Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is holding up a vote on the Defense Authorization Act until he gets a vote on his amendment affirming the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution and the indefinite detention of Americans.
[…] Paul’s amendment would give American citizens being held by the military rights to a fair trial with a jury of peers and the right to confront the witnesses against him or her.
“A citizen of the United States who is captured or arrested in the United States and detained by the Armed Forces of the United States pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40) shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense,” the amendment states.
Keen observers of the American scene will know that this Amendment has no real chance of passing. This is the sort of crazy notion that will never catch on and only a daft, romantic fool believes in it. But, hey, that’s Washington for you. A city that makes a fetish of the Constitution but prefers to ignore it.
Rand Paul – son of Ron – is not always right or even sound on everything but – like Senator Jim Webb – he has the great virtue of knowing what he believes and being prepared to stick up for it. The Senate – like the Palace of Westminster, frankly – could do with more awkward buggers of his sort.