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Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:21 PM

"Feinstein Amendment Further Entrenches Power of Military Indefinite Detention" (It Passed)

Feinstein Amendment Further Entrenches Power of Military Indefinite Detention
By: Kevin Gosztola Tuesday December 4, 2012 6:14 p

Sen. Dianne Feinstein has put forward a flawed and dangerous amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013.It passed on Thursday and purportedly aimed to prevent United States citizens from being detained indefinitely by the military. What it did was further entrench the power of military indefinite detention and make it more likely the power will be used against immigrants in the United States, even though that has historically been unconstitutional.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Amnesty International, Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC), Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Human Rights First, Japanese American Citizens League, Physicians for Human Rights and various other organizations have condemned the Feinstein Amendment:

We write as a broad array of organizations in the civil rights, human rights, civil liberties, and immigrant rights fields to urge you to oppose Amendment 3018, submitted by Senator Feinstein as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). We greatly appreciate the leadership of Senator Feinstein and many other senators in working last year to try to fix some of the NDAA’s detention provisions. Unfortunately, the Feinstein amendment fails to address a central concern raised in the public debates: the specter of the military being used to police our streets and detain individuals on U.S. soil. The bill also unintentionally reinforces the false and discriminatory notion that due process protections are only afforded to some – not all – persons within the United States….

As the organizations make clear, “The constitutional requirements of due process of law apply to all persons within the United States. The 5th Amendment to the Constitution states that “No person shall be…deprived of…liberty…without due process of law.” The Feinstein Amendment “implicitly authorizes domestic military detention. By seeking to protect only United States citizens and legal permanent residents, the amendment could be read to imply that indefinite military detention of any other persons apprehended within the United States was authorized in 2001 and was lawful. In addition, the clause ‘unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention’ could be read to imply that there are no constitutional obstacles to Congress enacting a statute that would authorize the domestic military detention of any person in the United States.”[/bb]

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