Yesterday, in a closed door conference committee on the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, conferees stripped out an amendment that would have prohibited the indefinite detention of American citizens and lawful permanent residents. (In violation of the Constitution’s ‘4th & 5th amendment’ I might add)
In a letter sent to both the House and Senate today, Campaign for Liberty President John Tate urged Congressmen to vote NO on the NDAA conference report.
On behalf of over half a million Campaign for Liberty grassroots activists across the country, I urge you to oppose the National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report for its deliberate insistence on allowing for the indefinite detention of American citizens.
Previously, Senators Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and others worked together to adopt an amendment to the 2013 NDAA that clearly stated the 2001 AUMF construed no authority to indefinitely detain American citizens. That amendment was adopted last month by a vote of 67-29.
On Tuesday evening, reports surfaced that this amendment was stripped out in the conference committee and replaced with the Orwellian Section 1029, which is actually titled “Rights Unaffected.”
This egregious change is a slap in the face to civil libertarians, an affront to our Bill of Rights and due process, and just another example of Washington elites conferring unconstitutional authority on the President to carry out police state actions under the guise of “keeping us safe.”
Sixty-eight years ago this week, the Supreme Court authorized the indefinite detention of American citizens of Japanese descent during WWII. It’s shameful our Congress is again permitting the Executive Branch to lock up American citizens and throw away the key at its whim.
Therefore, on behalf of Campaign for Liberty’s members and in defense of our fundamental rights, I urge you to stand up for the Constitution and oppose the FY 2013 NDAA Conference Report.
The House and Senate are both expected to vote on the conference report tomorrow.
You too can take action by calling your representative and senators at 202-224-3121 and urging them to take a stand for the Constitution by sending the FY 2013 back to conference and to prohibit indefinite detention!
Today, Sen. Rand Paul issued the following statement regarding the newly released National Defense Authorization Act for 2013 (NDAA) conference report.
The amendment, introduced by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) and which passed with a 67-29 vote on Nov. 29, was designed to guarantee Americans the right to due process and a jury trial. These are basic and core American legal privileges prescribed in our Bill of Rights, which have been observed since our nation’s founding. Removing these indefinite detention protections now means that the NDAA is in violation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution.
“The decision by the NDAA conference committee, led by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to strip the National Defense Authorization Act of the amendment that protects American citizens against indefinite detention now renders the entire NDAA unconstitutional,” Sen. Paul said.
“I voted against NDAA in 2011 because it did not contain the proper constitutional protections. When my Senate colleagues voted to include those protections in the 2012 NDAA through the Feinstein-Lee Amendment last month, I supported this act,” Sen. Paul continued. “But removing those protections now takes us back to square one and does as much violence to the Constitution as last year’s NDAA. When the government can arrest suspects without a warrant, hold them without trial, deny them access to counsel or admission of bail, we have shorn the Bill of Rights of its sanctity.
“Saying that new language somehow ensures the right to habeas corpus – the right to be presented before a judge – is both questionable and not enough. Citizens must not only be formally charged but also receive jury trials and the other protections our Constitution guarantees. Habeas corpus is simply the beginning of due process. It is by no means the whole.
“Our Bill of Rights is not something that can be cherry-picked at legislators’ convenience. When I entered the United States Senate, I took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. It is for this reason that I will strongly oppose passage of the McCain conference report that strips the guarantee to a trial by jury.”
Read Rand Paul’s statement here