2013 NDAA Expands Power of Military to Detain Citizens | “The new statute actually states that persons lawfully in the U.S. can be detained under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force [AUMF]. The original (the statute we are fighting in court) never went that far,” Afran explained. “Therefore, under the guise of supposedly adding protection to Americans, the new statute actually expands the AUMF to civilians in the U.S.”

Indefinite Detention

Kurt Nimmo

PrisonPlanet.com
November 30, 2012

In response to widespread outrage over the National Defense Authorization Act passed last year, Congress is said to be working on a more Constitution friendly version of the legislation. The latest version was overwhelmingly approved by the House Armed Services Committee on May 8 and introduced the following week.

“This year, through the incorporation of the Right to Habeas Corpus Act, the bill makes clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that every American will have his day in court,” a press release issued by the Armed Services Committee states.

Is the NDAA 2013 an improvement over the previous version? At first glance, it would seem so. Consider the following clause included in the bill:

Nothing in the AUMF [Authorization for the Use of Military Force] or the 2012 NDAA shall be construed to deny the availability of the writ of habeas corpus or to deny any Constitutional rights in a court ordained or established by or under Article III of the Constitution for any person who is lawfully in the United States when detained pursuant to the AUMF and who is otherwise entitled to the availability of such writ or such rights.

However, according to Bruce Afran, a lawyer for a group of journalists and activists suing the government over the NDAA 2012, this is merely smoke and mirrors.

Because there are no established rules allowing a citizen to exercise the right to a civilian trial, as guaranteed by the Constitution (specifically, the Sixth Amendment), detained citizens have no way to gain access to lawyers, family or a civilian court after they are detained by the military.

“The biggest thing about the [2012] NDAA was that you weren’t getting a trial … Nothing in here says that you’ll make it to an Article III court so it literally does nothing,” Dan Johnson, founder of People Against the NDAA, told Business Insider on Thursday. “It’s a bunch of words, basically.”

“The new statute actually states that persons lawfully in the U.S. can be detained under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force [AUMF]. The original (the statute we are fighting in court) never went that far,” Afran explained. “Therefore, under the guise of supposedly adding protection to Americans, the new statute actually expands the AUMF to civilians in the U.S.”

Although Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is being portrayed as a savior by offering up language that would “affirm the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution and limit the indefinite detention of Americans,” more than a few observers of his co-sponsored amendment to the NDAA say the effort does not go far enough.

On Thursday evening, the “Senate voted on Amendment No. 3018 to the National Defense Authorization Act sponsored by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), and co-sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul, which protects the rights prescribed to Americans in the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution with regard to indefinite detention and the right to a trial by jury,” Paul’s Senate web page explainds.

“Senator Paul’s amendment – for all the good that it does – doesn’t go far enough. Read the text of the proposal again. There is not one word of repeal or abolition or revocation of the indefinite detention of Americans from the NDAA,” writes Joe Wolverton for the New American.

A previous attempt to placate critics of the NDAA resulted in the Gohmert Amendment (House Amendment 1126) stating that the NDAA will not “deny the writ of habeas corpus or deny any Constitutional rights for persons detained in the United States under the AUMF who are entitled to such rights.”

“This amendment, like the one offered by Senator Paul last week, displays an indefensible use of vague language that would make it vulnerable to challenge in any court in any state in the Union, but somehow adds to its appeal among the Republicans in Congress,” Wolverton comments.

A handful of efforts to make the NDAA constitutionally friendly are little more than a public relations gimmick to silence critics. The NDAA is essential if the government is going to silence critics and disappear activists and other enemies of the establishment.

The bottom line, Bruce Afran said, is that the latest iteration of the NDAA “is still unconstitutional because it allows citizens or persons in the U.S. to be held in military custody, a position that the Supreme Court has repeatedly held is unconstitutional.”

The indefinate detention section of the NDAA must be repealed entirely. Anything short of that is treason.

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Amendment to Protect Americans from Indefinite Detention Passes | However, many Senators, including McCain and Graham, voted for the amendment because they made the argument that the amendment authorizes indefinite detention.

Activist Post
Last night, the U.S. Senate voted on Amendment No. 3018 to the National Defense Authorization Act sponsored by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), and co-sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul, which protects the rights prescribed to Americans in the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution with regard to indefinite detention and the right to a trial by jury.

The amendment passed, 67-29. However, many Senators, including McCain and Graham, voted for the amendment because they made the argument that the amendment authorizes indefinite detention.

Moments before the vote, Sen. Paul took to the Senate floor to again voice his support for the amendment and inspire his colleagues to do the same. Below is video and transcript of his floor speech.

Paul.Senate.Gov

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U-Turn: Senate Moves to Eliminate Indefinite Detention Provision of NDAA

Mac Slavo

SHTFPlan.com
November 30, 2012

To screams and protests from the American people, Congress overwhelmingly supported passage of the National Defense Authorization Act which, among other things, allowed for the indefinite detention of Americans without charge or trial should they be arrested or held under suspicion of loosely-based definitions for domestic terrorism.

A super-majority 86% of Senators supported the measure, which was signed by President Obama while Americans partied on New Year’s Eve December 31st, 2011.

Now, under pressure from Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), members of Congress have re-assessed their positions on the amendment which allows the government to snatch up American citizens domestically and hold them in similar fashion to Guantanamo Bay detainees.

Senators who likely failed to read the bill before they found out what was in it back in 2011, have made a u-turn on one of its most controversial provisions.

President Barack Obama opposed the measure, but ultimately signed it after an amendment to the act muddied the issue enough to make it debatable in courts. Obama pledged to never use the authority.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who helped write that amendment, declared Wednesday that it is not good enough, and recalled seeing Japanese Americans jailed in horse stalls at a racetrack when she was a girl.

I believe that the time has come now to end this legal ambiguity, and state clearly, once and for all, that the AUMF or other authorities do not authorize such indefinite detention of Americans apprehended in the U.S.,” Feinstein said.

“The federal government experimented with indefinite detention of U.S. citizens during World War II, a mistake we now recognize as a betrayal of our core values,” she said. “Let’s not repeat it.”

The amendment filed by Feinstein Wednesday would bar such detentions of citizens and green card-holders.

She was also backed by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).

It was not clear when the amendment would get a vote.

Of then ten Senators sponsoring the bill, eight of them voted in support of the legislation in December of 2011, including Sen. Feinstein.

While we are in full support of eliminating the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA, as well as the ambiguous definitions for what is or is not a domestic terrorist as per the Patriot Act, the NDAA in its current form should never have been passed in the first place.

Is it not the responsibility of our elected officials to prevent ambiguity BEFORE a law is passed, especially when the questions being raised have to do with fundamental Constitutional issues like due process and the right to a fair and speedy trial?

For nearly a full year now, the Congress of the United States essentially granted the President a decree allowing him to utilize broad powers to detain anyone, for any reason, and for as long as he wanted. It was a power that President Obama himself railed against publicly, even pledging to veto the provision, though he ultimately failed to follow through on that pledge.

While President Obama “promised” never to use the provision to detain Americans, the fact is that such power should never be granted to any government, let alone a single individual.

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