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February 6, 2012 Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 1540, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2012. I always appreciate hearing from those that I represent in Congress. Each year, the House and Senate Armed Services Committees consider the NDAA, a comprehensive bill that sets procurement and personnel policy for the Department of Defense (DoD) for the next fiscal year. This includes troop pay and benefits, funding for weapons and equipment, and research and development. Ten years following the 9/11 attacks, after drawdown of troops in Iraq, and with our troops still committed in Afghanistan, our national security faces continuing challenges with respect to fighting and prosecuting the war on terror. First, the enemy is using the instruments of our own free society against us. They are using our court system bytrying to poke holes in the ten-year-old Congressional authorization for the use of force against al-Qaeda. We must ensure that these choices aren't made by activist judges from the bench, but by commanders on the battlefield. Second, the Obama Administration has been backsliding into a pre-9/11 mindset. The administration's actions demonstrate that their attitude is that terrorism is a crime, not an act of war. The implications for this change have the potential to be disastrous. The administration wants terrorists who attack America at home, like the underwear bomber or the Times Square bomber, to go into civilian law enforcement custody instead of military custody. Instead of treating these individuals like terrorists, he wants to treat them like ordinary criminals and to try them in civilian courts. It is vital that foreign terrorists that are focused on waging war against American freedom are treated as enemy combatants according to the laws of war. Addressing these concerns with the Obama Administration's activities, the House included language in the counterterrorism section of the NDAA, Sec. 1031 through Sec. 1034. This language reaffirms support for the 2001 Congressional Authorization on the Use of Military Force (AUMF) which authorizes the president to use all necessary measures and force "against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001..." Our provisions reinforce the authority of theAUMF aimed at non-U.S. citizens who plot and carry out terrorist attacks on U.S. citizens or troops. The NDAAoriginally passed the House on May 26, 201, with my support, and was sent to the Senate for consideration. After months of debate, the Senate passed the bill 93-7 on December 1, 2011. At this point, there were differences in the House and Senate versions of the bill and a Conference was called to resolve these differences. The House and Senate both passed the Conference version of the NDAA and it was signed into law by the president on December 31, 2011. Like many, I was concerned about the possible application of apprehension and detention of U.S. citizens which is clearly prohibited by our Constitution. The Senate version of the bill had left this unclear, but it was changed by the House in Conference. This bill does not pertain to U.S. citizens or legal aliens. Its sole purpose is to protect America from terrorist attacks against our troops in the battlefield and our citizens here at home. As you will note, in the finalversion of the NDAA, the detainee and custody provisions in Sections 1021 and 1022 contain language explicitly exempting U.S. citizens and legal aliens from detainment: SUBTITLE D. SEC. 1021. "(e) AUTHORITIES.—Nothing in this section 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." SUBTITLE D. SEC. 1022. "(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." As Congress works to protect our nation from terrorist attacks, I will continue to steadfastly support efforts to strengthen and modernize our national defense, protect the rights of American citizens, and support our uniformed men and women who are committed to protecting America. As a member of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, I remain committed to our veterans as well as our soldiers who are actively serving our country. We must provide these true heroes with the tools they need to complete their missions and return to their families as soon and as safely as possible. Please be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind should legislation regarding military funding, our troops, national defense, and our civil liberties comes before me in Congress. Thank you for entrusting me to represent you in the United States Congress. If you would like more information on this or any other issue, please visit my website at flores.house.gov.... Very truly yours, Bill Flores Member of Congress
So I sent you an email a few months back about your support of the NDAA bill. I raised concerns about this bill being used to indefinitely detain american citizens without trial. You specifically stated that the bill would not pertain to American citizens. Here is a quote from your letter " Like many, I was concerned about the possible application of apprehension and detention of U.S. citizens which is clearly prohibited by our Constitution. The Senate version of the bill had left this unclear, but it was changed by the House in Conference. This bill does not pertain to U.S. citizens or legal aliens. Its sole purpose is to protect America from terrorist attacks against our troops in the battlefield and our citizens here at home. As you will note, in the final version of the NDAA, the detainee and custody provisions in Sections 1021 and 1022 contain language explicitly exempting U.S. citizens and legal aliens from detainment" This in fact turned out to be 100% inaccurate as the Obama administration has been fighting hard the past few weeks to make sure that they have the ability to detain American citizens. After being shot down for not passing "constitutional muster", it was quickly overturned. The Obama administration said it would be a national security threat to no have this ability and would not even respond when asked if they already employed this power. Does this not concern you????????? Have you changed your stance on this bill??????? What is your take on the accusations that there are American-Pakistani dual citizens are already behind bars without charge or trail.