Other Skeevy Shit in the National Defense Authorization Act:
Oh, sure, sure, the Senate's codifying the detention and denial of habeas corpus that's been going on, with the added bonus that, in addition to killing the fuck out of Americans, the President can say, "Yeah, you're an enemy combatant. Welcome to Gitmo." To his credit, Barack Obama has said, "Umm, no," and threatened a veto, although that probably has more to do with allowing some kind of congressional involvement than anything we might think of as moral qualms.
But the NDAA is bursting with skeevy shit, in the debate and non-debate that's gone on.
There's Alabama's Jeff Sessions' Amendment 1274, still up for a vote, which says, according to Sessions, "an unlawful combatant or a combatant who is held by the U.S. military for being an enemy of the United States, a combatant against the United States, or an unlawful combatant, is not therefore entitled to be released if the U.S. military or the civilian courts choose to prosecute him and he is acquitted or after he serves his sentence but before hostilities have ended." You got that? Even if we've held someone for years in legal suspended animation, if that prisoner should actually get some kind of trial and if, with all the rules being against him, he happens to get acquitted, he'll still be stuck in custody until he dies or the war ends, which it never will. Call this the "we're such pussies in America" rule.
This led to South Carolina's Lindsey Graham, who has had a such a boner for detention without charge or trial that it's practically slapping John McCain in the face, to say, "[I]f you take the ability to hold someone as an enemy combatant off the table, you cannot interrogate them for intelligence-gathering purposes, and if you put a time limit on how long you can hold them, you defeat the purpose of gathering intelligence." You might think that someone held for a decade would have no useful intelligence left and could possibly be set free, if he's acquitted in a, you know, fair trial. But you'd be a traitor who wants the two remaining al-Qaeda members to fuck your dog and gut your daughters.
Of course, yea or nay, at least Sessions' amendment got debated. The same can't be said for Amendment 1120. That said that women in the military who get pregnant by rape can have their abortions paid for by the military. New Hampshire Democrat Janine Shaheen introduced it, and, because there were important things to be passed, like the aforementioned Christmas Tree Week, 1120 got designated as "non-germane." Apparently, a defense funding bill is not the place to discuss the funds of soldiers.
Oh, yeah, that and making sure that military chaplains don't have to perform marriage ceremonies for the gays. That passed. The House version of the NDAA specifically banned chaplains from doing the deed. The Senate version just says that it's up to the chaplain. Actually, it's kind of funny. It just says that any chaplain "who as a matter of conscience or moral principle does not wish to perform a marriage, may not be required to do so," which means that Father Mulcahy could say, "Fuck you, Klinger. I think marrying Koreans is icky." By the way, this amendment was proposed by some who-the-fuck-cares-what-his-name-is Mississippi senator, thus completing this blog post's trifecta of shitbag southern Republicans.
So a fun clusterfuck of culture wars and legal wars while still funding, without question or clarity, the war wars.