First-Ever Hearing on NDAA Indefinite Military Detention

As we reported to you earlier this week, last year's NDAA indefinite military detention provisions have finally received their first hearing. The hearing provided a platform to discuss problems with indefinite military detention in general. Many members of Senate Judiciary Committee made it clear throughout the hearing that they are committed to prohibiting indefinite detention without charge or trial and clarifying that it doesn't apply within the United States itself.

In his opening remarks, Judiciary Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy said, "[The NDAA] contained what to me are deeply troubling provisions related to indefinite detention. I viewed them as inconsistent with our Nations' fundamental commitment to protect liberty… We need a bipartisan effort to guarantee that those arrested on American soil are not locked away indefinitely without charge or judicial review."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein pledged her commitment to ridding indefinite military detention by recounting her experience as a young girl in San Francisco who witnessed the imprisonment of innocent Japanese-American citizens in the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. She said, "Seeing the barbed wire, and the men, women and children housed in horse stables and small buildings on the infield of the racetrack was an experience I will never forget."

Professor Lorriane Bannai, who is the Director of the Korematsu Center for Law and Equality at the Seattle University School of Law, drew similar parallels in her testimony. She stated, "During World War II, persons of Japanese ancestry were incarcerated without any due process… They were rounded up because our country feared attack from the government of Japan, there were unfounded suspicions that some among their number were engaged in illegal activity, and they looked like the enemy… In the face of that fear, the rule of law was suspended. We are now confronted with new fears against new peoples, and, while we do need to ferret out and prosecute criminal conduct, we need to do so in a way that preserves our system of laws."

Also testifying at the hearing was the former acting Assistant Attorney General and Principal Deputy for the Office of Legal Counsel under the Bush administration, Steven Bradbury. Testifying in favor of military detention without charge or trial he said, "…we need to consider the possibility that there could well be extraordinary circumstances during armed conflict when the President may determine it necessary to detain a U.S. Citizen as an enemy combatant consistent with the laws of war." But Sen. Feinstein — who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee and is briefed on the most secret of secret intelligence developments — sharply disputed Bradbury on this point and said she sees no reason for this kind of power here at home.

And, as we reported yesterday, Sen. Al Franken pointed out that Bradbury was an architect of the Bush Administration's torture program — a fact that should cast serious doubt on the credibility of his testimony.

Though this was a good first step in fixing the mess made by the NDAA, supporters of the law's detention provisions presence at the hearing on Wednesday was a clear indication that neither side of the debate plans to give an inch. NDAA season is now upon us, and we will continue our efforts to restore American values. Join us! Contact Congress today!

We'll keep you posted on the NDAA debate; check back here for updates soon.

Learn more about indefinite detention: Sign up for breaking news alerts, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

Add a comment (6)
Read the Terms of Use


Funny. Leahy and Feinstein both voted YES to the NDAA provisions, despite public outcries, and now think they can score a political win by acting like NDAA opponents. Remember: 93 people in the Senate voted for the NDAA provisions -- that includes virtually all the Democrats. In fact, I think there were an equal number of Republicans voting NO as Democrats (and Independents) voting NO. Don't let these opportunist scumbags vote to throw away our rights and then try to say they are champions of the very rights they just voted to destroy.


unfortunately for the liberal reverce racists out there who like to pick soley on white people islam still practices forced servitude or as you would like to call it slavery as part of its culture ant treat there women and children as property but you all think its easyer to pick on someone who disagrees with you and treat them like shit than to go after other people of color for doing the same exact thing or even worse against a people who show no tolerance and go as far as killing others of a different religion other than islam as well all i got to say to the liberal shits out there is you all a bunch of hypocrytes


Pursue the US Government criminals, just as Baltasar Garzon has in Spain. Garzon is a true hero, unfortunately the "international Government" gangsters have ganged up to silence him.

it's too late

If they're willing to publicly make a law this horrendous and blatantly unConstitutional, then it is simply too late for any of them to be salvaged as legitimate representatives of the people. The "people's" houses of Congress have effectively nullified themselves, as they now only seem to pass bills to align themselves with pre-existing "executive mandate" so as to allow themselves to continue to FEEL like they have a purpose there, when, clearly, Congress is ceremonial at the very best, and a multi-faceted marionette of Presidential (dictatorial) power. Nothing more. If Congress had ANY power, Patriots or not, they would challenge the Presidents actions to protect their own power. Clearly that window has moved on long ago, clearly E.O.s nullifying Congress are in play, active, criminal, and pervasive. I say again, If Congress was
able to stop the president, they would, regardless of political standing on any issue. Challenges to power from Presidents used to be, should be, but it's too late now, met with extreme hostility from Congress. Not on our behalf, but on behalf of their own power, their own prestige and control over this nation. Maybe it was selfish, but it worked. Powers were constantly kept in check but no longer. Now, more power is concentrated in the Executive branch than ever imagined by
anyone in this country. The more criminal and possessive the Executive becomes, the more subservient and shameful our
Congress becomes, clambering to be the first to lick the boot of the all-mighty presidential power that stands on their
neck, and therefore the collective neck of the people. Effectively nullifying the power of the people by nullifying their
representatives. Effective, no? And our so-called "representatives" in D.C. are only speeding this disturbing process
along. They had the power to stop it in the past. They seem to not have the same power any more. Or maybe they lack
courage. Maybe they lack knowledge. Most likely, however sad as it may be, is that they sold us out, willingly, for
something so simple and pathetic as money. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, your representatives would, in a heart-beat, sell
you down the river for a few bucks. Look around you, tell me i'm wrong. We need to remove ALL laws down to the
Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Start all over with brand new, appointed by the community, not ran for office by
money powers, representatives who genuinely wish to do what they believe is best for the betterment of all in this country, be they "democrat" or "republican", as long as they try, as long as they believe in their oath, their people, their country. I'd bet not one of you out there believes that your "reps" have any of these convictions. So, inevitably, that leaves you, and me, of course, to blame. Repeal the bums to repeal the criminality. NDAA, Executive Orders, and the list goes on and on and on. Conspiracy is only a theory until its obvious fact. America was founded by a conspiracy, btw. We Conspired against the crown. The protestants conspired against the church. The "Blacks" in this country "conspired" against the Government. Yes, that was a redress of grievances. Yes, they called it conspiring. It is the Natural Calling
of mankind to be free. Free in your person, free in your body, free in your mind. But not in this America. There is no freedom left here, no heroes, not even a single Patriot left. Or is there? Write your Congressman, your Senator, tell them to immediately resign. Run against them, campaign against them, educate against them, remove them from office by ANY legal means necessary. No violence! Though they may not be, we, the People, are better than that, we still have legal
avenues. Though I strongly dislike the ACLU, they could be a strong ally in this particular case, as even they see the incredible criminality, at least with this bill. Thank you, be safe, be whole, be strong, be with your family and friends. Be what you must to survive, but be American, be for America, not as it IS, but as it SHOULD be. Good day. When the people fears it's government, there is tyranny, when the government fears its people, there is liberty.


Because Christians hate atheists more than they hate muslims, let the witch hunts begin. Soon everyone can be employeed guarding concentration camps.


HR 1540, seoictn 1021 seems to clash with seoictn 8a of the War Powers Resolution of 1973, since it is part of an appropriations Act.“SEC. 8. (a) Authority to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into situations wherein involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances shall not be inferred– (1) from any provision of law (whether or not in effect before the date of the enactment of this joint resolution), including any provision contained in any appropriation Act, unless such provision specifically authorizes the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into such situations and stating that it is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of this joint resolution; or …”

Sign Up for Breaking News