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Response from Senator Casey regarding NDAA, does the Act really allow detainment of citizens?

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posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 02:13 PM
I sent an email regarding the NDAA and the detainment of American citizens. In his response Casey claims that the NDAA gives no more power than what was already passed in 2001. So have at it ATS. Can you rip apart his claims or has the whole NDAA been fear mongering from conspiracy theorists? Here is the email.

Dear Friend:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about the detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. I appreciate hearing from you about this issue.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorizes policy and annual expenditures for the Department of Defense. The House of Representatives and the Senate recently passed the final version of the 2012 NDAA with broad bipartisan support. It is currently awaiting the President’s signature before it becomes law.

The Department of Defense is responsible for overseeing the United States Armed Forces and ensuring that our Nation is able to effectively respond to threats. It is critical that Congress provides the Department of Defense with sufficient funding to protect American lives, defend our Nation and support our servicemembers and their families. While our overseas military engagements continue, it is particularly important to provide the resources our servicemembers need to successfully conduct operations and ensure their own safety.

As your United States Senator, I am committed to ensuring the safety and security of all Americans. Since 2001, United States counterterrorism efforts have helped to ensure our national security. Our brave servicemembers and intelligence personnel work tirelessly to protect our nation against the threat of terrorism. However, it is essential that the executive branch operate with transparency and ensure that our counterterrorism efforts do not infringe on the civil liberties of American citizens. We must not sacrifice our fundamental values and ideals in the face of this critical threat.

The custody and detention provisions in the NDAA are the result of thorough consideration and bipartisan agreement. These provisions, including Sections 1021 and 1022, will allow the United States to deal effectively with the threat posed by al Qaeda, a terrorist group that has inflicted devastating harm on our Nation and continues to seek to attack our citizens, our allies, and our interests both here at home and around the world.

Section 1021 of the NDAA does not expand the executive branch’s authority to detain suspected terrorists. This section states explicitly that it is not intended to limit or expand the authority that Congress granted the President in the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). The definition of a “covered person” in this section is “a person who was a part of or substantially supported al Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.” This is the position that has been adopted by the Obama Administration and upheld in U.S. courts since 2001. In addition, it requires the executive branch to brief Congress regularly on the individuals and groups to whom this authority is being applied.

It is important to note that Section 1021 does not create any “new” or “unprecedented” presidential power, nor does it create any “permanent” detention power. The legislation explicitly states that Section 1021 shall not “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.”

Section 1022 of the NDAA requires that persons who are members of al Qaeda and have participated in planning or carrying out an attack against the United States or its allies be held in military custody. However, the executive branch can exercise a waiver of this requirement if the President certifies to Congress that holding a particular suspect in civilian custody will better serve U.S. national security interests. In addition, this provision applies only to non-US citizens and non-lawful resident aliens who are al Qaeda operatives and who plan or carry out attacks against the United States. It explicitly does not apply to American citizens and those who reside here lawfully.

Senator Dianne Feinstein of California proposed an amendment which would have limited the requirement of military custody in Section 1022 to suspected terrorists captured abroad. This proposal was rejected in the Senate by a vote of 55 to 45. I voted against this amendment because the waiver provision provides flexibility to the executive branch to determine whether a suspected al Qaeda operative captured on U.S. soil should be transferred to civilian custody.

Senator Mark Udall of Colorado offered an amendment to remove the detention provisions in Section 1021 from the bill altogether. This amendment would have essentially allowed the executive branch to continue to engage in existing detention practices without codification in law. By codifying the detention practices already in use, Congress is exercising its critical responsibility to oversee and create a legal framework for executive branch action. For this reason, I joined a majority of Senators in voting against this amendment.

Senator Feinstein also offered an amendment to explicitly prohibit the indefinite detention of American citizens. I voted in favor of this amendment out of concern that authorizing the government to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens was at odds with fundamental American values. Unfortunately, this amendment was rejected by a vote of 55 to 45. Finally, Senator Feinstein proposed an amendment to clarify that nothing in the bill “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.” I also voted for this measure, which passed the Senate by a vote of 99 to 1 and was included in the final version of the bill.

On December 15, 2011, Senator Feinstein introduced S. 2003, the Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011. This legislation would clarify that an authorization to use military force, a declaration of war or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States. S. 2003 would also require Congress to make a “clear statement” about the limitations on authority to detain U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. This legislation has been referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, of which I am not a member. Please be assured that I will examine this legislation closely.

Nothing in the NDAA authorizes the U.S. military to patrol our streets, detain ordinary Americans in their homes or conduct any law enforcement functions inside the United States. Section 1022 says only that a specific group of persons, narrowly defined as those who are “a part of or substantially supported al Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners” should be subject to military custody, unless the executive branch determines that civilian custody is more appropriate in a particular case. The NDAA does not address when or where a person may be captured, and does not authorize the military to exercise unprecedented powers on U.S. soil.

In addition, the NDAA will not disrupt ongoing interrogations, intelligence gathering functions and surveillance activities, and it does not require military commissions in terrorist prosecutions. The administration raised concerns that certain provisions would limit its ability to collect vital information and limit its prosecutorial options. In response, the Senate Armed Services Committee clarified that no such limitations would be placed on the President’s authority.

The NDAA absolutely does not authorize torture of detainees, irrespective of citizenship. Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire proposed S. Amdt. 1068 to the NDAA to authorize certain enhanced interrogation techniques. However, the U.S. Constitution prohibits “cruel and unusual punishments,” and we must not tolerate the use of torture under any circumstances. I believe strongly that the United States has a moral obligation to uphold its commitments under the Geneva Convention regarding the treatment of prisoners. We must, therefore, hold all executive branch officials accountable for alleged violations of these commitments. I am pleased that S. Amdt. 1068 was not included the final version of the NDAA that passed the Senate. Please be assured that I support efforts to prohibit the use of “enhanced interrogation” practices, and that no such practices have been endorsed in this bill.

The NDAA also does not change the fundamental, constitutional right of habeas corpus review. The writ of habeas corpus is a legal doctrine that allows individuals to challenge their detention in a court of law. The U.S. Constitution explicitly provides this right to American citizens, and the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld its applicability, even with respect to suspected terrorists. Any American citizen or lawful permanent resident held in U.S. custody will have the right to habeas corpus review. Similarly, the courts have established that persons detained under the Authorization of the Use of Military Force, including those held at Guantanamo Bay, have the right to such review. Nothing in the NDAA undermines this critical right.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about this or any other matter of importance to you.

If you have access to the Internet, I encourage you to visit my web site, I invite you to use this online office as a comprehensive resource to stay up-to-date on my work in Washington, request assistance from my office, or share with me your thoughts on the issues that matter most to you and to Pennsylvania.

Bob Casey
United States Senator

posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 02:38 PM
Ok ill be the first to stir the brew as one might say this right here

It explicitly does not apply to American citizens and those who reside here lawfully.
as we know you do the act you give up your citizen ship what act is that Protesting and going on strike that would benefit the enemy how is this done lets say the ship yard or dock workers go on strike, the supply line is then broken given aid to the enemy, OWS or other protestors blocks the entrance to a Gov building, thus giving aid to the enemy or the acts become Hostile and Belligerent do you have a law book handy to tell you what that means? or do you know what that means? some protester hits a Fed agent then what, an dyes the NG that is the National Guard can be used as crowd control, they do have the training for it this has been long planed from the link, just to show how far back this goes

October 1991



Steven J. Schmidt
Lieutenant Colonel
Assistant Chief of Police
Covington, Kentucky, Police Department

While small to midsized departments may be located in areas
where the problem of crowd control is virtually nonexistent,
there could be times when they have to police large groups of
people during special local events. There are also times when
smaller cities that border large municipalities must deal with
the overflow of people attending an event in that municipality.
and yes bush and obama have both issued EO Executive Orders to use NG in a national emergency or disaster or civil unrest, union strike and protesting are what?civil unrest here is a link telling just this
edit on 22-12-2011 by bekod because: added link

posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 05:48 PM
Only one response.
I thought with all the attention the ndaa was getting this would bring in some more responses from those who are trashing the act.

posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 09:17 PM
So much for the anti ndaa crowd...
A chance to challenge a senator and nothing happens.
Big surprise on ats as of late.

posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 10:22 PM
reply to post by logicalthinking

This is surprising news. We have NYT, Washington Post, Wired, EFF, ACLU, and dozens, if not hundreds, of other civil-libertarians saying one thing--and one senator saying another. This is a little hard to digest. Given the current makeup of our houses of government, I'm more inclined to go with the civil-libertarian interpretations.

Obviously you would expect a senator to have some knowledge of what he's voting for--although, when you consider SOPA, among others, I don't think that's necessarily true. And just to cover this base: I don't necessarily expect any of them to tell the truth. (In fact I'm much more comfortable with their lies--you know what to expect.) Maybe he's telling you what he *thought* he was voting for. Maybe all the lawmakers were *prepped* in the way they would justify their vote to their constituencies.

I'm extremely doubtful... but I have no answer yet. I still think we've been submarined, and that this is a sneaky way to declare martial law. But I also want to know the truth, so I'm withholding judgment--as I expect a lot of other ATSers are....
edit on 12/22/2011 by Ex_CT2 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 11:12 PM
reply to post by logicalthinking

My guess is this Senator voted for NDAA and now trying to back peddled his way out. The two senators that sponsored the bill admitted it pertained to American citizens. Believe what you chose to believe but I for one am going to believe my eyes and the fact that almost everyone except this Senator admits it does. Maybe you need a new Senator.

posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 11:36 PM

Originally posted by redrose123
reply to post by logicalthinking

. . .

Maybe you need a new Senator.

Yeh. Maybe we all do....

posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 09:37 AM
Believe me the email that I sent to him and received this response to was not kind at all.
And i agree, pa does need a new senator.

posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 09:52 AM
reply to post by logicalthinking

“a person who was a part of or substantially supported al Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.”

This can include anyone deemed to be a threat, American or not, on American soil or not, white or black, Christian or Muslim, male or female...

All you need is the label, and they have authority to act with impunity. The only thing that has changed with the passing of this bill (seemingly at least) is that Obama can now decide that civilians can be held outside of military control. Quite simply, he has just removed the "requirement" for military to hold all those arrested as "enemy combatants". There would no longer need to be places like Guantanamo, operated by the military. People can be arrested and detained indefinitely, without charge, anywhere.

posted on Dec, 24 2011 @ 01:32 AM
reply to post by detachedindividual
you forgot belligerent, a belligerent drunk could fall in to that as well, how many of us become a belligerent drunk when we have one to many? Now that I am older I drink, I fall down, pass out... not a problem, but what about the ones that do not fall down nor pass out?

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