Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Third letter

Thank you for you response.  However, I do not think you answer addresses the issues.  First, the nature of the NDAA is to declare that  American's are no longer safe in their own country from their own military and that in the pursuit of terrorists the military can and will prosecute any terrorist any where.  Second, Feinstein's amendment is a red herring and does not distinguish between foreign or domestic terrorist.  Which leads me to my main concern which is the definition and determination of terrorist.  As we have seen, the Obama administration, Cass Sunsten and reports to the Homeland security agency has declared Tea Party members terrorists. I am concerned about the anecdotal information that gun ownership, more than 7 days food storage among other dubious characteristics classifies individuals as terrorist suspects.  This law is a disaster and no amount of wordsmithing makes it acceptable. Any future administration will be tempted to use this as a tool in silencing its critics. Any person can be held indefinitely without recourse on the suspicion that he or she is a terrorist.  That is frightening.

It is no different than the Sarbanes Oxley act which can be construed by a lawyer to exonerate the guilty CEO because no one can prove what a person was thinking so the law protects any and all actions of the guilty and gives the department of justice ultimate power.

In congress's efforts to codify the free and legal maneuverings of the the american people all you are doing is tightening the noose around our necks.  Your are ignoring the premise of the constitution and changing it from a document of negative liberties to a straight jacket of positive liberties that in turn require definitions and are subject to legal discourse and reinterpretation.  The negative consequences of such a course of action is disastrous.  The notion or practice of judgement by precedence is strangling the constitution and congress's efforts to prescribe legal behavior is a fool's errand.

On Tue, Dec 13, 2011 at 7:45 AM, <Correspondence_Reply@enzi.senate.gov> wrote:
December 13, 2011
Mr. Scott Campbell
377 Quebec Ave.
     Lovell, Wy 82431
Dear Scott:
There were several amendments considered during debate on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) related to military detainees.  I supported Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) amendment #1456, which addresses the lawful protection of U.S. citizens while allowing for military detention for terrorists that pose a threat to the United States.  The amendment states that nothing in the detainee policy sections of the bill will be construed to change existing law relating to the detention of U.S. citizens.  The Senate approved this amendment by a vote of 99-1.  I want to emphasize – this amendment make clear that nothing in the NDAA changes the rights of American citizens under current law.
There are several interpretations of the detainee language in the NDAA.  These sections of the bill are in line with current detainee policies, and those were also upheld in the Supreme Court case Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507, 519-21 (2004).  This ruling upheld that the detention of enemy combatants without the prospect of criminal charges or trail to be proper under the President’s Authorization for Use of Military Force and the Constitution, as long as there is a procedure in place for prisoners to challenge their classification as an enemy combatant.  This procedure currently exists.  If any U.S. citizen, such as Mr. Yaser Hamdi in this case, is detained by the military under terrorist suspicions, they have the right to challenge their enemy combatant status before an impartial judge.  The NDAA language upholds the current policies.  In addition, there is a strict criteria provision for military detention in section 1301 of the bill that applies only to individuals determined to be part of a terrorist organization, and who were also participants in planning an attack on the United States.
The NDAA is going through the process of a Congressional conference, which works out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.  The detainee language will certainly be part of the conference committee’s debate.  I understand your concerns about infringements upon our Constitutional rights – I work every day to uphold and defend the Constitution which has guided America for over 200 years.  I will continue to ensure our national security without having to sacrifice our Constitutional rights, and will keep your concerns in mind when I review the final version of the bill.

Thank you for contacting me about this important issue.
Michael B. Enzi
United States Senator
P.S. You can get a more complete view of all my activities in the Senate by visiting my web page and also signing up for my e-newsletter. Visit enzi.senate.gov for more information.

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