By DONLYN TURNBULL
The National Defense Authorization Act is a federal law passed yearly establishing a budget for the Department of Defense. It has come under heavy scrutiny under the Obama administration for its grotesque violation of civil liberties including indefinite detention of U.S. citizens.
This week Congressman Trey Radel (FL-19) along with co-sponsors Congressman Justin Amash (MI-03), Congressman Thomas Massie (KY-04) and Congressman Matt Salmon (AZ-05) are introducing two amendments to the bill in order to protect American civil liberties.
Their first proposed amendment to the NDAA would seek to prevent the use of unmanned aircraft or any type of “lethal military force” against Americans on our own soil. Reps. Radel, Amash and Massie offered similar legislation in March of this year.
Their second proposed amendment would require “the Secretary of Defense to submit to Congress an annual report on US citizens subject to military detention. The report will include their names, the legal justification for their detention and the steps being taken to provide each with due process of law. This amendment holds the executive branch accountable by shining light into the military detention process.” By requiring the report to be made available to all of Congress and being made “unclassified” even though it may contain “a classified annex”, it would help bring some much needed transparency to the law.
“The government should be a vigilant defender of our civil liberties,” said Rep. Radel. “These amendments add yet another layer of protection to the rights of American citizens, granting them the due process they deserve when it comes to the use lethal military force and military detentions.”
Rep. Rep. Salmon emphasized the importance behind clearly defining the law to “ensure these protections for U.S. citizens are never infringed upon.”
The first proposed Amendment to the NDAA doesn’t mince words in its clarity declaring, “The President may not use lethal military force against a citizen of the United States who is located in the United States.”
“The NDAA is another example of legislation that Congress continues to pass without regard for our Constitution,” said Rep. Massie. “These amendments ensure our Fifth Amendment rights are observed, and I look forward to working with Rep. Radel, Rep. Amash, and Rep. Salmon to protect Americans’ civil liberties.”
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