Oppose Government, Lose Citizenship, Go Straight to Gitmo
Barbara H. Peterson
The question of the day is, does the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, nicknamed the Indefinite Detention Bill, actually call for the arrest and indefinite detention of American citizens on American soil? According to Devvy Kidd, it doesn’t:
I don’t seem to be able to find the text in either the final enrolled House or Senate bills that explicitly says U.S. citizens will be indefinitely detained without charge.
Now, I’m not a lawyer, but I have been reading bills from both the state houses and Congress going on two decades. In both bills (House & Senate), I found language that is plain and specific regarding U.S. citizens. In the original bill (S. 1867) here is the section on page 361 which deals with detainees and U.S. citizens:
SEC. 1032. REQUIREMENT FOR MILITARY CUSTODY continues over to page 362:
(b) APPLICABILITY TO UNITED STATES CITIZENS AND LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS.
(1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS. The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.
Unless I’m missing something, that subprovision says detention by military does not apply to U.S. citizens. Words have meaning in the law and that sentence appears to be easily read. That language remains in the final bill (Enrolled):
Again, page 428 begins section 1032, but here is page 430:
(b) APPLICABILITY TO UNITED STATES CITIZENS AND LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS.-
10 (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS.-The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.
Now over to the House. The full text of the bill passed by the House (Enrolled Bill):
H.R.1540 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012