Indefinite Detention Bill


The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012 is a controversial bill that has been passed by both houses of Congress separately, and a final version approved by the Senate on 15 December 2011. Though the White House and Senate sponsors maintain that the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF) already grants presidential authority for indefinite detention, the Act legislatively codifies the President’s authority to indefinitely detain terrorism suspects, including American citizens, without trial as defined in Title X, Subtitle D, SEC 1031(a-e) of the bill Because those who may be held indefinitely include U.S. citizens arrested on American soil, and because that detention may be by the military, the Act has received critical attention by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and media sources. Source:Wikipedia

The Senate approved the $662 billion defence bill in an 86-13 vote on Thursday, December 15th after passing the House of Representatives on December 14th in a 283-146 vote.

Co-Author of the bill, Arizona Senator John McCain,  told Rand Paul during a hearing on the bill that American citizens could be declared an enemy combatant, sent to Guantanamo Bay and detained indefinitely, “no matter who they are.”

“I strongly believe the detainee provisions in the bill are constitutional and in no way infringe upon the rights of law-abiding Americans.  Unfortunately, rarely in my time have I seen legislation so consistently misunderstood and misrepresented as these detainee provisions.  The hyperbole used by both the Left and the Right regarding this language is false and misleading.  Let me be clear, the language in this bill will not affect any Americans engaging in the pursuits of their Constitutional rights.  The language does recognize that those people who seek to wage war against the United States will be stopped and we will use all ethical, moral, and legal methods to do so.

“I am very pleased that the Administration has finally recognized that the language we have adopted merits the President’s signature and will soon be signed into law.  While we have made some technical changes to the detainee provisions, they remain substantially the same as passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee.” Source: John McCain’s website

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