We’ve been trying to keep you aware of what has been taking place with the talks concerning the 2013 version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). We’ve covered the Feinstein amendment, which effectively did nothing, except to empower Congress to authorize the military at their whim to violate people’s 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendment rights. But now the talks are all done and the legislation is headed for Barack Obama’s desk to be signed into law soon, just as it was nearly one year ago today, including provision to use the military to indefinitely detain US citizens.
Previously, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) voted for the Feinstein amendment to the NDAA. But then there came the hashing out of language in the bill and Paul blasted Senator John McCain (R-AZ) for stripping away the amendment.
“We had protection in this bill. We passed an amendment that specifically said if you were an American citizen or here legally in the country, you would get a trial by jury,” Paul said. “It’s been removed because they want the ability to hold American citizens without trial in our country. This is so fundamentally wrong and goes against everything we stand for as a country that it can’t go unnoticed.”
The problem with Paul’s assertion is that there was no protection for anyone, whether they are a citizen of the US, a permanent resident or a visitor. Rights that are supposed to be protected under the Constitution be damned! Neither the NDAA, nor the amendment proposed protected one person who is on American Soil.
Paul called the NDAA an “abomination.” It is that, but so was the Feinstein amendment and even more so because it was deceptive at its core.
UPDATE: People are asking when the House passed NDAA for fiscal year 2013. The links have been provided. This one comes from the one at the end of the article, “Obama’s desk.” Here’s the screenshot. They passed it first in May and then the final passage took place one day before the Senate passed it; December 20.
UPDATE: Additionally some have asked for the language in the bill. Here is section 1033, which I provided a link to in the article. You can also read my comments and others on the article I wrote concerning this amendment and how it uses language to appear that it does not give authority to indefinitely detain citizens, while at the same time it gives power to Congress authorizes it. Congress gave their authorization (unconstitutional as it was) last year in Section 1023 of the 2012 NDAA.
SEC. 1033. PROHIBITION ON THE INDEFINITE DETENTION OF CITIZENS AND LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENTS.
Section 4001 of title 18, United States Code, is amended–
(1) by redesignating subsection (b) as subsection (c); and
(2) by inserting after subsection (a) the following:
‘(b)(1) 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.
In the end Congress voted to remove the Feinstein Amendment.