Indefinite Detention Hurts Our National Security and Increases the Risk of Terrorism

Indefinite Detention Bill Hurts Our Ability to Fight Terrorism

Top counter-terrorism officials have said that indefinite detention increases terrorism.

A former Admiral and Judge Advocate General says that indefinite detention of Americans hands a big win to the terrorists.

And as Huffington Post notes today, indefinite detention is opposed by our own military and intelligence and police:

FBI Director Robert Mueller just this morning told the Senate that he fears the proposed law will create confusion over who has authority to investigate terrorism cases.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the National Defense Authorization Act will restrain the Executive Branch’s ability to use “all the counterterrorism tools that are now legally available” and “needlessly complicate efforts by frontline law enforcement professionals to collect critical intelligence concerning operations and activities within the United States.”

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has written that it “would introduce unnecessary rigidity at a time when our intelligence, military and law enforcement professionals are working more closely than ever to defend our nation effectively and quickly from terrorist attacks.”

Still, ignoring the advice from his most senior federal military and law enforcement professionals, President Obama is expected to sign the 2012 law, according to his senior advisors.

The concerns aren’t limited to federal officials. Earlier this week the 20,000-member International Association of Chiefs of Police wrote to Congress expressing concern that the law could “undermine the ability of our law enforcement counterterrorism experts, in particular those involved with Joint Terrorism Task Forces, to conduct effective investigations of suspected terrorists.”

A bipartisan group of 26 retired generals and admirals recently wrote that the legislation “both reduces the options available to our Commander-in-Chief to incapacitate terrorists and violates the rule of law” and “would seriously undermine the safety of the American people.”

The U.K. and Germany have said they won’t share intelligence or turn over suspected terrorists to the U.S. if they know they’ll be headed to indefinite military custody.

So not only will the bill allowing indefinite detention of Americans more or less create an overt police state, but it will also make us more vulnerable to terrorism.

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  • Ricardo Debiase

    Completely agree, though the “Bipartisan Group of retired Military Officials” was the only group to point out that this act “violates the rule of law”. Of course: in a descent to Military Rule, the Rule of Law is, in fact the target. This is consistent with the move in this direction for the last 30 years that has it’s genesis in The Reagan Administration (see Operation Garden Plot, REX 84, Iran/ContraGATE), in that it must operate in complete secrecy(which correctly contextualizes the “fraud” of State Secrets doctrine, and Intelligence Classifications as tantamount to covering up State Crime), & it must target The US Constitution(specifically, The Bill of Rights). The removal of the US Bill of Rights-more than ANY other portion of the US Constitution, effectively establishes Martial Law…and the US President as CAESAR.

  • NDAA also gives prez worldwide war powers

    The conclusion that this bill can indefinitely detain US citizens without trial is correct, BUT the ACLU is misleading about the reasons, and those reasons are what will get the msm airtime and be shot down.

    The REAL problem is with section 1031:

    Feinstein’s amendment, S.Amdt 1456, that is supposed to save US citizens from being affected:

    (e) 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.

    The trick is that the Posse Comitatus Act allows an act of congress to supersede it. Once approved, the NDAA becomes the current law at the same time it supersedes the Posse Comitatus Act, so it wasn’t necessary to repeal the act before the NDAA was approved in order to make Feinstein’s amendment only symbolic.

    The “existing authority” of Feinstein’s amendment is affirmed in section 1031 of the NDAA:


    (a) In General- Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection (b)) pending disposition under the law of war.

    The Requirement for US citizens to be waived in Section 1032 is NOT the problem because section 1032 is a requirement and that requirement is waived for US citizens and lawful aliens:

    (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.

  • NDAA also gives prez worldwide war powers

    the Posse Comitatus Act allows a number of situations in which the Act does not apply. These include:

    National Guard units and State Defense Forces while under the authority of the governor of a state;

    Troops used under the order of the President of the United States pursuant to the Insurrection Act, as was the case during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots.

    Under 18 U.S.C. § 831, the Attorney General may request that the Secretary of Defense provide emergency assistance if civilian law enforcement is inadequate to address certain types of threats involving the release of nuclear materials, such as potential use of a nuclear or radiological weapon. Such assistance may be by any personnel under the authority of the Department of Defense, provided such assistance does not adversely affect U.S. military preparedness. The only exemption is nuclear materials.

    Support roles under the Joint Special Operations Command

  • Ford Prefect

    but it will also make us more vulnerable to terrorism.

    Of course it will. That’s a feature, not a bug. Any additional violence will lead to further crackdowns resulting in State Terror. This vicious cycle will continue ad infinitum, as it feeds itself new enemies to sup on.

  • anthony

    so how long did the US have to get groomed by kim jong il to learn its ways of oppression. looks like we are well on our way to the cold war theology.