When the Senate voted 67 to 29 on Thursday for an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would bar the indefinite detention of American citizens accused of terrorism, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham was a surprise supporter.
In past debates, Graham had argued that the NDAA detention provision is a necessary tool in the war on terror.
Graham had repeatedly emphasized his position that, in the war against terrorism, the whole world is a battlefield — “including the homeland” — and that enemy combatants should face justice, regardless of where they are apprehended.
The senator had been critical of efforts to treat terrorism as a law-enforcement problem, and voted against amending the NDAA to prevent indefinite detention last December. (RELATED: MSNBC contributor appears to call Graham a woman)
“And when they say, ‘I want my lawyer,’ you tell them, ‘Shut up,’” Graham thundered at one point on the Senate floor. “You don’t get a lawyer. You’re an enemy combatant.”
But Graham’s vote for the Feinstein-Lee Amendment, which requires jury trials for American citizens charged with terrorism, didn’t win him any plaudits from a libertarian super PAC.
“Lindsey Graham is everything that’s wrong with America,” said Liberty For All PAC executive director Preston Bates in a statement. “He’s a bigoted warmonger who won’t stop until we replace America with Joseph McCarthy’s police state.”
Liberty For All considers Graham one of its top targets in 2014. The Club for Growth may also support a Republican primary challenger.
“Lindsey Graham should know that his 11th-hour pandering doesn’t make him safe. In fact, it exposes his panicked-state weakness,” Bates continued. “He’s on the chopping block.”