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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Congressman Ron Paul Introduces Bill to Repeal NDAA's Indefinite Detention

Even while campaigning, Ron Paul is working hard as a legislator to fight for our rights, from rushing to Washington from South Carolina to vote against a debt ceiling hike, to introducing a bill this week that would undo the outrageous provisions of the NDAA that allow the president and military to arrest and detain U.S. citizens on U.S. soil and hold them indefinitely without charges.

The New American reports:

Texas Congressman and GOP presidential contender Ron Paul is continuing his battle for liberty even as he is focused on his fight for the White House. This week, he introduced legislation to overturn the dangerous provisions found within the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Rep. Paul spoke on the House floor, specifically against Section 1021 of the NDAA, which includes language which permits the government to detain anyone who “substantially supported al Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States.” Paul fears — as do a number of other opponents to the law — that the language can be used against U.S. citizens as well.

Sections 1021 and 1022 in the new bill were originally sections 1031 and 1032 in the old version of the bill.

As noted by, however, the main difference between the new and old versions of the NDAA is the insertion of one paragraph between the “Implementation Procedures” and “Effective Date,” which is found in the new version. That paragraph reads:

(d) AUTHORITIES. — Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the existing criminal enforcement and national security authorities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or any other domestic law enforcement agency with regard to a covered person, regardless whether such covered person is held in military custody.

Still, most contend that the new language is scarcely enough to ensure that the rights of U.S. citizens guaranteed by the Constitution are secure.

"The bill is an historic threat to American citizens and others because it expands and makes permanent the authority of the president to order the military to imprison without charge or trial American citizens," senior legislative counsel Christopher Anders said in a statement.

What is particularly frightening is that if citizenship of an individual does in fact prove to be a deterrent in the case of indefinite detention under the NDAA, Senator Joe Lieberman has already introduced legislation which will help the federal government circumvent that issue: the Enemy Expatriation Act, which seeks to remove U.S. citizenship from those who “support hostilities against the United States.”

In fewer than 100 words, the text of Paul’s legislation, HR 3785, would overturn section 1021 of the NDAA:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, Section 1. Repeal of Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2012.

The bill, introduced on January 18, has since been referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, in addition to the Committee on Armed Services.

Watch Ron Paul's speech on the House floor to introduce his bill:

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

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