Easy to Understand: Why the Indefinite Detention Bill DOES Apply to US Citizens

Posted on Dec 15, 2011 in Constitutional & Liberty Issues, Police, Military, & War, Political Issues

Kevin Hayden – TruthisTreason.net

Source: Washington’s Blog

In response to my essay documenting that the indefinite detention bill does apply to American citizens on U.S. soil, a commentator posted:

Can somebody explain to me like I am 5, why [one of the bill’s provisions – which discusses U.S. citizens] does not protect citizens?

Yes, let me explain it in words that even a 5-year-old can understand …

The bill says that the military must detain anyone SUSPECTED of aiding terrorists.

One provision says that the mandatory (“must”) indefinite detention doesn’t apply to U.S. citizens … but that the government CAN indefinitely detain any US citizen it feels like without trial, without presenting evidence, without letting the citizen consult with a lawyer, and without even charging the citizen.

This would destroy our Constitutional rights to trial, to face our accuser, and to consult with an attorney.

Get it?  Here are some other, easy-to-understand explanations:

Congressman Justin Amash wrote:

Senators McCain and Levin have teamed up to promote one of the most anti-liberty pieces of legislation of our lifetime, S 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act. This bill would permit the federal government to indefinitely detain American citizens on American soil, without charge or trial, at the discretion of the President. It is destructive of our Constitution.

… A few commenters have suggested that the dangerous provisions in S 1867 (discussed in my previous post) do not apply to American citizens because of this language in Sec. 1032: “The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.” This language appears carefully crafted to mislead the public. Note that it does not preclude U.S. citizens from being detained indefinitely, without charge or trial, it simply makes such detention discretionary.

Amash subsequently wrote:

Pres. Obama and many Members of Congress believe the President ALREADY has the authority the bill grants him. Legally, of course, he does not. This language was inserted to keep proponents and opponents of the bill appeased, while permitting the President to assert that the improper power he has claimed all along is now in statute.


They will say that American citizens are specifically exempted under the following language in Sec. 1032: “The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.” Don’t be fooled. All this says is that the President is not REQUIRED to indefinitely detain American citizens without charge or trial. It still PERMITS him to do so.

The ACLU notes:

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.

Hayden’s Note:

I’ve covered this several times now, including last year when President Obama attempted to sign an Executive Order for this very thing.  It was placed on the sidelines and instead, slipped into the Defense Bill while he claimed that he would veto it.  Arizona Senator John McCain authored the Enemy Belligerent Act last year, which I outlined in  S. 3081 Enemy Belligerent Interrogation – A Sick Merry-Go-Round, that would have allowed the US Military to deem US citizens as enemy combatants and detain them.  

To summarize, they’ve been pushing for this very thing for years, including legislation and executive orders.  The Congress stands behind it, the President stands behind it, and it is a slap in the face of the American People.  You have been betrayed and it was a careful, drawn-out sham.

What was it that Samuel Adams and Thomas Jefferson said about a government that becomes too out of control?  Too tyrannical?  We are getting dangerously close to that timeframe.

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