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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Indefinite Detention Targeted In Democratic Bill On Handling Terrorist Suspects

Thank God... A little good news.

Who care who proposed the legislation.  I'm just glad to see it in the legislature.  Wonder how quick it'll die in the House?


Indefinite Detention Targeted In Democratic Bill On Handling Terrorist Suspects

WASHINGTON -- A pair of lawmakers on Thursday offered a bill that would repeallaws that allow the indefinite detention of Americans and others by the military without trial.
The power of military authorities to arrest and jail people as long as they want stems from Congress' 2001 joint resolution authorizing the use of military force against terrorists, but was explicitly codified into law last year after President Obama signedthe National Defense Authorization Act on New Year's Eve. While allowing military detention of anyone, the act mandated that certain terrorist suspects had to be held by the armed forces.
Civil libertarians on the left and right were sharply critical of the law, even though the president promised not to grab Americans.
Obama set out policy rules last month making good on that pledge, specifying that U.S. citizens and numerous other categories of suspected terrorists would not be clapped into the military system, which somewhat mollified critics.
But many pointed out that those rules are only good as long as Obama is president, prompting Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) to offer their bill Thursday.
"On the books, we have a law that gives the executive branch the power to indefinitely detain people here in the U.S., even U.S. citizens, and we believe we should take that off the books," Smith said at a Capitol Hill news conference. "Even though you can make an argument that this executive will not exercise that authority, has not exercised that authority, we don't believe we can afford to allow that kind of power to reside in the executive branch."
"That policy won't tie the hands of future administrations," said Udall. "I continue to believe that the NDAA detention provisions weaken our national security and our constitutional protections."

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