Indefinite detention bill passes in Senate

33 posts / 0 new
Last post
Johnny Oxygen's picture
Johnny Oxygen
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 9 2009
Posts: 1443
Indefinite detention bill passes in Senate

http://rt.com/usa/news/indefinite-detention-bill-senate-905/

Exactly 220 years to the date after the Bill of Rights was ratified, the US Senate today voted 86 to 13 in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, allowing the indefinite detention and torture of Americans.

After a back-and-forth in recent days between both the Senate and House yielded intense criticism from Americans attempting to hold onto their Constitutional rights, NDAA FY2012 is now on its way to the White House, where yesterday the Obama administration revealed that the president would not veto the legislation, cancelling out a warning he offered less than a month earlier.

...Speaking before the Senate this afternoon, Sen. Lindsey Graham (Rep-SC) told his colleagues, “I hope you believe America is part of the battlefield.” The United States is at war, he insisted, and anyone alleged to be in opposition to the US government’s game will now be subjected to military-style detention indefinitely.

As RT reported earlier, one provision in NDAA FY2012 will allow for the reinstatement of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” essentially making waterboarding and forms of psychological torture a very possible reality for anyone America deems to be a threat, including its own citizens who, prior to the ruling, had the US Constitution on their side.

Among the corporations which have lobbied in support of NDAA FY2012 are several military contractors, including Honeywell and Bluewater Defense, who together have received millions of dollars in Pentagon guarantees this year alone.

cautioned the senator. The threat he went on to impose involved indefinite military detention for everyone.

...“What this legislation does,” lectured Levin, “says from the Congress’ point-of-view, that we expressly authorize the indefinite detention” of someone deemed a threat. “We recognize the authority of this president and every other president to hold an enemy combatant indefinitely, whether they are captured home or abroad, because that only makes sense.”

Under the Act, those suspected of “belligerent” crimes can be subjected to the treatment. Graham tried to calm fears by insisting that suspected criminals will all be allowed a day in federal court, but made it clear that as long as a judge deems someone a suspect in a crime, that indefinite detention can begin without the help of any legal counsel for the defense.

“How long can you hold them? As long as it takes to make us safe,” said Graham.

MarkM's picture
MarkM
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 22 2008
Posts: 845
The Republic

is most certainly dead.

thatchmo's picture
thatchmo
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 14 2008
Posts: 458
The zombie apocalypse....

has arrived.  The Republic kinda looks and acts alive, but the soul and spirit are gone.  When will the resurection from the dead occur and how?  Shall we wait 'till Easter?  The new American Spring?  This is incredibly troubling....Aloha, Steve.

ao's picture
ao
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2009
Posts: 2220
here's the list of those responsible

http://www.waitingforthestorm.com/indefinite-detention-law-hall-of-shame-list-of-senators-who-voted-yes-on-the-ndaa-bill

If we allow them to have any future terms in office, we're as guilty as they are. 

Robby's picture
Robby
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 5 2010
Posts: 5
Canadian

I am Canadian!

Damn proud of it!

 Exactly 1/2 my family are U.S. citizens!

Proud of that as well!

BUT, your starting to scare me!

goes211's picture
goes211
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 18 2008
Posts: 1114
Lindsey Graham is an American Traitor!

"And when they say I want my Lawyer, you say Shut UP, you don't get a Lawyer!   You are an enemy combatant!"

I can only hope that the people of the good state of South Carolina come to their senses and get rid of this pond scum ASAP!

Who is considered a threat to the security of the United States?  Are people like OWS or the Tea Party that protest against TPTB?  No need for a trial, just INDEFINATE DETENTION.   Any pretense that we are not a Banana Republic is out the window.  These so called "leaders" don't even see the hypocrisy in this after years of calling on states like China, Libya, Iran, ... to not do what they just did.   Truly stupefying!

 

Travlin's picture
Travlin
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 15 2010
Posts: 1322
I never thought I'd see this day

This is the death of our nation.  If I said what I really think I might disappear.

Travlin 

Mirv's picture
Mirv
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 30 2008
Posts: 105
time to start over

" When talk of revolution has gone the rounds three times, One may commit himself...."  I Ching  49 Ko (molting)

If a person can be reborn, then  so can a country..........................

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 1617
The true enemy

We have met the enemy, and they are us.  I agree, ao.  We the people, in general, are not paying attention and don't much care what goes on in our country.  If we don't vote out 60%+ of those who voted for this, then WE are the true enemy of the Republic. And we are well on the road to getting what we deserve and what we have asked for over and over for years. Sad. Very sad.

txgirl69's picture
txgirl69
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 21 2009
Posts: 96
I'm scared

I agree with ya'll and something needs to be done, but what? Voting doesn't seem to work. I write to my reps regularly and all I get is slapped in the face with some load of BS. How do we counter this crap? Would it help if we organized groups? Then what? Marches and protests? I'll bring some extra pitchforks and torches for those who show up empty handed...

I'm scared, but more than that I'm p*****d. My blood boils thinking about this stuff. These buffoons are taking away the very things that make life worth living.

 

Like Travlin, if I really let it fly I think I'd disappear. I'm sure I'm on a list somewhere.....

Mirv's picture
Mirv
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 30 2008
Posts: 105
We are not the true enemy

I dont agree.  We live in a republic, wherein the people are expected to be too busy with their lives to monitor specific  legislation and provide input to their representatives to tell them what to do.  Instead we elect representatives based on their morality and quality who do that FOR us as THEIR jobs.  We cannot take responsibility for individual pieces of legislation and shoiuld not be expected to read every possible draft law and understand.  Even the legislators (who are supposed to do this as  THEIR JOB) dont have enough time.  We the people are not to blame for not reading and understanding all the crap that goes on as draft laws. I am too busy and I pay my legislator to watch out for me in this regard.   If the system is out of kilter, out of control, then we need to fix  the system, not blame ourselves for not being more involved in the details of the governing machinations.  The output of government is screwed up and the people are not to blame.  Instead a system that rewards  money  and is  all  attentive to money corruption is broken down and needs to be repaired or replaced (i.e. soft or hard revolution, respectively).  Even paying attention to everyone and then "voting" in an electioin to "throw out the bums" in a soft revolution is not the answer because the world is so complex that we are swimming in a sea of mis-information.  I dont even have the 60 hours a week to sort out the oligarch sourced mis-information.  This is truly broken and the old paradigm of "just read the newspaper and vote for the right  guy based on your good judgement" does not work.  We need  a hard  revolution.

Tim_P's picture
Tim_P
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 23 2009
Posts: 298
Travlin wrote: This is the
Travlin wrote:

This is the death of our nation.  If I said what I really think I might disappear.

Travlin 

I could not agree more.  It's a sad day for America.

thatchmo's picture
thatchmo
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 14 2008
Posts: 458
A start-

Mirv- agree with you on #10.  An excellent start would be to initiate single term limits on Congress.  I'm not talking term limits as in "we can vote them out if we don't like the job they're doing",  I'm talking one term and you're out.  Thank you, fine job (or not...).  Phase 2- publicly financed campaigns.  Level playing field.  No outside money.  A financial bargain to boot.  Didn't CHS do an article on the paltry sum it would take to "purchase" our Govt.?   I wish I was the guy who thought these up.  But of all the things that could cause change, this MAY be the start of the solution.  Weaken the corrupt power structure then we can move on to presecution of financial criminals, sustainable monetary system, the three E's, etc.  Then there's that Citizen United thing....I'm thnking that the vast majority of Americans would support the above two issues regardless of their feelings on the myriad other issues that seem to divide us.  Getting them all to hit the streets united seems to be the hard part.  But I think we're getting closer.....Aloha,Steve

doorwarrior's picture
doorwarrior
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 13 2009
Posts: 166
txgirl69 wrote: Like

txgirl69 wrote:

Like Travlin, if I really let it fly I think I'd disappear. I'm sure I'm on a list somewhere.....

I think we are all on a list. I would be very surprised if this site was not monitored by some "authority".

Rich

Johnny Oxygen's picture
Johnny Oxygen
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 9 2009
Posts: 1443
Mirv wrote: I dont agree. 
Mirv wrote:

I dont agree.  We live in a republic, wherein the people are expected to be too busy with their lives to monitor specific  legislation and provide input to their representatives to tell them what to do.  Instead we elect representatives based on their morality and quality who do that FOR us as THEIR jobs.  We cannot take responsibility for individual pieces of legislation and shoiuld not be expected to read every possible draft law and understand.  Even the legislators (who are supposed to do this as  THEIR JOB) dont have enough time.  We the people are not to blame for not reading and understanding all the crap that goes on as draft laws. I am too busy and I pay my legislator to watch out for me in this regard.   If the system is out of kilter, out of control, then we need to fix  the system, not blame ourselves for not being more involved in the details of the governing machinations.  The output of government is screwed up and the people are not to blame.  Instead a system that rewards  money  and is  all  attentive to money corruption is broken down and needs to be repaired or replaced (i.e. soft or hard revolution, respectively).  Even paying attention to everyone and then "voting" in an electioin to "throw out the bums" in a soft revolution is not the answer because the world is so complex that we are swimming in a sea of mis-information.  I dont even have the 60 hours a week to sort out the oligarch sourced mis-information.  This is truly broken and the old paradigm of "just read the newspaper and vote for the right  guy based on your good judgement" does not work.  We need  a hard  revolution.

I agree. I'm not afraid to say that I think it will end in civil war. Class war, and there will be bloodshed but that is what it will take. It's simply too corrupt to 'fix'.

 

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1988
Gramnesty and SC

Here, we call Lindsey Graham "Senator Gramnesty" for his take on illegal aliens. When I write him letters about how I disagree with him on any topic, I get a letter thanking me for agreeing with him (just like my senators in NY). He is NOT listening and does NOT represent us any more. When I moved here to SC from NY, I was thrilled to get out of the land of (at the time) Senators Hillary Clinton and Chuck-you Schumer. I was even more thrilled to be in the land of Sanator Jim Demint, and have Joe ("You lie!") Wilson as my rep. The ONE stain on it all in my new state was Gramnesty. After this vote I will do everything in my power to campaign agaist him when he comes up for reelection.

txgirl69's picture
txgirl69
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 21 2009
Posts: 96
This is so messed up

 

Mirv & J.O2, I'm with you, we need a hard revolution. I think we'll have it alright, another Civil War.

Safewrite, we have the same problem! They don't even read what your writing! Sometimes I get a canned statement explaining their view, but somehow "we the people" don't ever get to vote on these things, important things, they just do as they see fit.... self-serving b*****ds

I make comments at times, wishing the revolution would get under way....however, because of the young, elderly and poor in this country, I'm wishing there was another way, I just don't believe there is......

 

 

concernedcitizenx5's picture
concernedcitizenx5
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 15 2011
Posts: 26
Mirv, you are correct.

We the People are not responsible for the irresponsible acts of our politicians. Blame the victim is a common theme. Unfortunately, the rot is so deep that I will have to agree. They all have to go. Whether they go peacefully or forcefully, matters not to me. I am prepared for either. My only concern is what are these rats willing to do to keep the sytem in place. I don't see many of our military folks willing to protect a system that they know is broken. I truly hope this can be worked out peacefully. But people with money and power tend to get violent when challenged. Ron

ao's picture
ao
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2009
Posts: 2220
clueless

The sad thing is, most folks are completely oblivious to the indefinite detention aspect of this legislation.  I surveyed close to two dozen people the past two days and most of them had heard nothing about it and the few that did knew nothing of the details.  I'm reminded of the line in this clip.

 

Greed and corruption have raked the decks with gunfire but it's the torpedo of ignorance and stupidity hitting below the waterline that's going to take us to the bottom.

Mirv's picture
Mirv
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 30 2008
Posts: 105
New Law and what to do about destruction of liberty

I have been waiting for someone to write an article about the fundamental problem but searching the internet and this blog reveals very little analysis of what I am looking for.  We overlook the fact that all fundamental changes in society arise from developments in science and technology (changes/advances in industry create new opportunities to communicate, free up time etc) (think of how book printing changed society,for ex).  Much or most of the real basic problems come from the new challenges from this.  No one has analyzed the problem (or solution) through this lens of technology development.

For example, the different bubbles in history arose from unlocking a new technology-commercial development made possible by advances in our understanding (inventions etc).  Development of the technology-railroads resulted in a bubble, development of trade (shipping and esp. navigation technology) with the orient made bubbles, development of new tulip bulb growing and varieties technology resulted in a bubble, development of the internet technology resulted in a bubble.  The Great Depression was to a large part a result of the industrial revolution wherein we suddenly acquired vast amounts of new wealth (10000's of automobiles, radios, airplanes, electrical grid, oil to burn in them) but  the workers did not have enough money to buy them with all the money in the hands of the plutarchs and there was no law/understanding to regulate the new structures (i.e. monopolies).  More importantly that age was characterized by new large scale ways of creating wealth, new chemistries electric power and communications, large scale new off the farm labor relations, mass produced food with ability/desire to adulterate, beginning of a large scale drug industry, fuel distributed by a single company nation wide with attendant monopoly challenges etc (all of this converged and challenged the old order and AS A SOLUTION America developed a vast set of adminstrative agencies and administrative law to handle the new COMPLEXITIES because before then any one person was capable of studying, learning and correctly deciding what to do about any one problem.  The whole point of an agency is that the special expertise for the topic is brought together as specialist-regulators A simple life on the farm where old were taken care of by the younger generations was replaced with factory non-farm employment which needed social security instead for the old and on the job injury insurance.  Antimonopoly laws were finally needed and made...etc I can go on and on, but this was all caused by technology development.

In this same vein, I point out that the NUMBER ONE PROBLEM  in today's world is the technology induced problem of information overload and information super over-delivery systems (mostly internet but everything else electronic).  Our biggest problem is that the world we live in is extremely , super over complicated and we  literally are swimming and drowning in way too much information and unable to make any rational decision much less think for ourselves.  So the rats create ever more complex laws and have a legal party at our expense (eg. GE on tax day).  I am always amazed that only a tiny percentage of people (and NO leaders) understand the chemistry of global warming yet they are all experts and are being led by their noses via inflammatory rhetoric from their chosen belief systems, for example.  SO, the reason why we cannot fix  things as a people is that we are all mostly blind and leading the blind heading for a catastrophe that the blind never see.  It is no coincidence that it took  a trained scientist, Dr. Martenson to see the economy issues and resources issues on his own.  But few of us are trained scientists.  This is why individual companies who sell bullet proof vests and tear gas etc have funded legislation for our new defense act law (unopposed by info overloaded legislators) and why plane makers and helicopter makers and companies who arrange resources for the military have strong, unopposed ability to fund and convince our legislators that we need to drop bombs in Libya, start a war in Iraq etc. As a patent attorney I was shocked by the new patent law giveaway to the rich especially because the legislators clearly really believe the crap fed by lobbiests that this is good  for small business.  I cant blame them as patenting is difficult to understand and the complexities dealt with were completely over all their heads.

An important aspect of our problem if not the basis itself is from too much information of overly difficult to understand systems.  To address or fix the problem we need a way to deal with the information.  Locavore actually is a good (temporary?) solution because we are capable (because of new    technology!!) to make our own water, food, energy, money systems, security with our neighbors locally and thereby understand/evaluate the people we work with on a local level without being so led astray by corruption.  I strongly believe that a good answer to the problem is to cut the crap-information by  abandoning the multinational dream weaver banksters and businesses and to focus on the local level. The simple life espoused by Dr. M does this.   If most all commerce and wealth is made locally and consumed locally then the banksters, governement mobsters and other parasites will wither away and become less relevant, and the people ONCE AGAIN become in touch with the reality of where everything comes from. 

The group "anonymous," which seems to represent the real opposition to the government, has a vision wherein use of the internet will bring like minded people together and much of government functioning will wither away as unneeded.  This blog brings like minded people together.  We converse much, but lets act by mutual cooperation together.  I would like to see the Take Action section of this web site expanded to get us working together and have ideas of my own.  Perhaps we need to execute a legal disclaimer to get into this more interactive realm where we can become more involved though this communication portal. 

ao's picture
ao
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2009
Posts: 2220
US Marine declares a state of emergency

That being said, beware of agent provocateurs.  They were around during demonstrations in the 60s.  I just talked to someone today about that very issue.  They are surely around now as well.  I wouldn't even be surprised to find one on this site.

Mirv's picture
Mirv
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 30 2008
Posts: 105
US Marine declares a state of emergency

Thanks for the link.  I have been under the impression that US veterans are most aware of the liberty problem and most resolute to do something about the problem.  This may be  because military personnel generally are not rich but kind of poor and idealistic  (for country) in their own way.  In contrast, the corrupt politicians live for the money moment.  I am optimistic because this balance favors us.

Regarding agent provocateurs: I suggest a three part inquiry/promise (in writing!) for all new members of any group

1. the incoming member must honestly and correctly introduce him/her self to the other members and state why they are joining
2. the new member must promise to contribute to the group
3. the new member must promise never to say bad things about any other member, ever

(one could argue that an agent provocateur would just lie, but that would be akin to simply making up all facts about the group and this would diminish the evidentiary value of the provocateur's participation).  taken together, these three commitments establish a contract of trust wherein we would document any detremental reliance on the agent provocateur (i.e. clear documentation of fraud by the agent accompanies any wrong doing by the agent)

I did not come up with these 3 points myself but learned them from a Japanese locavore group this past Fall in Osaka.

We should remember that we are all the same, all human and can be forgiven:
a. any of us could be the corrupted politician or 1% plutarch depending on circumstances, and
b. every corrupted politician and 1 percenter cares about life and life's meaning and could join us if properly made aware.  No real need to be truly afraid of or to hate them.  The problem is not them, but instead the circumstances, which must change.

 

 

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 1617
Text of NDAA and Oathkeepers.org

I finally found and read the relevant parts of the NDAA on the Oathkeepers.org site.  Page 362 of the bill (section 1032) says it does not apply to American citizens, though I confess to NOT being fluent in legalese. Both Oathkeepers and the ACLU are strongly opposed to the bill (strange bedfellows, I suppose) and both interpret it to mean it DOES apply to American citizens. What say ye, on the text of the bill?

http://oathkeepers.org/oath/2011/12/01/stewart-rhodes-interview-citizen-...

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 1617
TV commercial might wake some people up

 When words and paragraphs don't wake some people up, maybe a 33 second video might...

http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=199272

Mirv's picture
Mirv
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 30 2008
Posts: 105
Text of NDAA and Oathkeepers.org

I read that and agree with you completely.  However it does not help much because:
1. our president has declared for previous secrecy laws that he WOULD interpret the law DIFFERENTLY from the Congress and not tell anyone just how he interprets it (our government is definitely out of control) I think this was a wiretapping provision of the patriot act but dont remember
2. a similar situation already exists NOW with enforcement of immigration laws selectively NOT vs citizens but only against non-citizens YET citizens are caught up nonetheless (there is a major news article on this  the past week on how citizens are targeted anyway)
3. all facts are a matter of opinion until you spend much time and let a judge finally decide.  Until then you probably are NOT a citizen (if the  military deems so) because they have NOT seen your citizenship papers (how can you produce them when you have no right to a lawyer and are in prison forever?). even if you walk around with such papers and push them into the face of the military hopefully before they shoot, they might not believe .  After all: batterfield conditions, remember?  How many innocents have been killed in Iraq?  Afganistan?..............

In sum I do not believe the snake who speaks softly with a smile on his face. The future president holds all the cards and Definitely WILL lie to us when he uses this against citizens who he wants to put away.

 

 

Travlin's picture
Travlin
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 15 2010
Posts: 1322
Keep reading
thc0655 wrote:

I finally found and read the relevant parts of the NDAA on the Oathkeepers.org site.  Page 362 of the bill (section 1032) says it does not apply to American citizens, though I confess to NOT being fluent in legalese.

From what I've read another clause later in the law let's the president apply this to US citizens.  See ZeroHedge and another thread here for details.  http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/battlefield-us-americans-face-arrest...

Travlin 

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 11 2009
Posts: 2237
NDAA
Tim_P wrote:
Travlin wrote:

This is the death of our nation.  If I said what I really think I might disappear.

Travlin 

I could not agree more.  It's a sad day for America.

Yep. I'll second both of you. Indefinite detention plus last year's SCOTUS decisn making corporations into people are the double death-knell. It still hasn't really sunk in for me. Too massive.

Viva -- Sager

Johnny Oxygen's picture
Johnny Oxygen
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 9 2009
Posts: 1443
This is a re-post. This is

This is a re-post. This is my understanding of it.

Combined with the very broad defintion of who exactly is the enemy. It seems intentionally vaque.

 

 

Here is the link:

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112s1867pcs/pdf/BILLS-112s1867pcs.pdf

This is S.1867 of the bill

Sec 1031

Page 362

Line 8.

Waiver for National Security - The Secretary of Defense may, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intellegence, waive the requirement of paragraph (1) if the secretary submits to congress a certification in writing that such a waiver is in national security interests of the United States.

This is the opening Paragragh and references "paragraph (1)"  which is just below which states:

The United States Citizen- The requirement to maintain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.

Essentially its double talk. The waiver allows for detainment of anyone. All it takes is for the Secretary of Defense to request it.

This is in violation of the habius corpus.

 

MarkM's picture
MarkM
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 22 2008
Posts: 845
Glenn Greenwald on the bill

"The only provision from which U.S. citizens are exempted here is the “requirement” of military detention. For foreign nationals accused of being members of Al Qaeda, military detention is mandatory; for U.S. citizens, it is optionalThis section does not exempt U.S citizens from the presidential power of military detention: only from the requirement of military detention."

http://www.salon.com/2011/12/16/three_myths_about_the_detention_bill/singleton/

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 1617
Sen. Casey's (PA) take on NDAA

 Wow, there certainly are varying interpretations of what Sections 1021 and 1022 of the 2012 NDAA actually mean.  If it's not crystal clear and is open to interpretation, then I guess that would be the ideal law Someone might like to take advantage of later while getting everyone to go along with it now.  Below is Sen. Casey's response to my email opposing the NDAA.  He thinks all is fine, our civil rights are protected, and these sections only clarified a few things. Hmmmm...

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about the detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.  I appreciate hearing from you about this issue.
 
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorizes policy and annual expenditures for the Department of Defense.  The House of Representatives and the Senate recently passed the final version of the 2012 NDAA with broad bipartisan support.  It is currently awaiting the President’s signature before it becomes law.
 
The Department of Defense is responsible for overseeing the United States Armed Forces and ensuring that our Nation is able to effectively respond to threats.  It is critical that Congress provides the Department of Defense with sufficient funding to protect American lives, defend our Nation and support our servicemembers and their families.  While our overseas military engagements continue, it is particularly important to provide the resources our servicemembers need to successfully conduct operations and ensure their own safety.    
 
As your United States Senator, I am committed to ensuring the safety and security of all Americans.  Since 2001, United States counterterrorism efforts have helped to ensure our national security.  Our brave servicemembers and intelligence personnel work tirelessly to protect our nation against the threat of terrorism.  However, it is essential that the executive branch operate with transparency and ensure that our counterterrorism efforts do not infringe on the civil liberties of American citizens.  We must not sacrifice our fundamental values and ideals in the face of this critical threat.
 
The custody and detention provisions in the NDAA are the result of thorough consideration and bipartisan agreement.  These provisions, including Sections 1021 and 1022, will allow the United States to deal effectively with the threat posed by al Qaeda, a terrorist group that has inflicted devastating harm on our Nation and continues to seek to attack our citizens, our allies, and our interests both here at home and around the world.  
 
Section 1021 of the NDAA does not expand the executive branch’s authority to detain suspected terrorists.  This section states explicitly that it is not intended to limit or expand the authority that Congress granted the President in the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).  The definition of a “covered person” in this section is “a person who was a part of or substantially supported al Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.”  This is the position that has been adopted by the Obama Administration and upheld in U.S. courts since 2001.  In addition, it requires the executive branch to brief Congress regularly on the individuals and groups to whom this authority is being applied.  
 
It is important to note that Section 1021 does not create any “new” or “unprecedented” presidential power, nor does it create any “permanent” detention power.  The legislation explicitly states that Section 1021 shall not “affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.”  
 
Section 1022 of the NDAA requires that persons who are members of al Qaeda and have participated in planning or carrying out an attack against the United States or its allies be held in military custody.  However, the executive branch can exercise a waiver of this requirement if the President certifies to Congress that holding a particular suspect in civilian custody will better serve U.S. national security interests.  In addition, this provision applies only to non-US citizens and non-lawful resident aliens who are al Qaeda operatives and who plan or carry out attacks against the United States.  It explicitly does not apply to American citizens and those who reside here lawfully.  
 
Senator Dianne Feinstein of California proposed an amendment which would have limited the requirement of military custody in Section 1022 to suspected terrorists captured abroad.  This proposal was rejected in the Senate by a vote of 55 to 45.  I voted against this amendment because the waiver provision provides flexibility to the executive branch to determine whether a suspected al Qaeda operative captured on U.S. soil should be transferred to civilian custody.    
 
Senator Mark Udall of Colorado offered an amendment to remove the detention provisions in Section 1021 from the bill altogether.  This amendment would have essentially allowed the executive branch to continue to engage in existing detention practices without codification in law.  By codifying the detention practices already in use, Congress is exercising its critical responsibility to oversee and create a legal framework for executive branch action.  For this reason, I joined a majority of Senators in voting against this amendment.
 
Senator Feinstein also offered an amendment to explicitly prohibit the indefinite detention of American citizens.  I voted in favor of this amendment out of concern that authorizing the government to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens was at odds with fundamental American values. Unfortunately, this amendment was rejected by a vote of 55 to 45.  Finally, Senator Feinstein proposed an amendment to clarify that nothing in the bill “shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities, relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.”  I also voted for this measure, which passed the Senate by a vote of 99 to 1 and was included in the final version of the bill.
 
On December 15, 2011, Senator Feinstein introduced S. 2003, the Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011.  This legislation would clarify that an authorization to use military force, a declaration of war or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States.  S. 2003 would also require Congress to make a “clear statement” about the limitations on authority to detain U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.  This legislation has been referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, of which I am not a member.  Please be assured that I will examine this legislation closely.    
 
Nothing in the NDAA authorizes the U.S. military to patrol our streets, detain ordinary Americans in their homes or conduct any law enforcement functions inside the United States.  Section 1022 says only that a specific group of persons, narrowly defined as those who are “a part of or substantially supported al Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners” should be subject to military custody, unless the executive branch determines that civilian custody is more appropriate in a particular case.  The NDAA does not address when or where a person may be captured, and does not authorize the military to exercise unprecedented powers on U.S. soil.
 
In addition, the NDAA will not disrupt ongoing interrogations, intelligence gathering functions and surveillance activities, and it does not require military commissions in terrorist prosecutions.  The administration raised concerns that certain provisions would limit its ability to collect vital information and limit its prosecutorial options.  In response, the Senate Armed Services Committee clarified that no such limitations would be placed on the President’s authority.  
 
The NDAA absolutely does not authorize torture of detainees, irrespective of citizenship.  Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire proposed S. Amdt. 1068 to the NDAA to authorize certain enhanced interrogation techniques.  However, the U.S. Constitution prohibits “cruel and unusual punishments,” and we must not tolerate the use of torture under any circumstances.  I believe strongly that the United States has a moral obligation to uphold its commitments under the Geneva Convention regarding the treatment of prisoners.  We must, therefore, hold all executive branch officials accountable for alleged violations of these commitments.  I am pleased that S. Amdt. 1068 was not included the final version of the NDAA that passed the Senate.  Please be assured that I support efforts to prohibit the use of “enhanced interrogation” practices, and that no such practices have been endorsed in this bill.
 
The NDAA also does not change the fundamental, constitutional right of habeas corpus review.  The writ of habeas corpus is a legal doctrine that allows individuals to challenge their detention in a court of law.  The U.S. Constitution explicitly provides this right to American citizens, and the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld its applicability, even with respect to suspected terrorists.  Any American citizen or lawful permanent resident held in U.S. custody will have the right to habeas corpus review.  Similarly, the courts have established that persons detained under the Authorization of the Use of Military Force, including those held at Guantanamo Bay, have the right to such review.  Nothing in the NDAA undermines this critical right.  
 
Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.  Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about this or any other matter of importance to you.
 
If you have access to the Internet, I encourage you to visit my web site, http://casey.senate.gov.  I invite you to use this online office as a comprehensive resource to stay up-to-date on my work in Washington, request assistance from my office, or share with me your thoughts on the issues that matter most to you and to Pennsylvania.
 
Sincerely,
Bob Casey
United States Senator

P.S. If you would like to respond to this message, please use the contact form on my website: http://casey.senate.gov/contact/ 

nickbert's picture
nickbert
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 14 2009
Posts: 1208
It's sad that I had more of

It's sad that I had more of my rights and personal freedoms recognized in a former Communist nation than I do now that I'm back in the States.  In fact, the only thing that immediately comes to mind that I can do in the US that I can't do in Mongolia is own a handgun.  Well, at least in SOME places in the US...

I happened to travel through Communist China on the way back to the US a few days ago, but somehow it feels like I never quite left.  The parts of downtown Beijing I had seen seem to be a fitting comparison to the US as it is becoming... lots of shiny buildings and big lights and prosperity on the surface, but with a lot of struggling wageslaves, immense wealth inequality, and a veiled threat of "step out of line and prepare for a beatdown" all hiding beneath the surface.  And even more perverse, the airport security staff going through China were more respectful than the majority of TSA "officers" I've encountered. 

Sigh...

- Nickbert

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments