Friday, March 9, 2012

Udall wants to undo indefinite detention

Posted By on Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 5:46 PM

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Well, good for him.

Our U.S. Sen. Mark Udall has introduced legislation that would strip the power of the executive branch to indefinitely detain terrorism suspects — including U.S.-born terrorism suspects — after he voted in favor of the act that gave the president this power.

As the ACLU summarized the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), it's "a bill that contains harmful provisions that some legislators have said could authorize the U.S. military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians, including American citizens, anywhere in the world."

What's the likelihood that Udall's bill will pass this year? Well, as the Wall Street Journal notes, not good.

For one thing, the Journal points out, it's an election year, when voting against basic democratic principles, such as due process, is unfortunately a safe political bet. And for another, "The authorization act passed with bipartisan support, and President Barack Obama signed it in December, though he expressed some concerns in an accompanying signing statement."

From the Denver Post:


Udall, a Democrat member of the Senate Intelligence committee, who has been an outspoken critic of the Administration’s handling of detainees, said in a statement that he had “grave concerns that the (defense) detention provisions could weaken our national security and our constitutional protections.”

Udall’s bill would roll back existing provisions already passed by Congress — with a yes vote from Udall — in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.

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