Allen West Suddenly So Concerned About Due Process, Condemns New Black Panther Party Ransom on George Zimmerman | The Daily Pulp | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Allen West Suddenly So Concerned About Due Process, Condemns New Black Panther Party Ransom on George Zimmerman

​Congressman Allen West took to Facebook this afternoon to "vehemently condemn" the $10,000 bounty put out by the New Black Panther Party for the "citizen's arrest" of George Zimmerman, the man who shot Trayvon Martin.

West called the ransom "reprehensible" and called on the Department of Justice to prosecute the group, which he's said in the past should be put on the terror watch list.

"To openly solicit for the death of an American citizen, with reward, is not in keeping with the laws of due process which governs this Constitutional Republic," West wrote. "However, this is to be expected when irrational voices dominate our public dialogue and are fueled by an ideological driven media."

Ah, yes. It's the media that's driven by ideology and irrational voices. Congress and the Tea Party are certainly immune.

West also supported federal investigation of the Martin case last week. But for all this talk of due process, West was silent when it came time to speak out against the National Defense Authorization Act, which, depending on whom you ask, totally has the potential to officially codify the U.S. military's ability to detain everyone, including American citizens, suspected of terrorism without a trial. Screw due process.

There's no point in repeating the arguments over NDAA and indefinite detention -- Salon's Glenn Greenwald broke it down, with bountiful citations, a few months ago. If you don't feel like clicking on the link, here are the Cliff's Notes:

-- There are two separate sections of the NDAA that deal with indefinite detention.

-- Section 1022 contains the most clear-cut language for indefinite detention of Americans: It states that anyone the president determines to be part of a terrorist organization who "participated in the course of planning or carrying out an attack or attempted attack against the United States or its coalition partners" must be held "in military custody pending disposition under the law of war."

-- The section does say that "the requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States." But even though the bill is brutally long and specific, there isn't anything that says indefinite detention is not an option.

There were two amendments proposed in the Senate to make this language more specific. Both were thrown out (with Marco Rubio's help).

In any case, West totally voted for the bill, and Obama signed it on New Year's Eve. Though West didactically read from the bill to supporters in an attempt to prove he wasn't helping the government do a salsa all over habeas corpus, it doesn't sound like anybody's been convinced about the bill's danger. And where is the commitment to due process he's supporting in the Trayvon Martin case when it comes to Americans or the 150-plus "enemy combatants" being held in Cuba without charges?

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Rich Abdill

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