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Bill Proposed To Prohibit The Indefinite Detention Of US Citizens
In my last article called Setting The Record Straight: The Changed Language In The NDAA I said that the NDAA didn’t allow Americans to be detained in sec. 1031 and 1032 but it says:
“Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities, relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.”
The question I asked was, what does EXISTING law say about the detention of American citizens. That is what we need to be concerned with. If existing law states American citizens can be detained indefinitely, by the military, that is the law or laws that need to be changed, rather than this current appropriations act.
Senator Dianne Feinstein just released this bill called ‘‘Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011’’. This bill may rectify what I was concerned about; existing laws that allow the detaining of American citizens.
Her website states, The Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011 amends the Non-Detention Act of 1971 by providing that a Congressional authorization for the use of military force does not authorize the indefinite detention—without charge or trial—of U.S. citizens who are apprehended domestically.
The Feinstein bill also codifies a “clear-statement rule” that requires Congress to expressly authorize detention authority when it comes to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.
The protections for citizens and lawful permanent residents is limited to those “apprehended in the United States” and excludes citizens who take up arms against the United States on a foreign battlefield, such as Afghanistan.
This perhaps can bring a sigh of relief to progressives like myself, who were extremely concerned about the ramifications of the NDAA and existing laws.