We’ve seen the recent internet news headlines: Guantanamo Bay To Be The First FEMA Detention Camp For American Citizens; Military given go-ahead to detain US terrorist suspects without trial; In Reversal of Promised Veto, Obama Expected to Sign Military Detention Bill; as well as other variations. These stories reference the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (H.R. 1540), and they report that this bill opens the door to American citizens being held indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay if merely suspected of aiding terrorists. These viral internet stories, and video statements directly from the Senate floor shown on some of the sites, appear to make this threat to our Constitutional rights undeniable; so why is this not being reported by the big media? Is this a conspiracy? Are President Obama and Congress intentionally subverting our rights?
As I often tell my children (and what Glenn Beck often tells his audience), question everything, do some research, and draw your own conclusions.
In this case, here is what you will find if you read the different versions of the bill:
As passed by the House:
SEC. 1031. DEFINITION OF INDIVIDUAL DETAINED AT GUANTANAMO.
In this subtitle, the term `individual detained at Guantanamo’ means any individual who is located at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on or after March 7, 2011, who–
(1) is not a citizen of the United States or a member of the Armed Forces of the United States; and
(2) is in the custody or under the effective control of the Department of Defense.
As passed by the Senate and the final print for public review:
Subtitle D–Detainee Matters
SEC. 1031. AFFIRMATION OF AUTHORITY OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES TO DETAIN COVERED PERSONS PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE.
(e) Authorities- Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities, relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.
As found in Congress’ conference report (House & Senate negotiations, H8436 [also included in the passed Senate and public review versions under SEC 1032]):
Subtitle D, SEC 1022, (b) APPLICABILITY TO UNITED STATES CITIZENS AND LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS.—
(1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS.—The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.
(2) LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS.—The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.
So, what’s your conclusion? Just click on the above link to H.R. 1540 if you wish to view the full context of the quotes, and remember: question, research, draw your own conclusions, and reading it on the internet doesn’t necessarily make it true.