National Defense Appropriations Act to End American Bill Of Rights- Unproven!

National Defense Appropriations Act to End American Bill Of Rights- Unproven!

Summary of eRumor:

A rumor is circulating the Internet about the National Defense Appropriations Act of 2012 alleging that its passage effectively ends the Bill of Rights in America.

The Truth:

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 S-1867, 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.”  

HR-1540 The 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 Representatives floor on April 14, 2011.  The bill has forty eight proposed amendments. 

Govtrack.US, the website that tracks federal legislation, reported that it was passed by Congress on May 26, 2011.

The Senate passed its version, S-1867, 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 branch powers.”  

On December 31, 2011 President Obama, while vacationing in Hawaii, signed the bill into law .

An Adobe PDF copy of the final version of bill can be read by clicking this link to the Library of Congress:  HR-1540 PDF

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.

updated 01/01/12