The National Defense
Appropriations Act of 2012 is real. It does expand the power of
the military in the war against terrorism and one of the provisions of
the act is what has prompted controversy about the rights of those who
fall under the definition as detainees.
On November 30, 2011 the
Harvard Law and Policy Review looked at
the Senate version of the bill. Calling the text of the lengthy bill
"confusing" the article said that it believed that "the offending part is Sec. 1032 (a), which
states that the military 'shall' hold a person captured in the course of
the war on terror in military custody until the military can determine
the person’s disposition under the law of war." The article
questioned the authority of the military to detain U.S. Citizens over
the lack of "territorial limitation on this directive." Section
1032 of the bill authorizes the President to prioritize guidance
strategies to "deny safe havens to al-Qaeda and its violent extremist
affiliates and to strengthen at-risk states."
National Defense Appropriations Act of 2012
We examined the text
of the bill and it affirms the "authority of the
armed forces of the united states to detain covered persons pursuant to
the authorization for use of military force." The text of the bill
defines a "covered" person as:
(1) A person who planned,
authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on
September 11, 2001,
or harbored those responsible for those attacks.
(2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the
Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged
in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners,
including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly
supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.
Bill History and Status:
HR-1540-265 is the 565 page National
Defense Appropriations Act of 2012 that was introduced on the House of
on April 14, 2011. The bill has forty eight proposed amendments.
An Adobe PDF copy of the
final version of bill can be read by clicking this link to the Library
Govtrack.US, the website that tracks federal legislation, reported that it
was passed by Congress on May 26, 2011.
The Senate passed its version,
on the First of December after some amendments were added to the bill.
The bill then went back to House of Representatives to resolve differences
between the Senate and the House for final passage on December 14, 2011.
According to a
December 14, 2011 article in the New York Times,
President Obama threatened to veto the bill "arguing that provisions
would open the door for the military to perform policing functions
inside the United States, and that they would infringe on executive
On December 31, 2011 President Obama, while vacationing in Hawaii, signed the bill into law
Another rumor about this bill has been
circulating the Internet alleging that the U.S. Senate passed its
version of the bill that repeals Article 125 of the Uniformed Code of
Military Justice. Article 125 is the part of military law that defines
and bans sodomy.
Click here for our findings.
UNDER THE NEW UNCONSTITUTIONAL NDAA LAW-BILL OF RIGHTS
Under the NDAA:
• You may be arrested and indefinitely
detained merely for being "suspected" of any involvement whatsoever with
"terrorism" -- a term that can be twisted to mean almost anything,
including protesting against animal testing laboratories or chaining
yourself to a tree as an environmental protester.
• You no longer have a right to legal
• You can be held for life without
ever being charged for any crime.
• You no longer have a right to a
trial by a jury of your peers.
• You can be murdered by the
government -- legally! -- without ever being charged with a crime.
• The government does not have to
present ANY evidence against you to take all these actions. The
government merely has to assert that you are "suspected" of being
involved in "terrorism." Such suspicion, of course, could be dreamed up
against anyone! Political opponents, Free Speech proponents, protesters,
dissenters... anyone at all.