The Slatest

Potential Homeland Security Pick Wanted to Suspend Habeas Corpus, Jail One Million

Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke exits elevators after meetings with President-elect Donald Trump November 28, 2016 at the Trump Tower in New York.


This seems relevant. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. visited president-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower on Monday. Clarke is reportedly under consideration for the position of Homeland Security Secretary. The post of Homeland Security Secretary manages 240,000 employees with the mission “to secure the nation from the many threats we face.” One of Clarke’s ideas about how the nation should achieve this goal is by suspending habeas corpus for up to one million he suspects of being terrorist sympathizers and detaining them indefinitely in Guantanamo Bay Prison.


So, yeah, the guy whose job it might be to defend the homeland essentially wants martial law declared with he and Trump put in charge.

Here’s what Clarke once said, as first reported by Mother Jones:

I suggest that our commander in chief ought to utilize Article I, Section 9 and take all of these individuals that are suspected, these ones on the internet spewing jihadi rhetoric…to scoop them up, charge them with treason and, under habeas corpus, detain them indefinitely at Gitmo…


As Mother Jones notes, that portion of the constitution allows the President to suspend your legal rights and protections from unlawful imprisonment. How many people might be swept up in this net? Clarke elaborated:

We have no idea how many people out there have pledged allegiance or are supporting ISIS, giving aid and comfort, but I would suggest hundreds of thousands, I would suggest maybe a million. It’s just a guess. And then you take the known terrorists that are here, and you think we’re going to arrest all these people and put them in jails and then sentence them to prison? It’s idiotic. [Take them to] Gitmo and hold them indefinitely under a suspension of habeas corpus. We’re at war. This is a time of war. Bold and aggressive action is needed.


To be fair, this bold and aggressive plan to give the president the powers of a dictator came at the height of the panic after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, right?

During a December 2015 segment of his show, The People’s Sheriff, on Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze radio network, Clarke suggested that any person who posts pro-terrorist sentiments on social media be arrested, deprived of the constitutional protection against unlawful imprisonment (known as habeas corpus), and sent to Guantanamo Bay indefinitely.

But that’s, like, almost a full year ago! His “round-up everyone I suspect of being a terrorist and lock them up forever without trial” plan has surely evolved in that time period. If not, I’m sure he didn’t mean it. Either way, what’s the harm in Trump selecting him so we all can find out?