Rand Paul Continues To Fight Against Indefinite Detention Of US Citizens

Senator Rand Paul has made it known that he is interested at a run for the presidency in 2016 and he continues to be one of a few in the Senate who will stand for the Constitution. Paul has spoken out numerous times against the National Defense Authorization Act's Section 1021 which deals with "indefinite detention" of American citizens. Now he has an amendment ready for a vote and is threatening a filibuster in order to obtain that vote.

The Hill reports,

Paul’s amendment takes a new tack to curb the military’s ability to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism by affirming they have the right to a speedy trial by jury under the Sixth Amendment.

His push to change the indefinite detention laws for U.S. citizens follows a contentious fight last year where liberal Senate Democrats waged an unsuccessful attempt to scale back the detention laws before an 11th-hour, watered-down compromise was ultimately reached.

Paul’s filibuster threat could throw into flux what’s already been a long-winding road to the floor for the Defense authorization bill, which Armed Services Committee leaders have been clamoring to get on the floor since it passed out of committee in May.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said last week that he would move to the Defense bill after the Thanksgiving holiday, and would allow for an open amendment process with a limited number of amendments managed by Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and ranking member John McCain (R-Ariz.).

The day after Reid said the Senate would move to the defense bill, however, Paul put a hold on the legislation, a move Paul took because there was not an agreement to vote on his amendment, according to his office.

The text of Paul's amendment is simple and to the point:

A citizen of the United States captured or arrested in the United States and detained by the Armed Forces of the United States pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

The point of Paul's amendment is to preserve the rights of U.S. citizens guaranteed to them under the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which reads:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Joe Wolverton, of The New American, believes the amendment doesn't go far enough. He points out, "There is not one word of repeal or abolition or revocation of the indefinite detention of Americans from the NDAA."

Wolverton went on to write,

By a vote of 238-182, members of Congress rejected the amendment offered by Representatives Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Justin Amash (R-Mich.) that would have repealed the indefinite detention provision of the NDAA. The Fiscal Year 2013 NDAA yet retains the indefinite detention provisions, as well as the section permitting prisoners to be transferred from civilian jurisdiction to the custody of the military.

"The frightening thing here is that the government is claiming the power under the Afghanistan authorization for use of military force as a justification for entering American homes to grab people, indefinitely detain them and not give them a charge or trial," Representative Amash said during House debate.

Speaking in support of his amendment, Representative Smith reminded his colleagues that the NDAA granted to the president “extraordinary” powers and divested the American people of key civil liberties, as well as divesting civilian courts of their constitutional jurisdiction.

Smith pointed out that there was no need to transfer suspects into military custody as “hundreds” of terrorists have been tried in federal courts since the attacks of September 11, 2001.

We are now in a real pickle. The Republican party had plenty of opportunity to stand up against the NDAA and it's indefinite detention section. The Georgia State Convention was ready to stand against the section and anyone that signed or supported the NDAA, but when they realized that their potential nominee this year supported it, they withdrew. The RNC platform committee took it up, but ended up utterly rejecting to take a stand on it, presumably because of similar understanding concerning their nominee and the fact that some believed this was not a major concern.

Hopefully if Paul makes the point enough times he will gain support for his amendment from other Senators, though what needs to happen is that the entire indefinite detention section needs to be repealed, not amended.

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  • don

    guess he is finding out how his father has felt all these years fighting for our freedom. for people that care less. just don't require anything from them..that old man was a lonely being all these years. one man that voted aginst all the things that has brought us to where we are now. if others had fought aginst destoring our freedoms an rights an going by the constition.this whole mess would not be in our laps to day. obama says our constition has out lived its time. he could not be more wrong. our constition was wrote the way it is to be a road block for goverments like his. to stop trannts. but there one catch the people have to care. when we lose our virtue-morality- an religon this is what we get. the price for our freedom become some thing not worth fighting over. the large part of US just don't care pass them selfs.

  • Cats

    Go Dr Paul! Keep fighting the good fight for us!

  • farRight

    Anyone who supports the unconstitional provisions of the NDAA should be tried and shot as traitors to their oath and the Constitution.


    if America...The American's that are concerned over this Marsahll Law, Obummer is implimenting then we will loose our Sixth Amendment and we are screwed! you willnot be able to stand in a public place and criticize Obama, The government,and what these communists are doing to America. The tit of entitlement is getting drained and when it does where do these government providers turn? To the people that will have to pay for all these programs Obummer has extablished under "Executive Order" with no recourse.

    We need Paul and others like him to unite America, ORGANIZE a "THIRD POLITICAL" organized and very soon. Like the Joker said to his henchmen "We have been sold out boys". The Republican's are jumping on board of the last train out of "Freedomville" and guess what we are not on it! Nor invited! We have been led down the road to complete government control and we have arrived at a very Sorro's place of evil and corruption no one in America has ever encountered.
    "It is here and now!

  • thunder

    Thank God we have a person like Rand Paul fighting for Freedom & Liberty. All other politicans should be rounded up and put in detention camps and tried for treason along with Obummer. Obummmer is American black Hitler, U.S. citizen's time is running out. It's action time.

    • WhatWillYouDoWithoutFreedom

      I agree with most of what you say with one exception. My Rep in KS is Tim Huelskamp and he has voted correctly on everyone of these anti American laws. Last time I check there was a total of 8 or 9 people in the house that voted correctly. Not real good considering that there are 435 seats in the house. I'm not sure about the senate.

  • KittyKittyKit

    There are FEW, if any, REAL AMERICAN PATRIOTS left in the Senate. Rand Paul is a chip off the old block (his dad, Ron Paul). Now Rand is the soul voice for us in the Senate.
    Stand strong, Rand...............stand strong.

  • Patriot

    God Bless Rand Paul. AND whatever "few" others who are fighting or our Constitutional rights.
    I will miss Ron Paul. Another that cared about America and our Constitution and fought for it all his life.

  • R.Young

    The Regime's warning to all non Loyal SUBJECTS "Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated and we will add your unique individulness to the collective, you will service us'!

  • Al

    He needs to take bold steps to get APAIC out of government. This lobby's stranglehold on Congress is worse than McCarthyism.

  • harleydavidson

    The author of this article needs to go back to grammar school...terrible for a writer.

    • http://www.facebook.com/joe.zimmerman.77 Joe Zimmerman

      Intercourse yourself with a baseball bat