NDAA Indefinite Detention Provision Mysteriously Stripped From Bill

Huffington Post, By Michael McAuliff, December 18

Washington – Congress stripped a provision Tuesday from a defense bill that aimed to shield Americans from the possibility of being imprisoned indefinitely without trial by the military. The provision was replaced with a passage that appears to give citizens little protection from indefinite detention.

The amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 was added by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), but there was no similar language in the version of the bill that passed the House, and it was dumped from the final bill released Tuesday after a conference committee from both chambers worked out a unified measure.

It declared 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 apprehended in the United States, unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention.”

The provision sparked a heated debate in the Senate, but ultimately passed by a wide majority with both supporters and opponents of U.S. terrorist detention practices voting for it, citing differing interpretations. Feinstein offered the amendment to clarify a part of the 2012 NDAA that for the first time codified the ability of the military and White House to detain terrorism suspects.

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  • Senate passes NDAA without indefinite detention ban, Sen. Paul calls it ‘abomination’

    Raw Story, By Samantha Kimmey, December 21

    The Senate voted 81-14 to pass the National Defense Authorization Act, which lacks a ban on indefinite detention of U.S. citizens, and now President Obama must decide whether or not he will sign it, reported the Huffington Post. He had previously threatened a veto because it does not allow for the closure of Guantanamo Bay.

    Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) railed against the lack of protections for Americans in a floor speech, claiming that the guarantee of a trial by jury for citizens was removed “because they want the ability to hold American citizens without trial in our country.”

    “Don’t let the wool be pulled over your eyes to think that you have protection and that you will get a trial by jury if accused of a crime,” he said. He counters claims that Americans will have a trial by jury if they get into an constitutional court by arguing that the decision to grant such aa court is “arbitrary.”

    He called the current NDAA an “abomination.”

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