Last month, Senator John McCain introduced S. 3081, a bill giving the government power to imprison its own citizens without criminal charges or a trial. The sweeping new powers would apply anywhere in the world, even within the borders of the United States itself. On the say-so of a presidential administration, you and anyone else in the world could be declared an “enemy belligerent” and put in indefinite detention, beyond the reach of trial, without provisions for any review of evidence.
The following U.S. Senators joined with McCain by cosponsoring the S. 3081, also known as the Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act, at the beginning of March:
If passed into law, S. 3081 would grant the executive branch of government unchecked tyrannical power. But from the point of this bill’s introduction going forward, the story takes a twist. After criticism from liberals and libertarians, Senator David Vitter withdrew his cosponsorship of the bill. No new cosponsors of McCain’s detention effort have added their support. When Representative Howard McKeon introduced H.R. 4892, a parallel bill for the House of Representatives, he failed to gain a single cosponsor.
It looks as though the McCain-McKeon effort has been stymied, at least for now. We’ll continue to pay attention to the status of these bills and keep you apprised of any changes.