"What that means is, as soon as a member of al Qaeda sets foot on American soil, the first thing he hears after ‘You are under arrest’ is, ‘You have the right to remain silent, you have a right to be provided an attorney and if you can’t afford one, one will be provided for you. […] There may be differences about how we treat illegal aliens who come here as members of al Qaeda to conduct terrorist attacks, but I think the vast majority of people in this body and around the country do not think telling them they have the right to remain silent as the first thing they hear is a wise thing."
Texas Rep. Mac Thornbury’s incredibly stupid reasoning behind voting against a bill to end indefinite detention in the United States. The measure was defeated by the House earlier today.
What Thornsbury and the 237 people who sided with him fail to acknowledge is that the implications of the National Defense Authorization Act that was passed late last year do not merely affect the rights of Al Qaeda terrorists; they present an unprecedented assault on the civil liberties of all Americans. Earlier this week, US District Court Judge Katherine Forrest ruled the NDAA’s indefinite detention provision unconstitutional, saying it had a ”chilling impact on First Amendment rights.” Forrest found that reporters and activists had a reasonable fear that the government could deem them to have provided support to someone associated with terrorist groups simply by interviewing them.