ACTION ALERT: Key Senate Vote on Indefinite Detention
November 29, 2011
Chris Anders / ACLU
The Senate is about to vote on an amendment that goes to the very heart of who we are as Americans, and your senators need to hear from you now. There could be a vote TODAY on whether Congress will give this president -- and every future president -- the power to order the military to indefinitely imprison people anywhere in the world without charges or trials. The power is so broad that even US citizens -- even within our own country's borders -- could be swept up and held by the military.
WASHINGTON (November 28, 2011) -- The Senate is about to vote on an amendment that goes to the very heart of who we are as Americans, and your senators need to hear from you now.
Either tonight or tomorrow, there will be a vote on whether Congress will give this president -- and every future president -- the power to order the military to indefinitely imprison people anywhere in the world without charging them or trying them. The power is so broad that even US citizens, within our own country's borders, could be swept up by the military.
The National Defense Authorization Act bill, which is on the Senate floor now, was drafted in secret and passed in a closed-door committee meeting, and includes this dangerous provision allowing worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial.
But there is a way to stop this craziness. Senator Mark Udall is offering the Udall Amendment that will delete the harmful provisions and replace them with a requirement for an orderly review of detention power. The Udall Amendment will make sure that the bill matches up with American values.
Now is the time to act. Please urge your senators to vote YES on the Udall Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.
It seems almost unimaginable that the Senate would even consider passing a provision that is such a deep affront to human rights and to American values. But, this outrageous measure could be voted on at any moment.
And because this bill is so dangerous and fast-moving, once you've petitioned your senators, please ask your friends and relatives to do the same. The only way to stop this outrage is for as many Americans as possible to contact their senators immediately.
Chris Anders is Senior Legislative Counsel for the ACLU
I strongly urge you to vote yes on the Udall amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA).
The Udall amendment would strip sections 1031 and 1032 from the bill and in their place, mandate a process for Congress to use to consider whether any detention legislation is needed. If enacted, sections 1031 and 1032 of the NDAA would:
(1) Explicitly authorize the federal government to indefinitely imprison without charge or trial American citizens and others picked up inside and outside the United States;
(2) Mandate military detention of some civilians who would otherwise be outside of military control, including civilians picked up within the United States itself; and
(3) Transfer to the Department of Defense core prosecutorial, investigative, law enforcement, penal, and custodial authority and responsibility now held by the Department of Justice.
These provisions in the NDAA are inconsistent with fundamental American values embodied in the Constitution. I urge the Senate to vote YES on the Udall amendment and reject indefinite detention provisions tucked inside the NDAA.