S. 92 is an attempt to nullify the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA). The NDAA provides for the assertion of the President’s authority to arrest, detain and determine whether a trial will be held for the following subjects:
A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks.
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.
The National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 only exempts citizens from the requirement that detainees be detained in military custody.
No one person in government should have that much power. The solution is in the allocation of power amongst more elected officials or we will risk putting the fate of a suspected subject in the hands of one person. Republican or Democrat, it doesn’t matter because it’s not constitutional. The subject should have the opportunity to provide evidence either way.
If the language isn’t changed or clarified, we are just playing with fire. If the door is wide open for the otherwise unconstitutional detainment of American citizens based upon the definitions of bureaucrats, then anything is possible. As Ryberg always says, “it’s not a problem until it’s a problem.”
Thoroughly defining the language “belligerent act” and “supported,” would better protect U.S. citizens from overzealous officials who have the ability to define these terms for themselves.
In an effort to address the controversies of 2012, Senators Diane Feinstein and Mike Lee proposed an amendment that seemed to satisfy critics on both sides of the political spectrum in the Senate and passed by a vote of 67-29.
An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States apprehended in the United States, unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention.
The President does not have independent authority to suspend habeas corpus, or the. At best, he can instruct agencies to address the issue in a manner consistent with his interpretation of the constitution.
Individuals can file a petition seeking a writ. If the custodian cannot provide adequate legal justification for detention, the court can order the petitioner’s release. The only branch of government that has authority to suspend habeas corpus is Congress.