posted on Jan, 14 2012 @ 09:12 AM
This is a response from my Congressman Jim Himes (D-CT) in regards to my outcry over the NDAA in which he voted in favor of. I look forward to your
feedback. Nothing is more valuable than our FREEDOM!
January 13, 2012
Dear Mr. Xxxxxx,
Thank you for contacting me about "indefinite detention" in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. I appreciate your comments and am
grateful that you took the time to contact me.
The Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), as passed on December 1, 2011, contained a provision that gave the U.S. military
the authority to detain individuals, including American citizens, who commit acts of war or terror against the United States indefinitely and without
a trial. This provision was controversial, to say the least, and probably unconstitutional. I would have unconditionally voted against the Senate
version of the bill.
When the Senate bill was reconciled with the House version of the bill during what is called a "conference," this section was amended to exempt
American citizens. The conference bill specified that U.S. citizens are not subject to this provision and lawful resident aliens are only subject to
the extent the Constitution permits. The Senate bill was also changed to give the President discretion to decide if foreign detainees are tried in
civilian courts or by military tribunals.
I ultimately voted in favor of the NDAA as I believe that the bill did not expand upon the government's detention authority. Rather, the amended
version has the effect of simply restating what has become the law on this issue under judicial and executive rules over the last 10 years. In
addition, the conference bill omitted broad language on the Authorization for Use of Military Force that I found to be problematic when the House of
Representatives first considered this bill in May 2011, and which caused me to vote against that bill.
In general, I believe that we still have a long way to go to restore the civil rights that were threatened by the original Patriot Act and by
presidential action since 2001. I am gratified that the courts have generally rendered decisions useful in this regard, and you can count on me to
oppose legislation which moves us backwards.
If you have any additional questions regarding this or other issues, please do not hesitate to contact my office. You can sign up for my newsletter
and find more information on my views and my work in Congress by visiting my official website at himes.house.gov .
Member of Congress