NDAA

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is a federal law specifying the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defense (DOD). Each year's act also includes other provisions, some related to civil liberties.

The FY14 NDAA includes language that will make it easier to transfer detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, home or to third countries that agree to accept them. The language, however, prohibits the transfer of any detainee onto U.S. soil for any reason. The bill also does not include funds for building new, or upgrading old, facilities at Guantanamo—an acknowledgement that the facilities are temporary. The ACLU supports the language as a necessary but incomplete step for beginning to close the military prison for good.

The bill also includes important anti-discrimination protections for service members, including one that requires the DOD to submit a report to Congress that assesses whether its personnel policies for those living with HIV or Hepatitis B reflect an evidence-based, medically accurate understanding of both diseases. This review is welcome because service members have been penalized for behaviors and activities in which no transmission occurred or where there was no meaningful risk that transmission could occur. The FY2014 NDAA also repeals the prohibition on some expressions of private, consensual intimacy by military personnel – regardless of whether they are an opposite-sex or same-sex couple. With the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," this prohibition was stigmatizing and discriminatory.

In December 2011, President Obama signed the 2012 NDAA, codifying indefinite military detention without charge or trial into law for the first time in American history. The NDAA's dangerous detention provisions would authorize the president — and all future presidents — to order the military to pick up and indefinitely imprison people captured anywhere in the world, far from any battlefield. The ACLU will fight worldwide detention authority wherever we can, be it in court, in Congress, or internationally.

For how you can help resist these dangerous provisions, click here.

Under the Bush administration, similar claims of worldwide detention authority were used to hold even a U.S. citizen detained on U.S. soil in military custody, and many in Congress now assert that the NDAA should be used in the same way again. The ACLU believes that any military detention of American citizens or others within the United States is unconstitutional and illegal, including under the NDAA. In addition, the breadth of the NDAA's detention authority violates international law because it is not limited to people captured in the context of an actual armed conflict as required by the laws of war.

At DADT Repeal’s One-Year Anniversary, Refusing to Turn Back the Clock

At DADT Repeal’s One-Year Anniversary, Refusing to Turn Back the Clock

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:09am

This Thursday, September 20, marks one year since the discriminatory policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) finally came to an end, opening the door to service in the Armed Forces to individuals regardless of their sexual orientation.

And Now Rhode Island

And Now Rhode Island

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 2:29pm

Rhode Island’s state legislature adjourned on Tuesday – or, according to their floor calendars, sometime after 2 am on Wednesday morning. (Ouch!) As in most state legislatures, the last day of session saw a flurry of activity,…

On the Agenda: Week of April 30 – May 5, 2012

On the Agenda: Week of April 30 – May 5, 2012

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 12:00pm

Congress is out this week, but May will be a busy month with cybersecurity in the Senate, the 2013 NDAA and the arraignment of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Angry About the National Defense Authorization Act?

Angry About the National Defense Authorization Act?

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 4:16pm

Now's the time to do something about it. We've just released a new toolkit with resources to help you fight the NDAA in your community.

Don't Open the Door to Torture

Don't Open the Door to Torture

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:03pm

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) is pursuing a deeply misguided effort that threatens to reopen the door to torture.

ACLU Lens: Senate Takes Up New Detention Authorities Again Tonight – We Need Your Help!

By Amanda Simon at 11:21am

The Senate’s back in session today, ready to begin once again on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Perfectly timed for the Senate’s return, the San Jose Mercury News ran an incredibly compelling op-ed today by Floyd Mori,…

Please Tweet for Torture Awareness

Please Tweet for Torture Awareness

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 6:44pm

June: best known for school ending, kids’ going to camp, longer days, and increasing temperatures. Also known for being Torture Awareness Month. And, tomorrow, June 26, is International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (as declared…

Hey Congress!  Listen to Hawaii.

Hey Congress! Listen to Hawaii.

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 3:33pm

Hawaii recently joined the list of cities, counties, and states across the country expressing opposition to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)’s indefinite and mandatory military detention provisions and calling on Congress to repeal…

First-Ever Hearing on NDAA Indefinite Military Detention

First-Ever Hearing on NDAA Indefinite Military Detention

By Sam Milgrom, Washington Legislative Office at 5:04pm

Though this hearing was a good first step in fixing the mess made by the NDAA, it's clear neither side of the debate plans to give an inch.

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