January 12, 2012
Mr. Orlin Olson
PO Box 1978
4946 Montana 200
Thompson Falls, Montana 59873
Thank you for contacting me regarding certain provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (H.R. 1540) dealing with enemy combatants. It's good to hear from you.
There has been a lot of misinformation regarding two provisions in the bill relating to military detention. First and foremost, like you, I believe that individual liberties granted to us under the Constitution should not be taken lightly and must be vigorously defended. Protecting our Constitutional rights is one of the most important functions the federal government must undertake and is something I have been fighting for ever since I was elected to Congress. Having said this, I remain confident that the NDAA bill does not infringe on these rights.
After the September 11, 2001, attacks on America, Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) for enemy combatants against the U.S. Since then, this law has been used successfully by the courts and the executive branch to detain members of terrorist groups engaged in the killing of U.S. soldiers and citizens. However, even though the AUMF has been used as the legal authority to detain terrorist suspects, the power to do so is only implied. The language in the NDAA simply affirms what the courts and executive branch have been using for years, namely, that the military may lawfully detain individuals who are engaged in armed conflict with the United States, as stated by the AUMF. In addition, language in the NDAA includes specific protections for American citizens, even those who are part of a terrorist group and who engage in armed conflict against the United States.
Below are the two key provisions from the final bill:
SUBTITLE D. SEC. 1021. (p.655)(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. (p. 657) (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.
In addition, U.S. law already prohibits American citizens from unlawful detention. In Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, the Supreme Court ruled that while acknowledging the legitimacy of AUMF, the federal government does not have the authority to take away a U.S. citizen's habeas corpus rights. The ruling affirmed that Yaswer Esam Hamdi, a U.S. citizen being held by the military for engaging in armed conflict against the U.S., still had the full protections under the Constitution.
Additionally, in an effort to make it even more certain that our constitutional rights and liberties will not be infringed under this law, I have cosponsored legislation to ensure there are no loopholes or unintended consequences that would give power to the federal government to arrest Americans without due process. My legislation (H.R. 3676) would amend and further strengthen the NDAA by stating that "United States citizens may not be detained against their will without all the rights of due process afforded to citizens in a court ordained or established by or under Article III of the Constitution of the United States."
In the end, there is simply no language in this bill that extends any new authority to the federal government for the detention of American citizens by the U.S. military. However, I have taken the necessary steps to make absolutely certain all American citizens are afforded the rights granted to them under the Constitution. I firmly believe we need to be very careful to balance our national security needs with the fundamental civil rights that I have sworn an oath to uphold. I'm going to continue fighting to protect Montana families without asking them to surrender their constitutionally protected freedoms.
Thanks again for contacting me. If you get a chance, I encourage you to visit my website at http://www.house.gov/rehberg where you can find the latest news about what's happening in Congress. Keep in touch.
by Marlene Bertrand 22 months ago
Do American citizens give up their civil rights when they join the military?My husband told me that when he joined the military, they told him he was the property of the United States. That got me to wondering if that meant he lost his civil rights while he was serving in the military.
by Mikel G Roberts 3 years ago
My opinion is no, we should not.The problems of failed or "third world" countries have resulted in millions of people fleeing those countries to steal the better life the people of other non third world countries have. The United States is one of those countries. We have allowed these...
by Brenda Durham 8 years ago
This is so much hogwash that's going on in America, perpetuated by the Leftist idealogues who want to shove the Bible into a mudhole along with the Christians.They say Christianity (they label it "religion") is "separate" from State policies, yet they allow a Muslim Imam to have...
by ga anderson 4 years ago
MyEsoteric posed the question that prompted this thread, and Wilderness gave the response that sired it.In a thread about state governors that declined Obamacare's Expanded Medicaid program, MyEsoteric asked the question; "What do you think are a state's responsibilities to it citizens?I tried...
by Scott Belford 5 years ago
Do Conservatives believe in a United States or a united States of America?The Declaration of Independance refers to the united States while the Constitution uses the phrase United States, with a capital 'U'. The Ariticles of Confederation and the Continental Congress epitomize a united States...
by Quilligrapher 7 years ago
Congress and the President still intend to deprive American citizens of their Constitutional right to a trial by jury."National Defense Authorization Act: House And Senate Negotiators Agree On Bill Hoping To Avoid Obama Veto The legislation would deny suspected terrorists, even U.S. citizens...
Copyright © 2019 HubPages Inc. and respective owners. Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. HubPages® is a registered Service Mark of HubPages, Inc. HubPages and Hubbers (authors) may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.
|HubPages Device ID||This is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.|
|Login||This is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.|
|HubPages Traffic Pixel||This is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.|
|Remarketing Pixels||We may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.|
|Conversion Tracking Pixels||We may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.|