Leading figures on the right and the left joined forces Thursday to condemn President Barack Obama for going back on his pledge not to veto a security bill that would allow for the indefinite detention of American terror suspects without trial.
Anyone who the administration believes is “part of or substantially supported al-Qaida, the Taliban or associated forces,” could face lifetime detention at Guantanamo Bay, without appeal or even a lawyer under the provision.
The House passed the bill on Wednesday, 283-136, and the Senate followed suit, 86-13, Thursday afternoon.
Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky led the attack on the new law.
“Detaining citizens without trial is not American,” he said, adding that passage of the law would signify that the terrorists have won.
“We’re talking about American citizens who can be taken from the United States and sent to a camp at Guantanamo Bay and held indefinitely,” Paul added. “It puts every American at risk, and Occupy Wall Street agrees with this.
“What security does this indefinite detention of Americans give us?” Paul asked. “The first and flawed premise, both here and in the badly named Patriot Act, is that our pre-9/11 police powers were insufficient to stop terrorism. This is simply not borne out by the facts.”