Target: Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
Goal: Prevent the implementation of bill which would sanction the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is attempting to draft an amendment to the upcoming national defense bill that would allow for the indefinite detention of American citizens. The bill ensures that if the government believes you are a terrorist it can put you in prison without having to prove you committed an actual crime.
While the amendment has not yet been formally introduced, it has been circulating around Capital Hill and Graham has explained the paramaters of his bill publicly. The bill would affirm the government’s power to “detain under the law of war” any individual “who joins al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or an associated force” and/or who “plans or participates in a belligerent act against the United States on behalf of such forces anywhere in the United States and its territories.”
Previous Congressional debates left the question of whether or not the government can indefinitely detain U.S. citizens apprehended on American soil open. Senator Graham intends to make sure this debate is closed and that Americans are eligible to be thrown in prison without due process.
Senator Graham’s amendment is authoritarian and racist. Graham has justified the measures he wishes to implement by comparing them to the internment of Americans during World War II. He believes the internment camps Japanese and German prisoners of war and U.S. citizens were subject to constitute an ideal model for the treatment of American dissidents today. The indefinite detention of American citizens was wrong back then and it remains unjustifiable today. Tell Senator Lindsey Graham that this amendment is unacceptable.
Dear Senator Graham,
I am writing this letter to address the amendment you have made to the National Defense Authorization Act that would authorize the indefinite detention of American citizens. The U.S. has already detained countless non-American individuals during the past decade. The policy of indefinite detention has not made America safer however.
What it has accomplished is the isolation of America from the international community and the tarnishing of America’s image abroad. Employing such a heavy-handed policy at home would similarly not make us safer from the threat of terrorism.
The amendment you have written is vague, costly, and unconstitutional. Moreover, it would not bring safety to the people of the United States. It would bring just the opposite, with countless individuals being detained without sufficient evidence and without trial. I ask that you do not go forward with this bill, Senator Graham, for the good of the American people.
[Your Name Here]