A few days ago, the U.S. Senate voted to keep a provision in the national defense authorization bill. The provision allows for the U.S. military to detain indefinitely and without due process any American in America or in another country or any other person in America or in another country that they suspect to be a terrorist.

Both Sen. Olympia Snowe and Sen. Susan Collins voted to keep this provision. How could they have done this? I believe that this provision is the most un-American, most un-democratic, most Sen. McCarthy-like fear-mongering provision that the U.S. Senate has voted on in my life.

Who would determine who is a suspected terrorist, what criteria would be used, and would peaceful demonstrators such as the brave souls in the Occupy movement be detained?

I believe that America’s long-time commitment to due progress, legal representation, trial in a U.S. court, presuming someone is innocent until proven guilty, and telling someone what they are being charged with would end.

I think President Barack Obama should veto this bill.

I think that our beloved Sen. Margaret Chase Smith would have thought that there are few, if any, terrorists in America, would have stood up against this provision, and would have understood what I think is the reason behind it.

I think the senators are afraid of the Occupy movement, want to quash non-violent dissent, and are afraid of losing their perches of power and money. I think it’s time to recall Snowe and Collins and replace them with bright, honest people who have a conscience and who will not take money from corporations.

It is said that dissent is the highest form of patriotism.


Brian Noyes Pulling

Minister and social worker


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