Privacy SOS

NDAA: Does it create new powers or not?

Note: If you are in the Boston area, come demonstrate with us against the NDAA tomorrow at 12:15. Info here.

There is loads of confusion both in Congress and among the general public regarding how the National Defense Authorization Act, passed by the House today and awaiting Senate confirmation, will affect existing law regarding habeus corpus and detention. Today, before the House voted to support the bill, Democrats disagreed on the House floor about whether or not the bill, as written, would change the status quo regarding indefinite detention without trial.

Here is Rep. Barbra Lee stating her opposition to the bill. She argues that the bill will indeed change the status quo, by enabling the indefinite detention of US citizens without charge or trial.

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Here is Rep. Tom McClintock, expressing his opposition today on the floor. Importantly, he addresses the issue of the Feinstein amendment, which has caused abundant confusion because it states that the NDAA won't change existing law. The Feinstein amendment has thus reassured some people. But McClintock points out that there is no existing law on the books giving or restricting the President's authority to indefinitely detain Americans, so therefore legislating this wouldn't change any existing law. Watch.

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To clear things up: it would change the status quo. Here is some more testimony opposing the law. It is widely assumed the NDAA will be signed by President Obama this week. 

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Here is Raha Wala of Human Rights First, saying that the bill as written would gut the Constitution and asking President Obama to veto it.

 

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