Today, the Senate voted 38-60 to reject an important amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would have removed harmful provisions authorizing the U.S. military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians, including American citizens, anywhere in the world. The amendment offered by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), would have replaced those provisions with a requirement for an orderly congressional review of detention power.
The Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the FBI and the head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division have all said that the indefinite detention provisions in the NDAA are harmful and counterproductive, and the White House has issued a veto threat over the provisions.
We’re disappointed that, despite robust opposition to the harmful detention legislation from virtually the entire national security leadership of the government, the Senate said ‘no’ to the Udall amendment and ‘yes’ to indefinite detention without charge or trial.
The next opportunity to remove the harmful detention provisions from the bill will be when House and Senate conferees meet in conference committee next week.
If the conference committee fails to remove the detention provisions, President Obama should follow through with his veto threat. Today’s vote on the Udall amendment shows there’s more than enough opposition to these provisions to sustain a veto. Stay tuned for more information.
UPDATE: The vote changed from 37-61 to 38-60. The final vote is reflected in the post.