The Senate defeated an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have removed the troubling provisions concerning indefinite detention.
As I’ve noted before, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the appropriations bill for the United States Armed Forces, contains troubling provisions that would empower the government to indefinitely detain terrorism suspects and render all terrorism suspects from civilian to military authorities – even if they are US citizens. There was a short-lived hope that the provisions might be removed, but events in the U.S. Senate yesterday indicate otherwise.
Earlier this month, Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) introduced an amendment
to the NDAA that would have removed the troubling provisions of the bill and replaced them with a call for a government study of America’s current detention policy and areas that could be improved; the idea was that this comprehensive report would “allow Congress to draft detention legislation that meets our national security needs and keeps faith with the guiding principles of our Constitution,” Sen. Udall wrote in The Washington Post
Unfortunately, Sen. Udall’s amendment was defeated
yesterday in a 37-61 vote. The defeat of this amendment sets up a potential showdown between Congress and President Obama, who has threatened to veto the NDAA
if it is passed with the indefinite detention provisions still intact. We continue to urge the Senate to remove these provisions and protect Americans’ civil liberties.
Photo credit to CBS/AP.