The New York Times editorial page also has stood up against the bill. Editor Andrew Rosenthal blogged while Congress was debating the bill, “When President Obama came into office in 2009 he promised to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and end the extra-judicial system that his predecessor had created to imprison terrorist suspects without trial, often without even filing charges. He has broken that promise.” Returning to the subject last week, after Congress approved the act, the editorial noted “There is no doubt this bill will make it harder to fight terrorism and do more harm to the country’s international reputation.”
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn) claims the act’s provisions “denigrates the very foundations of this country.” During World War II, he noted, President Roosevelt similarly ordered the incarceration of over 100,000 Japanese-Americans, as well as 11,000 German-Americans and 3,000 Italian-Americans. It took forty-six years for President Ronald Reagan to sign the 1988 Civil Liberties Act, formally apologizing for U.S. actions, and beginning the process of restitution.
Although bill proponents claim that the bill is merely codifying claims of executive privilege already put in place by the Bush White House, McCaw disagreed during a phone interview from his Washington office. “Claims to executive authority are only claims. And if you remember from high school civics class, all Americans are given the right to a speedy trial, and have the right to due process and hearing charges brought before them.”
The suspicious action for which an American citizen could be shipped off to Guantanamo “could be a small donation to a charity which, several years later, gets involved in additional activities,” he said.
The act would also allow prosecutors to incarcerate individuals against whom the evidence is skimpy or doubtful. “Some cases don’t make it to court because there is not enough evidence at hand, so state or federal prosecutors drop the charges. Under this act, prosecutors would not have to prove anything,” he said.
McCaw estimated that there are from three to six million Muslim Americans, many of whom already hide their religion. The act may only drive them further into the closet, depriving law enforcement of contacts to intercept terrorist and their sympathizers.
“It’s a shame if Muslim Americans are only perceived through the prism of national security,” he said. “We are a large community with a large base. But instead of acknowledging that, we have Lowe’s withdrawing sponsorship of (the T.V show) “All American Muslim” and bowing down to a very small fringe group.
“We hope this act is not a further [veiled] step towards Islam bashing and fear mongering in the 2012 elections, and we are asking everyone to contact the President to veto this legislation.”
You can practice your American right to voice your opposition to this (do it while you can). Get involved and let Obama know that you do NOT support his decision to sign off on this bill. Contact him at the White House (click here).By Joseph Hanania, Aslan Media Contributor