As this article outlines, this bill is so draconian you might as well tear up the Bill of Rights. I am appalled that Congress would do such a thing. It is now legal to use the might of the United States military against its own citizens in the USA. All the government needs to do is use the laws and guidelines, the very same ones I have been highlighting on this web site, determine that whatever you are doing falls within the “you might be a terrorist if” guidelines published by the DHA, and the next thing you know, you have the DOD breaking down your door at 3am and hauling you off to jail because simply, they can…. That IS where we are now thanks to the very people who we sent to DC to protect our rights and I am so very disappointed in my Rep. She is a Freshman and was specifically sent to NOT do what she just did. Check the list below to see how your Rep voted. It is truly a bleak and black day in and for America………………
Votes by Representative
I am writing you to express my dismay at your vote concerning The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 2012. Your main purpose in Congress, as stated by your Oath of Office was to protect the Constitution and the rights of the citizens of this nation. Your AYE vote on this Bill is blatantly just the exact opposite. While the poorly crafted language is seemingly aimed at persons inside the United States who are aiding identified terrorist organizations, the language is purposely vague so that it could be interpreted in very broad terms and conditions which can be “cherry picked” and used against the citizenry in most draconian ways. This Bill effectively tears up the intent of The Bill of Rights as written by our Founding Fathers. You know this and you still voted in favor of passage of this Constitution crushing legislation. In my opinion, you are unfit to serve because you willingly violated your oath of office and violated the rights of the citizens of Washington State. I will not in any way shape or form, support you in your upcoming election. In fact I think you should be recalled immediately. I anticipate that your response to this letter will include your rational for this betrayal to your oath and to the citizens you were supposed to represent. In that light, it will be shallow and not acceptable as usual.
REPLY FROM SENATOR PATTY MURRAY:
Thank you for contacting me with your concerns regarding military detention. It is good to hear from you. As you know, in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Bush administration devised a new detention system outside of established legal structures of the U.S. criminal justice system and military courts-martial. Through legislation and a series of high-profile Supreme Court rulings, both Congress and the federal judiciary took action to clarify and limit parts of the Bush administration’s detention programs. Although President Obama has taken some important steps toward the fair and humane treatment of detainees, I believe much more work has yet to be done. I continue to support closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and the ability of the Administration to try terror suspects in the U.S. federal court system. The federal courts are well-equipped to handle these complex and difficult cases—since 2006, federal courts have successfully tried over 300 terrorism suspects while military commissions have tried only three. I strongly support giving our military and intelligence agencies the tools they need to protect our nation and our service members. I understand some evidence against detainees may be too sensitive to national security to be presented in civilian court or may be tainted due to harsh interrogation techniques. Right now, the Secretary of Defense and the Attorney General can decide whether to use a military tribunal or a federal court. I believe the Obama administration should continue to have the flexibility to decide on a case-by-case basis, and I opposed Republican amendments during consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act that would strip the President of this authority.
Please be assured that I will keep your views on this important topic in mind during the 112th Congress. If you would like to know more about my work in the United States Senate, please feel free to sign up for my weekly updates at http://murray.senate.gov/updates/. Thank you again for contacting me and please keep in touch.
United States Senator
(my comment; You see, she does not care about the Bill of Rights)
UPDATED 022112 REPLY FROM CONGRESSWOMAN JAIME HERRARA BEUTLER
February 14, 2012
Thank you for contacting me about Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It is an honor to represent the people of Southwest Washington, and it is important for me to hear from folks in our region.
I certainly understand your concerns about Sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA and how these sections impact our civil liberties and Constitutional rights. I am a firm believer that your federal representative should take a proactive role in preserving your Constitutional rights.
I have not and will not support any legislation that would limit your Constitutional rights or allow American citizens to be detained under military authority and held without due process. Please let me share with you why I believe the NDAA takes the proper steps to preserve your Constitutional rights and provide the President and our military with the tools they need to combat terrorism.
The NDAA reaffirms that the President may use “all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF)” against al Qaeda and the Taliban. The AUMF was authorized following the September 11th terrorist attacks and had not been updated since it was originally sanctioned in 2001. It is important to provide the President and our military with the resources they need to combat al Qaeda and the Taliban, and this bill accomplishes this goal by reaffirming current laws and without expanding presidential authority.
People had very valid and legitimate concerns about Section 1021 of the NDAA as it relates to the use of force. Before voting for the NDAA I checked to make sure this legislation will not take away from or infringe upon your Constitutional rights. The use of force does not apply to U.S. Citizens, in fact Section 1021, Subsection E which explicitly exempts U.S. citizens reads: (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.
Section 1022 of the NDAA clarifies procedures for how non-U.S. citizens linked to al Qaeda or the Taliban are to be detained. Evidence must be presented that demonstrates a foreign national’s link to al Qaeda or the Taliban in order for the detainment to be legal. This section clarifies that terrorists apprehended by law enforcement agencies must be held under military custody. However, Section 1022, Subsection B explicitly exempts U.S. citizens and legal residents. It reads:(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.
(2) LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS.—The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.
Our country continues to be under the very real threat of terrorism, and it is important to make sure our military is proper equipped to protect our citizens. It is equally important for us to take steps to preserve and uphold our Constitutional rights. The NDAA accomplish both of these goals.
Thank you again for contacting me on this important issue. I invite you to visit my website at www.HerrreraBeutler.house.gov for additional information or to sign up to be kept up to date on this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance.
Jaime Herrera Beutler
Member of Congress