Volume 2, Decmber 1, 2011
OCCUPY OLYMPIA NEWS, LOCAL
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FOR YOUR SUPPORT
One Day, One Person, In the Occupy
3,000 people of Washington State
Occupy the Capital, Occupy Olympia
hosts Washington’s first statewide GA
Occupiers show arrest support block-
ing Intercity Transit Bus
Man arrested at Heritage
Lawmakers to Declare America a
Senate Passes “National Defense
people in the rotunda. He also expressed an objection
One Day, One Person, In the to their plugging into the power source that was
Occupy Movement available where they were. He told me he planned to
turn the power off to dissuade them from sitting there
-Valerie Krull and also because they were in effect stealing power
which he said they could have arranged for had they
gone through the proper procedures.
Coming from the day of protest on November 28 at
the Capitol in Olympia I find myself swimming in a I spoke to the Protesters to tell them what Tony had
sea of emotions and thoughts. I had been asked by said, and I also communicated my personal perspec-
members of Occupy Olympia to be a police liaison. I tive on this situation. The Protesters offered the
accepted this role with some trepidation, though I possibility of getting down if they were offered
also anticipated that it would not be a very active another power source for their speakers. It was this
role, in so far as dealing with the police. offer which Tony reacted to with the stance about
refusing them power on the grounds of improper
I spent the day keeping my awareness on the State procedural process.
Patrol, and trying to make respectful and human
connection with them when possible. I had several In all of these interactions I did my best to clearly
interactions with them, as well as with employees of communicate the information coming to me. I also
Department of Enterprise Services (DES is respon- shared my own perspective which is as follows (and
sible for the entire Capitol Campus, including all is the entry point for the larger issue which I will
buildings). address further along in this writing): I thought that
Tony, as a person, and a State employee whose role
I was not present for the arrests at the end of the day, is to oversee the rotunda, had a valid concern about
though I did see video of the arrests and the people falling from this place. I also thought that
protests at the bus. I also witnessed the interaction at responding to this concern would be a valid
the doors to the rotunda when the State Patrol, under acknowledgement by the Protesters of the role of
the orders of DES, refused to allow entry to Protest- DES, without seriously compromising what I
ers. believed and hoped would be a successful occupa-
tion of the Capitol. (Whether the Protesters believed
One Occupy participant expressed his objection to they were in danger is irrelevant to my point.)
my role as a police liaison, and the very idea of
havinga police liaison at all. This conversation I also thought the Protesters’ desire for a power
followed my liaison activity between a DES person source was valid, and that their offer to get down
(Tony, to those who know him) and a group of people from the “cliff”, in exchange for the use of power,
sitting atop one of the cliff like edges in the center of was a collaborative offer. Unfortunately Tony did not
the rotunda. My role, as I understood it, was to be a see it this way, and while I empathized with his
person the police and DES could talk to, and that I feeling of being held “hostage“ (by the Protesters,
would report the substance of my exchanges with for asking him to exchange a power source for their
them to members of the Occupy group. I did not removing themselves from this space), I told him
assume that in my role I was giving up my own clearly that I felt he was missing an opportunity for
perspective or my own voice (it was suggested by the positive negotiation and was taking an unproductive
person questioning my role that I should keep an stance.
In contrast to this was my interaction with a State
In my role I listened to Tony’s concerns which were Patrol officer over the presence of a dog in the
twofold. One was his concern about the safety of the rotunda (an infraction of the rotunda rules except
people atop the “cliff”. He expressed concern (and when a service dog). This was a very tense moment
the State’s liability) for the protester‘s risk of falling including multiple officers, a crying and very loudly
and his concern that some of them may be drunk expressive (because she was afraid) person, and a
large crowd of people gathered around. In this people were seemingly unsupportive of the crowd of
instance I listened to the person, and understood her people demanding the right of entrance for those
fear and I advocated for her right to have her service Protesters outside. I thought that with enough
dog, because it was apparent to me that it was support, their right to entrance would be defended
a service dog, regardless of her lack of paperwork. successfully. On the other hand the thought went
The officer in question asked me to help him work through my mind that this stance could be merely an
out a compromise which would deescalate the situa- example of mob rule, and that perhaps this was also
tion, and I think, save face for the officers there. going through the minds of those who were not
He gave the person assurances that she would not be showing support. I also observed the distance
forced to leave the building if she would move between officers and the protesters, which was
away from the place she was, which was at the base negligible.
of the Christmas display. I followed her to offer her
support, and to make sure that in fact she was not While I was sitting there Joyce Turner, Director of
forced to leave the building. DES came and sat next to me. She asked me if I was
planning to stay (which at that point would have
I had earlier had another liaison moment when an been an act of Civil Disobedience).
officer took issue with someone sitting in a chair in
this same display. The officer was asking him to I said no, and that the whole scenario greatly
leave this display, out of a sense of duty to the disturbed me. She asked me what I thought should
people of Washington for whom this display was happen. I said I thought the State Patrol should allow
erected. At first I wondered if this person was the Protesters inside. She then went on to tell me
making a what happened last year when she (in her capacity as
pointless statement against an arguably reasonable director of DES) allowed the Capitol to be occupied
request by the officer not to sit in the middle of the for four days. According to her there was significant
decorations. The person told me he was an atheist, damage done by individuals, such as marring the
which brought my awareness to the understandable building by graffiti and other physical destruction.
controversy over displaying a symbol clearly meant Since I have had a relationship with Joyce since our
to indicate a Christian holiday at the epicenter of move to Heritage Park (when she chose to negotiate
our State’s political life. I relayed this information with Occupy Olympia persons instead of requiring
to the officer (the person in the chair was refusing to the immediate removal of our tents, which she had
talk to the officer), where upon the officer threw up been poised to do) I had reason to believe that she
his hands and walked away. was speaking to me in good faith when she tells me
that she is basing her decisions on her concerns for
At 5:30 the State Patrol lined up in front of the doors the Capitol Campus for which she is responsible. (I
and refused entry to Protesters outside despite do not agree with her handling of this, nor have I
the fact that there were hundreds of people already agreed with her perspective on certain conditions
in the rotunda. A crowd of people approached she has placed on our Occupation of Heritage Park,
the officers demanding that the Protesters be let in. but I understand her sense of responsibility to her
For a short while a large number of people in the job.)
rotunda chanted “Let them in”. The crowd in front
of the State Patrol grew and a mild pushing match I brought up the issue of First Amendment rights
became escalated until Tasers were used. with her, and she reiterated that we were free to
assemble while the building was open for normal
During this time the members of the crowd facing hours. We spoke again later about the allegations of
off with the State Patrol were impassionedly asking Tasing, and she told me that the State Patrol had not
for support from the rest of the people in the used the Tasers to their full extent, and that they used
rotunda, who mostly declined. I sat on the steps and them when they began to be pushed by Protesters.
witnessed, feeling unsure about what I thought was (According to Joyce Tasers have probes which were
happening, and frustrated that the majority of not used, only the “buzzer” feature which delivers a
people were seemingly unsupportive of the crowd “minor” shock.)
Sometime after this another DES employee interpretation and as a consensus- based movement
approached me and spoke to me about her concern we are still defining these principles.
for the Occupiers in general. I asked her if they
intended to disperse our camp without notice, and I want to use my experience of this particular
she gave me a very vague reply. I told her that given moment in our movement to offer some points to
the vulnerable and challenged condition of many of consider in the definition of these principles.
the campers that a surprise action by DES would
only make matters for them worse. Inclusivity: To me this means that our movement is
open to all people, regardless of the issues they have,
I left at about 7:00. I had agreed to be police liaison or their roles, or their relative social or economic
until 4:00, when someone else took over, and I had privilege or lack thereof. It means that we do our best
stayed longer than I had intended to support the to support everyone to participate to the best of their
people who were staying. However, I had decided ability. It also means we create some means of
that getting arrested did not make sense for me in balancing space and time, so that people with differ-
that instance, and I was exhausted. Before I left I ing needs and abilities have equal access to express
thanked Joyce for taking time to talk to me, and I themselves and to hear others. This is what I believe
also stopped to thank the officer who had collabo- the General Assembly restructuring was aiming to
rated about the dog. He actually thanked me before I improve. I think the restructuring has improved the
had a chance to say what I had planned. GA, although I still think we have a lot to work on
improving the culture of our GA, which is a mirror
I woke up this morning and watched the footage of of the culture we are addressing in the Occupy
the Protesters attempting to stop the bus, and the Movement as a whole.
State Patrol pushing people behind the white line. I
heard the chants of “This is what a police state looks The person I spoke with at the protest didn’t believe
like” and thought of my conversation with Joyce in I should have been having any sort of conversation
which I tried to articulate my belief that we do live in with the State Patrol or DES. I believe that in the
a police state (however less severe that may be than spirit of inclusivity we need to see these people,
some other places) and my belief that our potential despite their roles, as people like us who are part of a
as humans is far from being met by our current broken system. I do not believe that refusing to deal
police and military institutions. I also thought about with them because of the obvious power imbalance
the lack of unity I experienced inside the rotunda, and their cooperation with an oppressive system
and had a general feeling of disappointment and (which we all cooperate with to some degree because
futility. that is what we live in!) will help us to create the
society we envision. We cannot pretend that this
Now that I have had some time to think about things system does not exist, nor can we operate completely
several issues have emerged. I will try to break it outside of it. To acknowledge its existence and to
down as clearly as I can. work respectfully with the Tonys and Joyces of our
community who have made efforts within their roles
Since I joined the Occupy Movement, which was the to acknowledge our goals is not to betray our Move-
day we assembled in Sylvester Park, I have been a ment. It is simply to work with what is, right now.
firm supporter of the General Assembly, and the
principles which guide it, which I understand to be: Horizontal Direct Democracy: Yes. This is the best
Inclusivity, Horizontal Direct Democracy, Social part. It means we really are all equal, no one above,
and Economic Justice, and Local and Global Direct and no one below. This does not mean all behaviors
Action. Each one of these principles is a challenge are created equal. Using our GA as an example: I
by itself, and a movement which attempts to take have witnessed some individuals claiming to have
them all on and work to enact all of them is coura- been treated unequally when they are asked to follow
geous to say the least. I also think it’s the least we our consented-upon structure for communication, or
can do. Not one of those principles is dispensable. when they are not supported by the group to inter-
Yet each of these principles is subject to interpreta- rupt, either just not waiting for their turn or shouting
profanities and throwing temper tantrums in the attempt to open up dialogue wherever we feel we can
middle of the GA circle. to raise awareness of the oppressions and the privi-
leges we have. I suggest we work with Leticia Nieto,
The principle of horizontal direct democracy is truly or someone trained by her, to increase our
radical. For over 10,000 years of patriarchy (and community’s skills around this issue. We are trying
even considering the relatively modern invention of to raise awareness of the cultural values that have
Democracy) we have all been schooled in the realm allowed the 1% to have the power and freedom it
of hierarchy, from the cradle to our places of employ- has, and to be successful in doing this we have to
ment. This principle is difficult to learn no matter work on the conditions in our own backyards.
how much we want it, and so we cannot expect
people who are not even trying to learn it to be very Local and Global Direct Action: Our direct action is
good at it. And yet, we need to interact with these imperative. Our visible physical presence and our
very same people if we want a truly inclusive society. constructive activism on planet earth, which is our
common responsibility to care for and respect, are
Just as we do not throw people away because they imperative. Ever since the Commons was stolen,
are addicts, or have mental health issues, or have any ever since the invention of nation states which
other aspect that makes them challenging to work carved up the planet in culturally and environmen-
with, we need to work by example with those who tally destructive ways, we have had a distorted idea
suppose they are above or below us. of where we the people are “allowed” This does not
mean I am advocating a society without boundaries.
Yes. The institution of the State Patrol, (all police or In fact, what we are calling the 1% to account for is
military groups by their very nature) is a dominance their lack of boundaries and the violence that comes
based entity which helps maintain unequal social and with this lack. Because of this I feel we must work to
economic systems. We are not going to change that be as impeccable as we are able to have boundaries,
by refusing to engage with the humans who inhabit to acknowledge what respect looks like, for every-
those roles. I believe we need to engage, just very one. There are ways to demonstrate that are powerful
differently than most of us have experienced. In and respectful. There are ways to defend ourselves
retrospect I regret not noticing, and acting on this from violence that are not violent. We need to learn
during the Protester/State Patrol standoff at the them.
If I had it to do over again I would have walked into
Social and Economic Justice: This day of protest the crowd, called Mic Check, and pointed out the
raised many issues that connect social and economic lack of boundaries between the Protesters and the
justice. We know that it is unjust to have such huge State Patrol. I would have pointed out that yelling in
income disparity. We know that it is unjust that our someone’s face is a boundary violation. I would have
police and military protect the wealthy and those suggested that we back up to give a reasonable
who are aligned with them. We know that poor amount of space, and that we lower our voices to a
people and so-called minority groups suffer in direct moderate level. I would have suggested we chant in
proportion to their minority status and their poverty a consistent but far less provocative tone, and I think
and that the dominant cultural norms still uphold the it would have been interesting to see what might
privilege and protection of those among us with the have happened. For one thing, I think we might have
most social and economic privilege. gotten the support of more of the people in the
rotunda. I think that our message would have been
We are caught in the soup of this stuff. It is all around heard more clearly, and the whole night’s events may
us, and in us. We have to acknowledge first to have moved in another direction.
ourselves where we experience oppression, and
where we are in a privileged class that is free from This is not to put the responsibility for State Patrol
certain oppressions. We also would be wise to violence on us (the responsibility for violence is
attempt to open up dialogue wherever we feel we always on the perpetrator). It is simply to point out
can to raise awareness of the oppressions and the that we have avenues of power that our not based in
anger. True non-violence does not yell at, or crowd, lies, retirees, veterans and citizens from all over the
anyone, not even a cop. We need to learn how to country assembled in solidarity to occupy the Olym-
be empowered in multiple stances, whether pia State Capital legislative building.
passive, assertive, or aggressive. None of these
need be violent, which I de ne as intending to
in ict harm or anger on to another. This does not
mean our anger shouldn’t be expressed, but that it
needs to be expressed with respect for basic
human dignity, even when the people around us
do not know what this means. It is my profound
belief that any gains we achieve by violence or
hatred, we will need to gain again and again until
we learn how to achieve them with dignity and
As I write this I am listening to the Occupy London Washington labor unions that participated include
live stream. I think we need to keep reminding Teamsters, SEIU, IWW, WEA and IBEW among
ourselves, and whoever we talk to, that this is a others. Political groups such as the Green Party of
global movement and that it is happening all Washington and the Thurston County Democratic
around the world, all around the clock. When the Society also attended. Professors from Seattle Cen-
mainstream media fails us, and wrongly reports tral Community College, South Puget Sound Com-
that the Occupy Movement is losing support, or munity College, The Evergreen State College and
that we are a Movement of violent agitators who Saint Martin’s College were also present, as well as
don’t know what we’re here for, we need to look to students from across the state. In addition, advocacy
the global media which shows us in real time what groups such as fuse, MoveOn, Socialist Alternative,
is happening. We need to tell our local govern- and ISO. There was also a presence of occupations
ments to hold our police and State Patrol account- from across the state & country including Forks,
able for their failure to protect citizens and our First Bellingham, Tacoma, Olympia, Everett, Shelton,
Amendment Rights to Public Assembly and Free Federal Way, Seattle, Spokane, Port Angeles, Port-
Speech. land and Wall
We need to be the principles we are advocating, to
the very best of our abilities. We are growing stron-
ger and more e ective every day and we have The air buzzed
great reason for optimism and hope. with multiple
3,000 people of Washington groups present
in front of the
State Occupy the Capital, legislative
Occupy Olympia hosts building.
Washington’s first statewide and dancing
GA from one side
-Occupy Olympia Press Staff spoke passionately from the foot of the rotunda
stairs. A matador stood waving his red cape as
On November 28th, 2011, over 3,000 college profes- performing artists steered a life sized bull back and
sors, teachers, students, labor unions, families, retir- forth.
Occupiers show arrests
support blocking Intercity
-Occupy Olympia Press Staff
Four people were arrested and placed on an Intercity
Transit bus at the Capital Campus today. This bus
was present to potentially be used for the transport of
arrested individuals. The occupiers showed support
by blocking the bus from leaving. People moved into
the street and laid down in the path of the bus.
A scuffle ensued as officers picked up occupiers and
threw them aside in an attempt to clear a path for the
bus. As bodies were removed by police more people
moved in to take their place.
Some folks even placed picnic tables in front of the
bus. Four people were tazed.
Man arrested at Heritage
-Occupy Olympia Press Staff
December 1, 2011 -Occupy Olympia Press Staff
Shortly after 10:45 at Heritage Park seven Olympia
PD removed an occupier from his tent and placed
him under arrest for an alleged assault and robbery. 5
Peace and Safety crew members were on their detail
and have confirmed that no crime took place at the
NATIONAL The National Defense Authorization Act regularly
comes before Congress for changes and additions,
but the latest provision, S. 1867, proves to be the
most powerful one yet in raping constitutional free-
NEWS doms from Americans. Move over, Patriot Act.
Should S. 1867 pass, lawmakers could conjure the
text to keep even regular citizens detained indefi-
nitely by their own military.
Battlefield US: Americans Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a supporter of the
bill, has explicitly stated that the passing of S. 1867
face arrest as war criminals would “basically say in law for the first time that the
homeland is part of the battlefield” and could lead to
under Army state law the detention of citizens without charge or trial,
writes Chris Anders of the American Civil Liberties
Union’s Washington office.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H) sits on the same side of
the aisle and agrees wholeheartedly. “America is
part of the battlefield,” says the lawmaker.
America’s Military is already operating in roughly
200 countries, dishing out detention and executions
to citizens of other nations. As unrest erupts on the
country’s own soil amid a recession, economic
collapse and protests in hundreds of cities from
coast-to-coast, is it that much of a surprise that
Specialist Michael Olivas from Fresno, California lawmakers finally want to declare the US a
of 3rd Squadron. (AFP Photo/Liu Jin) warzone?
Maybe not, but if the Senate has their way, the
consequential could be detrimental to the US Con-
Charles Richardson stitution.
Published: 29 November, 2011, 04:21
Edited: 29 November, 2011, 16:35 “The Senate is going to vote on whether Congress
will give this president — and every future president
America is opening up a new warfront and it’s in — the power to order the military to pick up and
your own backyard. It’s in your neighbor’s house, it’s imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere
three states over and it’s on the other side of the Mis- in the world,” adds Anders. “The power is so broad
sissippi. that even US citizens could be swept up by the mili-
tary and the military could be used far from any
That’s what a new legislation could lead to and the battlefield, even within the United States itself.”
consequences are dire and constitutionally damning.
“American citizens and people picked up on Ameri-
The United States Senate is set to vote this week on a can or Canadian or British streets being sent to mili-
bill that would categorize the entire USA as a “battle- tary prisons indefinitely without even being charged
field,” allowing law enforcement duties to be dished with a crime. Really? Does anyone think this is a
out by the American Military, who in turn could good idea? And why now?”asks Anders.
detain any US citizen as a war criminal — even
coming into their own homes to issue arrests.
Just like its supporters, the provision has attracted its 1878 by authorizing the US military to perform law
share of critics as well. The Obama administration enforcement functions on American soil. That alone
has threatened to veto the bill if it makes its way should alarm my colleagues on both sides of the aisle,
through Congress, but given the president’s poor but there are other problems with these provisions that
standing among the American public (his disap- must be resolved.”
proval rating is at its highest ever in recent polling),
a hawkish Republican could usurp Obama as Udall isn’t the only one on Capitol Hill that has seen a
commander-in-chief as the 2012 election is less than problem with the provision, which was developed
a year away and the unemployment level stays stag- under shady circumstances. The text itself was drafted
nant and sad. With the exception of Congressman in secrecy in a closed-door meeting by US Sen. Carl
Ron Paul, the frontrunners currently vying for the Levin, D-Michigan, and Sen. John McCain,
Republican Party’s nomination for the presidency R-Arizona, two of the biggest names in Washington.
have remained outspoken in their support for not just No hearing was held to discuss the details and it was
increasing American military presence overseas at a passed in a closed-door committee meeting, reports
time when the Pentagon’s budget dwarfs many Infowar’s Paul Joseph Watson.
governmental sectors, but in adding provisions to the
Patriot Act itself to further remove freedoms from Watson continues to conjure up a list of characteristics
the people. that the Department of Homeland Security have identi-
fied as traits of domestic terrorism, calling into ques-
During last week’s GOP debate televised on CNN, tion past maneuvers from the government that led to
former House speaker Newt Gingrich said that the those owning guns, buying gold and even donating to
country must“try to find that balancing act between charity being considered America’s enemy. At last
our individual liberties and security.” That same week’s debate, Ron Paul added that “It’s anybody
night, pizzaman Herman Cain said suspected terror- associated with organizations, which means almost
ists should be killed before identified and former anybody can be loosely associated,” referring to how
Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum suggested that the government can use its discretion — or lack thereof
Muslims should be profiled by the American govern- — to bring terrorism charges against its own people.
ment because, “obviously,” they are the group “that Calling into question the recent execution of two
are most likely to be committing these crimes,” Americans with alleged ties to Al-Qaeda, Paul added,
speaking broadly of his assumption of those that “So, that makes all Americans vulnerable, and now we
construct terrorist attacks. know American citizens are vulnerable to assassina-
“I have a personal belief that you never have to give
up liberty for security. You can still provide security The provision itself passed in the House all the way
without sacrificing our Bill of Rights,” responded back in May, and only now is going before the Senate.
Rep. Paul. “You can prevent crimes by becoming a Justin Amash, a Republican representative from
police state . . . So if you advocate the police state, Cascade Township, was one of the five House Repub-
yes, you can have safety and security and you might licans that voted against it. “It is destructive of our
prevent a crime, but the crime then will be against Constitution,” he writes on his Facebook page. It
the American people and against our freedoms.” would “permit the federal government to indefinitely
detain American citizens on American soil, without
Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) has already aligned him- charge or trial, at the discretion of the president.”
self as an opponent of the legislation, but needs to
garner the backing of others if he wants to keep Con- Given that the passing of the provision would allow for
gress from enacting the provision. “One section of legally lengthy and questionable detention, it becomes
these provisions, section 1031, would be interpreted bizarre why Sen. McCain, a former prisoner of war,
as allowing the military to capture and indefinitely would pen such a bill. McCain was imprisoned in
detain American citizens on US soil,” the Senator North Vietnam for over five years in a camp where he
said in a speech last month. “Section 1031 essen- was detained and tortured before entering American
tially repeals the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 by politics.
“The president should not have the authority to would have killed the provision, voting it down with
determine whether the Constitution applies to you, 61 against, and 37 for it.
no matter what the allegations,” adds Amash, who
also writes, “Note that it does not preclude US “I’m very, very, concerned about having U.S.
citizens from being detained indefinitely, without citizens sent to Guantanamo Bay for indefinite
charge or trial, it simply makes such detention detention,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), one of the
discretionary. Senate’s most conservative members.
“Please urge your Senators to oppose these outra- Paul’s top complaint is that a terrorism suspect
geous provisions.” would get just one hearing where the military could
assert that the person is a suspected terrorist — and
As a solution, Sen. Udall has offered a counter act, then they could be locked up for life, without ever
being dubbed the Udall Amendment, that would formally being charged. The only safety valve is a
keep S. 1867 from its critical consequences and waiver from the secretary of defense.
would instead require lawmakers to examine the
necessity of detaining citizens domestically, and “It’s not enough just to be alleged to be a terrorist,”
instead would make Congress consider whether any Paul said, echoing the views of the American Civil
detention legislation is needed at all. Liberties Union. “That’s part of what due process is
— deciding, are you a terrorist? I think it’s important
In the meantime, Anders and ACLU are calling on that we not allow U.S. citizens to be taken.”
Americans to voice their concerns to the US Senate.
As political posturing keeps the country divided and Democrats who were also concerned about liberties
the branches of government fight to find a solution to compared the military policing of Americans to the
the crumbling economy, infrastructure — and now detention of Americans in internment camps during
the Constitution — a solution to this problem is only World War II.
the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the assaults on
Americans that is underway. “Congress is essentially authorizing the indefinite
imprisonment of American citizens, without charge,”
said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who offered
Senate Passes “National another amendment — which has not yet gotten a
vote — that she said would correct the problem. “We
Defense Authorization Act” are not a nation that locks up its citizens without
Backers of military detention of Americans — a
Senate Votes To Let Military Detain Americans
measure crafted by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) —
Indefinitely, White House Threatens Veto
came out swinging against Udall’s amendment on
the Senate floor earlier Tuesday.
WASHINGTON — The Senate voted Tuesday to
“The enemy is all over the world. Here at home. And
keep a controversial provision to let the military
when people take up arms against the United States
detain terrorism suspects on U.S. soil and hold them
and [are] captured within the United States, why
indefinitely without trial — prompting White House
should we not be able to use our military and intelli-
officials to reissue a veto threat.
gence community to question that person as to what
they know about enemy activity?” Sen. Lindsey
The measure, part of the massive National Defense
Graham (R-S.C.) said.
Authorization Act, was also opposed by civil liber-
tarians on the left and right. But 16 Democrats and an
“They should not be read their Miranda Rights. They
independent joined with Republicans to defeat an
should not be given a lawyer,” Graham said. “They
amendment by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) that
should be held humanely in military custody and
interrogated about why they joined al Qaeda and investigating individuals who fall under the de ni-
what they were going to do to all of us.” tions of suspected terrorist in the measure.
In criticizing the measure, White House officials said The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act would
that it would cause confusion and interfere with a authorize defense spending on military personnel,
counterterrorism effort that has been remarkably weapons and war. The first draft of the bill won
successful since Sept. 11, 2001 — across two admin- support from both parties in Congress in October,
istrations. passing out of the Senate Armed Services Committee
with just Udall dissenting. A similar House bill
“It is likely that implementing such procedures allocating $690 billion for the Pentagon passed in
would inject significant confusion into counterterror- May, without the controversial measure. It could be
ism operations,” the White House argued in a Nov. changed when the differing versions are merged, if
17 statement. Congress desires.
Further, it contended: The detention provision whipped up a furor in both
This unnecessary, untested, and legally controver- parties, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
sial restriction of the President’s authority to (D-Nev.) having already text delayed the vote over it.
defend the Nation from terrorist threats would tie
the hands of our intelligence and law enforcement The final vote showed bizarre fractures among
professionals. Moreover, applying this military Democrats, erasing the usual barriers between
custody requirement to individuals inside the conservatives and liberals. The 16 who voted for the
United States, as some Members of Congress have harsh detainee rules were Sens. Bob Casey (Pa.),
suggested is their intention, would raise serious Kent Conrad (N.D.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Daniel
and unsettled legal questions and would be incon- Inouye (Hawaii), Herb Kohl (Wis.), Mary Landrieu
sistent with the fundamental American principle (La.), Carl Levin (Mich.), Joe Manchin (W. Va.),
that our military does not patrol our streets. We Clair McCaskill (Mo.), Robert Menendez (N.J.), Ben
have spent ten years since September 11, 2001, Nelson (Neb.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Jack Reed (R.I.),
breaking down the walls between intelligence, Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.)
military, and law enforcement professionals; Con- and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.). National defense
gress should not now rebuild those walls and hawk and independent Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.)
unnecessarily make the job of preventing terrorist also voted in favor of the tougher language.
attacks more di cult.
“It’s one of those things where … it’s bipartisan on
A White House o cial said the administration both sides. Levin’s not on the same page as the White
stands by the veto threat. “We take this very, very House. We’ve got our own internal differences; Paul
seriously,” the o cial said. and Kirk don’t agree with Graham,” said a senior
GOP aide just before the vote. “Everybody’s trying
Both FBI Director Robert Mueller and Director of to do the right thing. There’s just a difference of
National Intelligence James Clapper backed up the opinion.”
White House with letters sent to congressional
leaders. Clapper echoed the charge that the mea- Even though Paul was joined only by Sen. Mark Kirk
sure creates uncertainty and added that it could (R-Ill.) on his side of the aisle, the issue was conten-
prevent intelligence operatives from getting criti- tious at the Republicans’ weekly caucus lunch.
cal information from suspects.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) emerged from the meet-
And although the measure allows the secretary of ing — where former Vice President Dick Cheney
defense to waive it, both Mueller and Clapper said was in attendance — saying his colleagues had “a
that could prove unworkable in the real world. spirited discussion” about Udall’s amendment, and
predicted nearly all Republicans would oppose the
Mueller added that it could even stop the FBI from amendment, as they did.
Sen. Menendez later sought, and was granted,
unanimous consent from the Senate to change his
vote. He is now recorded as supporting the Udall
amendment, with the final tally changed to 38 to 60.
Additional reporting by Hayley Miller.