US introduces internment on a statutory footing

In a decision that clearly earmarks a much more explicit authoritarianism at the core of liberal representative democracies internment – the detention of human being in prisons or camps without any recourse to proving guilt of any crime – has just been enshrined into law in the US.

The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) covers many things including as usual an increase in tax spending on what is called the  military-prison industrial complex, supported by a  network of personnel who flow through the revolving doors of Department of Defense,  lobby organisations and industry.

Human Right Watch describe the impacts.  “By signing this defense spending bill, President Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “In the past, Obama has lauded the importance of being on the right side of history, but today he is definitely on the wrong side.”

The far-reaching detainee provisions would codify interment without trial into US law for the first time since the McCarthy era when Congress in 1950 overrode the veto of then-President Harry Truman and passed the Internal Security Act. The bill would also bar the transfer of detainees currently held at Guantanamo into the US for any reason, including for trial. In addition, it would extend restrictions, imposed last year, on the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo to home or third countries – even those cleared for release by the administration. (from Human Rights Watch)


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