laws, individual rights, trials for accused persons etc., because terrorist might kill someone.

Hmmm... So now we need an absolute ruler to save our lives? I guess these lawmakers don't know enough about the historical records, to know how absolute rule works.

But hey! What about the U.S.S.R. eh? Are they now saying that was the way to go? So what was all that cheering about when they collapsed? We're trading places with them.

Of course they realize it will take time to consolidate power. Not all of the military and law enforcement will be on board for this now, so they'll have to weed out the true patriots. That will take time. But, when done, when they're all replaced with "yes men", then the purges can begin, as well as the coups as the highly placed struggle over the spoils. Perhaps before that can happen, "freedom fighters" will add yet another level of instability to our nation.

My guess is ten years out, this country will look like Afghanistan (if we're lucky). In any event, all the principles of a "Banana Republic" are now in place. Thanks Washington, great job!
+61 # Richard Raznikov 2012-01-28 20:32
All of these reassurances from Obama and a legal expert or two don't reassure me at all. Obama's promises? Are you kidding?

And we shouldn't worry because the Supreme Court would likely declare it unconstitutiona l? Well, I guess that's okay, to not worry about the Bill of Rights because someone, somewhere, will uphold it. I'm sorry but how stupid do we have to be to pitch the Constitution into the trash?

Don't worry, America, we're only taking away your rights temporarily while we fight these 'terrorists.' As soon as the war's over, we'll give you your right back.

Anybody believe these liars, I've got some nice bundled derivatives I'd like to sell you.
+13 # John Locke 2012-01-29 11:00
Richard Raznikov: ..."In a third case involving a U.S. citizen, Yaser Hamdi, the Supreme Court ruled that Hamdi could be detained, but he was captured in Afghanistan, not the United States".... Does anyone feel comfortable with this supreme court ruling on our bill of rights? I don't, Hamdi was An American Citizen, The Bill of rights deals with the Government and its citizens, not where that Citizen resides...Due Process requires a hearing; a notice and an opportunity to defend oneself...need I say More...
+5 # Obwon 2012-01-30 09:02
Apparently you need to say a whole lot more. I don't think too many people understand what has happened. We are now just subjects again, not citizens. Subjects of a President who has absolute power, limited only by a vapor thin need, to declare (in secret) that the accused is a terrorist (undefined charge).

Anyone who thinks they are a "citizen" can be stripped of those imaginary rights, without any need of a reason that anyone has a right to inspect, less challenge. Thus subjects is what we all are now, and we will remain subjects until these laws are over turned.

Don't let the illusion of law, as they continue to pretend to observe them, fool anyone. Because now that's all we have left is the illusion of law. The NDAA is nothing less than a proclamation of totalitarianism .

How such a proclamation will fight terrorism is anyone's guess. But as Ben Franklin said: "Those who would trade freedom for safety will have neither!"
+1 # John Locke 2012-01-31 22:49
Obwon: Hopefully between you and me and some others here we can make them understand.

The President is now charged with king like Powers, he holds American Citizens "our" life and death decisions in his hand. He is the prosecutor, Judge and Jury and pronounces sentence on the "accused" This is tyranny by any other name...the Magna Carta of 1215...Took these powers away from the King of England... I guess we are right back before the 1215 Magna Carta now and we have a king once again... That is what this Homeland detension Bill does, it makes the president a King...
+48 # globalcitizen 2012-01-28 20:54
When liberals morph from appeasing fascism, to support for a fascist police state, they no longer can call themselves anything, except FASCISTS!!!!!
+54 # shortonfaith 2012-01-28 23:03
Neither party, the congressional houses, nor the Judaical systems can be trusted to do the right thing. To argue details while American citizen are detained is to deny Justice.

Did not the fore-fathers want a system were it is, "better to let 100 guilty men go free, than to detain one innocent man?"

To much of Justice is already twisted to where "one starts out guilty, until proven innocent".

All these things taken together make for a greater & greater fascist state. Placed into being by representatives from both parties against the people, for the benefit of those already in control of the Police, Judicial system & the Military. It is us against them & we are losing quickly while they argue the finer details of our detainment & demise.

Support OWS. This may be your last summer to do so?
+24 # medusa 2012-01-29 01:24
Habeas corpus, fifth amendment, Geneva conventions--we need them now and always. They saw us through WWII. It's suicide to tamper with them. What is Obama thinking?
-4 # John Locke 2012-01-29 11:04
medusa: According to another RSN article, 47 people (a Majority for that RSN article) thought Obama was potentially a great President. I could not believe the ignorance of those readers. If the Consenses of the RSN Reader is that Obama is a great President, I will stop reading and posting here.
+4 # futhark 2012-01-29 18:54
What is a "great president". The powers and duties of the presidency are spelled out in the Constitution in plain English. I would consider a president "great" if he/she used the Constitution as a guidebook for conducting the Executive Branch. To some that may seem a bit passive, but the alternative is to flirt with tyranny, as we have seen over the last several years (Bush 2 + Obama).
+3 # John Locke 2012-01-29 22:52
futhark: Obama hasn't followed the Constitution or the Bill of Rights... which is a part of it...What is a good president? one that looks after the people who elected him, not the banks from where he is bribed... but lets talk about Obama having Homeland Security attack OWS to shut down the movement... or now conspiring with Twitter to Censor content... or signing into law the Homeland "Detention" bill... allowing the imprisonment of American Citizens without so much as a hearing, or Trial or the required writ of Habeas Corpus... as "Obama" Did,... anyone who thinks this is the sign of a Great President In my opinion is a moron... plain and simple...
+3 # Obwon 2012-01-30 11:40
Quoting medusa:
Habeas corpus, fifth amendment, Geneva conventions--we need them now and always. They saw us through WWII. It's suicide to tamper with them. What is Obama thinking?

I have no idea... Why the President and Congress of this "land of the free and home of the brave", would go on the public and historical record and tell us essentially: "We must all be too terrified of freedom to have anymore of the rule of law... The tyrants and authoritarian dictators of history were right, freedom, rights and government by and for the people is just to high a price to pay for our safety. Therefore we must assume the absolute powers needed by leaders everywhere, to keep their people safe".

We really should have been told that before we invaded Iraq to remove the very dictator who was keeping those people safe, eh?

If this doesn't make us the laughingstock of the world, I have no idea what it will take to do it.
+19 # bluepilgrim 2012-01-29 02:26
Doing this to any 'person', citizen or not, is wrong, a violation of international law and human rights, and unconstitutiona l (the constitution does not specify only US citizens).

The US has now clearly defined itself to a rogue, terrorist, and fascist nation, and an enemy of humanity. Humanity had better fully wake up to this and put a stop to it while it still has a possibility of doing so without destroying us all in world war 3. This will not be a 'thousand year reich' but the destruction of the human species.
+20 # futhark 2012-01-29 08:41
bluepilgrim, you are very correct in identifying so-called "Constitutional Rights" as being universal and inherent, not being citizenship dependent. The libertarian website is using the term "pre-Constituti onal Rights" now to indicate the status and source of our inherent liberties. We must get back to understanding the basis of the American Revolution as the political realization of the idea that government is the instrument of the people. This was a new idea at the time and is still alien to many of our political leaders. The American Republic is not just a variation on the feudal hierarchical political systems of European countries in the Eighteenth Century, it is something fundamentally different. (...or, at least, it was supposed to be...)
+2 # John Locke 2012-01-31 22:59
futhark: Great Comment, what is sad, is that the American people don't understand how freedom works...or how government is supposed to you said it is supposed to be an instrument of the people, not to be used to oppress. The problem is Bankers have a completely different mindset, Democracy doesn't work well for them, they prefer Fascism where the corporations control. They see us as subjects to be fleaced, and they pay our elected politicians to go along... and greed works well for them
+7 # Progressive Patriot 2012-01-29 03:56
Strange bedfellows _used_ to be the norm in Congress, when both parties were willing to negotiate and compromise.

I'd like to see a few Barry Goldwater's in the Republican Party.
+4 # rradiof 2012-01-29 04:09
Yeah, yeah, yeah, the usual suspects: Charlie Schumer "F**k Glass-Steagall) , Joe Lieberman (NUKE PERSIANS): Patty Murray (I'm the head of the DSCC); Carl "WTF" Levin: What's happening on the East Side of Detroit: Amy Klobuchar: OMG if my dad wasn't the most popular columnist in the history of Minneapolis Star-Tribune, I would still be doing parking ticket prosecutions in the Hennepin County Attorneys office which is run by the son of the buddy of my dad: JFK's Secretary of Agriculture, Orville Freeman.
+3 # infohiway 2012-01-29 05:59
Duuh. Virtual wall-to-wall:
comedians, jokers and clowns - from the bottom to the top - THAT COULDN'T BE BOTHERED TO READ WHAT THEY VOTED FOR, THEN SENT TO 1600 Penn. Ave. to be codified by another one (without a birth certificate)?

A constitutional republic?
A democracy?
Of, by and for THE PEOPLE?
Don't make us laugh.
+20 # futhark 2012-01-29 08:07
I very much welcome any cooperation among progressives, libertarians, and true conservatives in the preservation of our inherent rights and liberties, always under attack by those inclined to a "security state" mentality.

True conservatives are those who can cite objects, policies, or standards of which they promote the conservation. There is nothing truly conservative about the Neocons. It is the country's great misfortune that they have been allowed to hijack the formerly conservative political apparatus in America and use it so irresponsibly.
+26 # walt 2012-01-29 08:10
Obama signed the NDAA with "serious reservations?" So much for his stamina and integrity!

This needs to be thrown out and overturned. We never should allow the military to be used against American citizens who are guaranteed rights by our constitution. Shame on all 93 Senators and Obama who signed this fascist bill!
-1 # infohiway 2012-01-29 08:54
Everything he has signed into law plus his Executive Orders since 2009 are null and void (ab initio). Pfffft!

Google: Georgia ballot ineliiiblegible court
-1 # infohiway 2012-01-29 13:16
Georgia ineligible ballot court ...
+5 # kitster 2012-01-29 09:08
ever since obama was elected, the power of the presidency has mattered more to him than the "hope and change" he promised us.

of course, the ndaa is a travesty. this whole "war on terror" thing is a power grab by government representatives (we are the government who elected them to do our bidding, not anoint themselves with power over us) to curb our civil rights.

it should be unconstitutiona l. and the case should be brought before the supremes.

in this, obama is surely wrong. but at least he says he won't use the provision.

but just imagine this kind of power in the hands of a mitt romney or newt gingrich. that's enough of a nightmare alone to re-elect o by a landslide!
+1 # infohiway 2012-01-29 13:05
CHAINS you can believe in.
+1 # Obwon 2012-01-30 09:08
Yes, "the chains of freedom", right?
+11 # cordleycoit 2012-01-29 09:42
When politicians ask for trust as the President has: time to flush. It is good to see liberals and conservatives uniting to defeat a stupid law. These are people who feel the rumbling under foot of the growing anger at both parties and their and our corporate masters.
+7 # JustinaForJustice 2012-01-29 11:33
This president, Barack Obama, has already assassinated American citizens abroad without prior charge, trial or conviction, a direct violation of their Fifth Amendment rights. His promise not to "abuse" his new right to detain Americans indefinitely, without charges or trial, under the NDAA, is thus already demonstrated to be vacuous.
+3 # John Locke 2012-01-29 23:00
JustinaForJusti ce: Also a Violation of the 6th Amendment: But How do we get this across to the Morons here who think Obama is a great President?

Amendment 6...
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Obama was the Judge Jury and executioner, But he is a great president.... I think Not...
+11 # D.J. Scholtz 2012-01-29 09:54
In addition to posting comments on this page, I hope we can assume that the writers who oppose this law have also contacted their Congressman/wom an to congratulate (or shame, as the case may be) them on their actions. I'm proud of my Senator, Mr. Franken, for his stand.
+9 # jwatersphd 2012-01-29 11:32
I agree with some people who, I feel, get to the heart of the issue which is that if anyone is denied due process, we all are. It does not help for there to be an exception for citizens if one is not guaranteed due process and a forum to contest the assertion that one is not, or that one is a terrorist. I don't agree that the citizen exemption is adequate, but, even if it were, it doesn't really provide any protection.
+3 # John Locke 2012-01-29 23:09
jwatersphd: Absolutely right... These are Fundammental,na tural rights, to which all of mankind is entitled...

Fundamental Rights, are inalienable entitlements that belong, without presumption or cost of privilege to all human beings. The concept of human rights has been promoted as a legal concept in large part owing to the idea that human beings have such "fundamental" rights, that transcend all jurisdiction. Our Bill of Rights merely codified them and if we did not have a Bill of rights they would still exist.
+1 # infohiway 2012-01-29 12:51
Both are New World Order swine.
Porcine new-fascist and new-commie wreckers that, literally and figuratively, cannot grasp why politician's poll ratings are at an all-time low.
-1 # infohiway 2012-01-29 12:59
Insofar as the final signatory to that vile Act was not eligible to hold the office and as the NDAA is also repugnant to the constitution, it is therefore void ab initio and nullified - to be struck down by the courts forthwith.
+6 # Eliza D 2012-01-29 13:40
Am I missing something here? Yes, NDAA is a frightening first step into fascism, and I'm glad that some of our representatives are raising their hands to say: :"Please sirs, no more of this?", but why is Al Franken's mug on the top of the article? According to the authors, it is Senator Diane Feinstein who offered an amendment mitigating the impact of this on Americans, and a Tea Party Caucus, including Republican Landry, who has introduced a bill to negate parts of this travesty of American justice. Can we make clear who deserves the credit? Where are our liberal representatives when it's time to pick up the broom and sweep house? We really need to be better citizens and monitor the voting records of our own elected officials.
+5 # Emil Sinclair 2012-01-29 16:18
Don't hold your breath. GOP members of Congress are posturing to supposedly "fix" the unconstitutiona l provisions of the 2012 NDAA, but they're not going to want to be called "unpatriotic", or "soft on terrorism" and "domestic terrorists", etc., so they probably don't really want to and/or won't fix it.

You watch, if it isn't already occurring, the aforementioned cries of so-called "traitorousness " to the safety of the homeland will fly from the GOP all over the place, or at least allusions to it. Dick(head) "Hates-Us-For-O ur-Freedoms" Cheney and/or his "dark side" ilk will get on the CIA-controlled fawning corporate-fasci st mainstream/lame stream media renewing the calls for why "we need" indefinite detention without trial for suspected domestic "terrorists" in order to rally the majority of the "American" populace to support it.

Most of the "American" people no longer understand, if they ever did, why the civil liberties protections from such things exist in the Constitution and Bill of Rights in the first place, so the majority of the population is already fooled into being for it, being deceived into believing that the corporate-fasci st U.S. government, "after all, only wants to protect us". Or the majority of the "American" people won't speak out against indefinite detention without true due process of law for fear they too will be called "traitors", "soft on terrorism/terro rists" and/or "unpatriotic", etc., if they did speak out against it.
+4 # Emil Sinclair 2012-01-29 17:09
...That is why the U.S. is very quickly being turned completely into former fascist Germany, very much like it, and/or much worse.
+1 # Obwon 2012-01-30 09:19
If you don't oppose every transgression on the rights guaranteed us by the U.S. Constitution, then you are opposed to them. It's that simple, since it takes people, not words, to make the Constitution the living, controlling law of the land. If no one will rise for it, then it's just like Bush said: "It's just a G-dmn piece of paper!"
+5 # bobby t. 2012-01-29 17:17
Al was the only one I gave money to during his campaign. He needed it as it was a hard long fight against a determined gop opponent. I saw him as the voice of Ted Kennedy in the senate. It was not a lot of money for most people, but all I had. I live in Florida. But Al is my senator. There are a few left with good intentions. However, most them are all partners in crime. Go Al, and go Elizabeth Warren.
+3 # Eliza D 2012-02-02 16:37
Emil-I'm trying so hard to avoid thinking that all Republicans are evil. You are right about Cheney-it's chilling to think the Anti-Christ is still lurking in the shadows influencing others. You are right about Americans being too easily frightened into relinquishing their civil liberties because of supposed outside threats. If only we could write what Ben Franklin said in the sky for all to be reminded:"Those who would give up liberty in exchange for safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
0 # Emil Sinclair 2012-02-16 10:41
Sorry I didn't reply earlier to what you said, Eliza D. You're so right, and a sincere thank you for responding so personally to me. Only TRUE Peace to you and to everyone! Or, only TRUE Shalom!

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