Guest column: Support Justin Amash's effort to preserve American ideals, security
Mon, May 21, 2012
Source: The Grand Rapids Press
By Lt. Gen. Harry E. Soyster, USA (Ret.)
Late last year, Congress passed and President Obama signed a defense bill that weakens the nation’s struggle against terrorism.
The act has two particularly harmful provisions. One codifies the government’s authority to indefinitely detain without trial terrorism suspects, including Americans. The other forces the military to take custody of a category of foreign terrorism suspects — a job it neither wants nor needs — absent a presidential waiver.
This mistake was bipartisan; the solution must be as well. That may seem far-fetched in this polarized political environment, and during a presidential election year, no less.
Yet a bipartisan solution already exists. In the U.S. House of Representatives, Grand Rapids Republican Justin Amash and Adam Smith (D-Wash), ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, teamed up to try to fix the law.
Unfortunately, their effort failed, but the Senate has a chance to correct that mistake.
To understand why a fix is essential, it’s necessary to understand what’s wrong with the current law.
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