Senate Unanimously Passes 2013 NDAA; Power to Arrest Americans Remains

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
12/05/2012
       
Senate Unanimously Passes 2013 NDAA; Power to Arrest Americans Remains

Just after 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, the Senate did it again. By a vote of 98-0 (two senators abstained) lawmakers in the upper chamber approved the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Not a single senator objected to the passage once again of a law that purports to permit the president, supported by nothing more substantial than his own belief that the suspect poses a threat to national security, to deploy the U.S. military to arrest an American living in America

Just after 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, the Senate did it again. By a vote of 98-0 (two senators abstained) lawmakers in the upper chamber approved the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Not a single senator objected to the passage once again of a law that purports to permit the president, supported by nothing more substantial than his own belief that the suspect poses a threat to national security, to deploy the U.S. military to arrest an American living in America.

As The New American reported, an amendment to the 2013 version of the defense spending bill passed by the Senate clarified the right to trial of “citizens and permanent legal residents” detained under the relevant sections of the revamped measure.

The amendment, known as the Feinstein-Lee Amendment, was cosponsored by Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.). In an interview Tuesday with The New American, spokesmen for Lee and Paul admitted that the amendment did not go far enough in the defense of due process, but said it was a step in the right direction.

“Colored by our experience with the due process amendment to the NDAA we offered in 2012, we knew that we would have nowhere near the number of votes needed to pass an amendment that guaranteed due process for all persons detained under the NDAA,” explained Doug Stafford, chief of staff for Rand Paul.

Stafford and Rob Porter, general counsel for the office of Senator Lee, reiterated that they recognize that the Feinstein-Lee Amendment was not the ideal attack on the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA. Senators Lee and Paul believe, the spokesmen assured The New American, that “the full panoply of due process rights should apply to all persons, not just American citizens.”

For now, however, the NDAA 2013 is law, and the president’s power to send troops to arrest Americans living in America remains intact and unabridged. That is rightfully terrifying to constitutionalists, journalists, and any other American who fears being kidnapped by the military and indefinitely detained.

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