TODAY is the Senate’s turn to vote on FY2012 “Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which the House passed yesterday evening by a vote of 283-138. This bill contains $554 billion for the Pentagon base budget and another $115.5 billion for the wars, and includes dangerous provisions for the “indefinite detention” of terrorism suspects. (Roll Call Here)
Background: The House of Representatives passed the FY2012 Defense Authorization bill last May by a vote of 322-96. The Senate passed its version of the “Defense” Authorization bill last week. (Roll Call Here). A joint conference committee completed work on a final version of the NDAA over the weekend. It was this version, which just passed the House. Among its disturbing features:
- *It authorizes $554 billion for the Pentagon’s bloated base budget and $115.5 billion for continuing the wars.
- *It drops the Merkley language, which required a plan for the accelerated withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan before 2014.
- *It provides for the indefinite detention of people suspected of terrorism, without charges or trial and mandates military detention for a subset of terrorism suspects.
- *It bars the transfer of detainees currently held in Guantanamo to the United States for any reason including trial.
- *It requires draconian sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran directly threatening the economic well-being of average Iranians.
Senate votes will be coming today! Please make your calls now! Capitol switchboard 202-224-3121.
Let your Senators know that you want them to vote against the FY2012 “Defense” Authorization bill because it imperils civil liberties, continues an endless war in Afghanistan and elsewhere, wastes billions of dollars that 99% of Americans need for a more secure life here at home.
Gael and Rusti
Co-conveners UFPJ Legislative Working Group