Civil liberties versus anti-terror powers
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Sen. Mark Udall once again was a stalwart advocate for civil liberties this week as the U.S. Senate voted for an unprecedented expansion of military police power as part of the National Defense Authorization Act — all in the name of fighting terror.
According to military officials and national security experts some of the provisions included in the spending bill would give the military the power to indefinitely detain accused enemy combatants — including Americans captured on U.S. soil. You can watch Sen. Udall speak at the hearing here.
The changes were added without consulting the Department of Defense or the law enforcement community, and they could amount to an unprecedented expansion of military power inside the United States.
Udall offered an amendment that would have removed some of the most egregious provisions, saying they could damage the nation’s ability to combat terrorism and weaken national security by limiting the flexibility of government to combat terrorism.
According to Udall, the provisions could rebuilding walls between agencies that prevent communication, reversing 1o years of progress on improving cooperation between military, intelligence and civilian law enforcement officials.
“When considering matters of national security and civil liberties, we simply cannot afford to rush to failure,” Udall wrote on his website. “We need to hear from the military professionals who would carry out these provisions before we make them law. I urge my colleagues to pass my amendment to the NDAA, and give this issue the consideration it deserves.”