CAIR is asking all Americans who value civil liberties to urge their senators to remove all problematic language in the latest National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that justifies the indefinite military detention within the United States, without charge or trial, of those suspected of terrorism.
While this annual defense authorization act provides valuable funding for the armed forces, it also contains misleading provisions that fail to put an end to threat of indefinite military detention within the United States.
In May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the NDAA for 2013 (HR 4310) by a vote of 299 to 120, approving the 369 billion dollar defense spending bill. While the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee has completed consideration of its own version of the defense spending bill (S.2467), it has not yet gone to the Senate floor for a vote. If passed in the Senate, both bills will be reconciled by conference committee.
The House version of the NDAA for 2013 includes a misleading section that safeguards "habeas corpus rights" -- the right to petition the courts from unlawful detention. However, the real issue with last year's NDAA was not that it took away the right to petition unlawful detention, but that it declared indefinite military detention of Americans as lawful. Maintaining habeas rights will not help detainees challenge illegal detention if their detention has been made legal.
CAIR and other civil liberties organizations believe that this year's NDAA fails to truthfully address any of the public concerns over indefinite detention and only offers a solution to a problem that does not exist.
Last year, CAIR was one of the many civil rights organizations that joined members of Congress in protesting the NDAA's detention powers, stating that they were unconstitutional and an overreach of the president's authority.
"We need to act now and let Congress know that we won't accept any watered-down assurances that our due process rights are secure," said CAIR Government Affairs Coordinator Robert McCaw. "We need to ask for real change that puts an end to the prospect of indefinite detention."
Action requested: Contact your senators today and ask for real change that puts an end to indefinite detention, CAIR has provided a letter to which you can add a message of your own or simply fill in your name and address and click "send message."
For more information, contact CAIR Government Affairs Coordinator Robert McCaw at 202-742-6448 or firstname.lastname@example.org.