Activists seek to overturn controversial provisions in defense spending bill
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — President Obama is taking some heat from civil liberties activists over what some say is his apparent support for provisions in the defense spending bill that enables the indefinite military detainment of civilians, including American citizens, without charge or trial.
Colorado Sen. Mark Udall is also seeking to remove the provisions from the defense bill, saying that they could actually hinder the government’s ability to fight terrorism.
In a telephone press call last week, Udall said the provisions are not needed because law enforcement officials have adequate tools already in place. He is seeking bipartisan support for an amendment that would bar the practice.
According to Udall, the provisions would allow anyone to be locked up indefinitely simply if they’re suspected of terrorism. He said the recent court decision in New York shows he’s on the “right side” of the argument.
Congressman says cuts would have been in line with GAO recommendations on dysfunctional missile defense system
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Instead of cutting social programs or budgets for public land management agencies, Congressman Jared Polis (D-Colo.) sought to take a $403 million bite out of the budget deficit by slicing funding for a non-functioning missile defense program — as recommended by the Government Accountability Office.
“As we make tough choices to balance the budget, a missile defense program that can’t seem to hit its targets is a good target to achieve savings for taxpayers,” Polis said. “In a time of large deficits and increasing debt, Congress should have to justify every penny it spends to the taxpayers, and there just isn’t any justification for spending an additional $400 million on a weapons program that doesn’t work.” Continue reading “Rep. Polis tries to trim wasteful defense spending”→
Senator says the measure balances civil liberties with national security
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Sen. Mark Udall this week said he would introduce legislation aimed at nullifying a controversial provision passed as part of the defense bill that requires the military to detain on U.S. soil any individuals suspected of terrorism.
The bill would ensure access to U.S. courts for anyone detained on U.S. territory and prohibit indefinite detention and transfer to foreign countries for individuals detained in the United States, according to a fact sheet issued by Udall’s office.It also would reverse the mandatory military custody for foreign terrorist suspects linked to al-Qaida.
Udall said the measure he’s proposing strikes a balance between protecting civil liberties and maintaining national security. Rep. Adam Smith, joined Udall at a press conference on the measures and introduced a companion bill in the House.
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.