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Chicago – Illinois political hack Richard J. “Dick” Durbin (D) has been in the U.S. Senate seventeen years too long. Time and time again for nearly two decades, Durbin has failed to reconcile his occasional calls for moderate government reforms with his overall track record of encouraging the growth of the size and scope of the government at every level. Perhaps even worse, he plays politics with his voting record on the most important of issues.
Durbin boasts that he voted ‘Nay’ on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012, which Pres. Obama signed into law on Dec. 31, 2011. Inserted into the annual legislation which specifies the budget and expenditures for the Department of Defense, one of the most controversial new subsections authorizes the indefinite detention of individuals by military personnel without due process, regardless of their legal status or their location at the time of rendition.
According to an analysis by the ACLU, this act codifies into law indefinite military detention without charge or trial for the first time in American history,” said Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of America (TUA).
Although Durbin voted against the 2012 NDAA and the 2013 NDAA, he cast a ‘Yea’ vote for the 2014 NDAA, which at present still contains the provisions permitting the indefinite detention of individuals without trial. Durbin also voted ‘Yea’ for the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), enabling the endless wars and lawlessness both abroad and at home for the past thirteen years. Unfortunately, the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2015 will almost assuredly pass again sometime in December 2014, as it has for more than five decades.
And worse yet, for more than a year and as recently as last month, Durbin has advocated rewriting the AUMF with even broader authorities, perhaps encompassing or exceeding those provided by the current NDAA he claims to oppose.
“The NDAA detention subsections are not limited to people captured in an actual armed conflict, as required by the laws of war,” continued Tobin. “As the ACLU stated, ‘There is substantial public debate around whether the NDAA could be read even to repeal the Posse Comitatus Act and authorize indefinite military detention without charge or trial within the United States.’ How Durbin will vote this time is anyone’s guess, but his voting record does not match his supposedly stalwart opposition to such tyrannical government legislation.”
“That Durbin would play politics with such an alarming expansion of government power is revealing of Durbin’s mindset, not to mention his knack for political posturing, claiming to be against the legislation while helping retain it as law. Durbin is the epitome of the D.C. Establishment.”
Concluded the ACLU: “The provisions – which were negotiated by a small group of members of Congress, in secret, and without proper congressional review – are inconsistent with fundamental American values.”
“Durbin has been in office far too long, and he needs to go,” Tobin emphasized. “He is a rabid supporter of big government, big spending, and eroding civil liberties, and is therefore a threat to everyone’s liberty and their wallets.”