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Published On: Wed, Dec 19th, 2012

Congress moves forward on bill without protection from NDAA, indefinite detention of Americans

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.

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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.

“I was saddened and disappointed that we could not take a step forward to ensure at the very least American citizens and legal residents could not be held in detention without charge or trial,” Feinstein said. “To me that was a no-brainer.”

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.

The White House had threatened to veto both the House and Senate versions over numerous other provisions included in the legislation. Among them were restrictions on the executive’s ability to transfer prisoners from the prison for terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday he hoped the changes to the 2013 measure would be sufficient to win Obama’s signature.

“You’ll have to ask them, but again, I can’t predict what they will do. I think we made some significant changes, we worked very closely with Sec. Panetta and the Pentagon. It wasn’t as if we were doing all these things on our own,” McCain said.

Liberty minded groups, like the Tenth Amendment Center, continued to call for State nullification.

“A liberty minded governor and legislature would move immediately to nullify this in their State. The AG would be directed to instruct all State LEO to arrest any federal agent attempting to implement kidnapping. Sheriffs should also inform all federal agencies NDAA is illegal and perpetrators subject to arrest. Any federal operations in our Counties are subject to Sheriff approval or they must cease. That’s how it should be done,” Andrew Nappi of Florida’s Tenth Amendment said in a Facebook post Wednesday morning.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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