Despite all of the wackiness going on in Washington D.C. right now, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has not lost sight of what is important. Indefinite detention of any American citizen deemed a terrorist by the federal government was codified into law in the 2012 NDAA signed by former President Obama, and remains in effect today. Paul was able to stall an expedited vote proposed by Senate leadership for this year’s NDAA so an amendment to repeal indefinite detention could be considered.
Paul’s move will likely stall the bill from being considered until September. Predictably, Paul’s fidelity to civil liberties has angered Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who desperately wanted to fast track the bill with no real regard for the actual contents of the legislation.
“The highest responsibility of every member of Congress is to do what they think is right for the nation. It is unfortunate that one senator chose to block consideration of a bill our nation needs right now, the National Defense Authorization Act,” McCain added. “We must uphold our solemn obligation to provide for the common defense and give our men and women in uniform the training, equipment, and resources they need to defend the nation. Our brave service members – many now serving in harm’s way – deserve nothing less.”
Additionally, Paul is proposing a second amendment regarding the authorization of military force. According to senior strategist Doug Stafford, Paul will be fighting to place a sunset on the 2001 and 2002 authorizations. Presently, those authorizations are being interpreted as open-ended mandates for endless war throughout the Middle East and now expanding into Africa as well. Paul hopes to eventually bring these interventions to a end with this amendment.
“Senator Rand Paul requested two bipartisan amendments, one on ending indefinite detention and one on AUMFs. He looks forward to working with leadership and the committee to get this done soon,” Paul’s spokesman Sergio Gor said.
McCain, as usual, is joined by Democrats who just want to rubber-stamp the NDAA without any real debate. The military-industrial complex comes first and everything else comes second to these veteran Washington D.C. swamp rats.
“[We have] arrived at a bipartisan agreement on a list of amendments that can be agreed to, and we can finish this bill,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said.
While McCain, Schumer and the political establishment may want business as usual to proceed, that one fly in the ointment just will not let it happen. Although there is no guarentee that either of Paul’s amendments will ultimately pass, the fact that he is pushing for debate and discussion on these key libertarian issues is very laudable.