National Defense Authorization Act: Military can detain US citizens?

  1. The National Defense Authorization Act was passed in the Senate 93-7. In this bill, language was inserted that may be interpreted to mean the military can hold US citizens indefinitely without trial.

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/12/senate-military-detention/ Is a Wired editorial on the subject.

    Wired links to several law blogs which are debating the issue. Law professor Robert Chesney says: http://www.lawfareblog.com/2011/12/does-the-ndaa-authorize-detention-of-us-citizens/
    Bolding mine.

    Two questions for you all.

    1) Should US citizens accused of terrorism be subject to military detention?

    2) Does this bill create the possibility that US citizens be detained by the military?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Where is the Supreme Court when you need them?

    Did you actually read the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012?

    Go to page 426

    15 Subtitle D—Detainee Matters
    16 SEC. 1031. AFFIRMATION OF AUTHORITY OF THE ARMED
    17 FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES TO DETAIN
    18 COVERED PERSONS PURSUANT TO THE AU19
    THORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE.

    Sec. 1031.

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112s1867es/pdf/BILLS-112s1867es.pdf
     
  4. Office_Shredder

    Office_Shredder 4,500
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    I never understand this legalese
    Well then what's the purpose of putting it in there if it doesn't actually do anything?

    I would also comment that even though it says the requirement that the armed forces hold terrorists does not extend to US citizens, it never says that the armed forces can't just choose to hold them anyway. The way the bill is laid out: The president has the authority to detain people who are terrorists with the military. The military must hold terrorists, except they aren't required to hold American citizens. But does the president still have the authority to hold them? It's never made clear. I probably just don't understand it very well
     
  5. If they're such obvious terrorists why can't they be found guilty in a civilian court before being transferred to military custody?


     
  6. The ACLU says:
    Don’t be confused by anyone claiming that the indefinite detention legislation does not apply to American citizens. It does. There is an exemption for American citizens from the mandatory detention requirement (...section 1032 of the bill), but no exemption for American citizens from the authorization to use the military to indefinitely detain people without charge or trial (section 1031 of the bill). So, the result is that, under the bill, the military has the power to indefinitely imprison American citizens, but it does not have to use its power unless ordered to do so.

    http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-s...erican-citizens-battlefield-they-define-being

    One of the authors of these provisions:
    "1031, the statement of authority to detain, does apply to American citizens and it designates the world as the battlefield, including the homeland.” - Lindsey Graham

    In this video, Lindsey Graham says, in no uncertain terms, 1031 of the NDAA applies to citizens...
    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/appearance/600840428
     
  7. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    It clearly says

    It's quite clear to whom it applies. It doesn't apply to normal citizens. Terrorists aren't considered normal citizens. Is anyone on this forum really concerned that they will be arrested as a terrorist? I know I'm not paranoid.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011
  8. Office_Shredder

    Office_Shredder 4,500
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    Evo, where in the covered persons section does it say that American citizens are not covered?
     
  9. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Did you read the link I gave.

    That's the exemption for US Citizens against being detained in military custody.

    Are you seeing anywhere that says specifically that US citizens will be detained in military custody? If so, please copy and paste it, I must be missing it.
     
  10. Office_Shredder

    Office_Shredder 4,500
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    The exemption says the military is not REQUIRED to hold American citizens. Where does it say that they aren't ALLOWED to?
     
  11. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Where does it say they're allowed to?
     
  12. Office_Shredder

    Office_Shredder 4,500
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    Subsection (a) - the president may authorize the military to detain any person that is described as a covered person in subsection (b)

    Subsection (b) describes people who take certain actions. Unless there is something preventing American citizens from taking those actions, it is patently clear that American citizens can fall under the description in subsection (b)
     
  13. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Right COVERED PERSON

    Where are you getting this nonsense? That's not in the Act. You'd have to be a terrorist to fall into the category of Covered Persons. This is nothing but fear mongering and conspiracy theory, IMO.

    "people that take certain actions" seriously? That is seriously misleading. Some fear mongerer making it sound like it's nothing more than taking a walk in the park. Oh, but wait, if they tell the truth and say what it really says, people will dismiss them as being daft, IMO.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011
  14. Office_Shredder

    Office_Shredder 4,500
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    No, I'm not stating that they are trivial actions, or that anybody can get arrested under this. But if an American citizen is suspected of being a member of Al Qaeda, they can, it seems, be detained by the military until the end of hostilities (whenever that is), or transfer to another country's custody!
     
  15. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    I would hope so. A US Citizen engaging in such conduct would be guilty of treason.
     
  16. Office_Shredder

    Office_Shredder 4,500
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    Somehow, we've spent over 200 years without the President having the authority to ship suspected traitors to foreign countries with no trials. What makes these cases so special?
     
  17. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Here

     
  18. Drakkith

    Staff: Mentor

    FYI: Page 438

    Doesn't look like a US citizen can be shipped anywhere.
     
  19. So people who are suspected of treason don't get a proper trial any more?
     
  20. Drakkith

    Staff: Mentor

    Note the following:

    It does not say SUSPECTED to be part of, it says DETERMINED. How would one determine someone is part of Al-Queda and etc except via trial?
     
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