Can I first say how difficult it was to find news or information about this bill in the first place? This dramatic 11th hour signing was more like a plot from the television show 24. I am far from an alarmist. But with so much underhanded political controversy going on historically in this country, it's hard to feel warm and fuzzy. I do my best to stay active in political processes, so as to be able to wag my tongue and complain as much as I want to in an non-hypocritical way. But, between the Patriot Act and this new "Defense Bill", it's kind of hard not to be paranoid!
In effect we are now encourage to spy on our neighbors with the government (Patriot Act). And then hope no suspicion falls on us, since we now could be lost in red tape and detained "almost but not quite forever" without due process. That's not to mention the fact, that the stage has been all but set for martial law to go into effect (Defense Bill).
What's worse is that Congress and the Executive branch worked together for once in their lives to get this legislation passed. Congress initially had a provision that would deny U.S. citizens SUSPECTED of terrorism the right to trial and could subject them to INDEFINITE detention. Who can we turn to? Judicial branch don't fail me now! Oh wait, all they can do is interpret the laws that are based off of the Constitution that everyone seems to dance a jig all over anyway.
"I want to clarify that my administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens," Obama said in a statement. "Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a nation."
The problem with statement being that your administration will not be in office forever Mr. President. How will the next administration interpret it? And when did the Constitution become a tradition? Traditions are nice, but are easily broken. Traditions are not rights they are habits. I thought the Constitution was built on inalienable... that is God given rights. If America is now giving those rights I guess they I guess they can take them away. I am not even sure what a call to action may look like at this point. Is it time to pack up and move to a deserted island? Can this even be undone? Will fear prevent the averaged American from standing up and fighting against our eroding liberties? I have no answers and a lot of questions.
In conclusion, just take a moment to think about this irony: The very spirit and processes that formed this country when we claimed our independence from Great Britain, are the very ideals that are now being obliterated by our government. Food for thought...