Amendments to NDAA introduced
Congressman Trey Radel (R-FL) along with three other congressmen, introduced two amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act on Wednesday.
Radel said the amendments are designed to preserve the rights of citizens on American soil and allow them due process rather than face detention without formal charges or justification.
Radel said he hopes these amendments will force the executive branch to give a clear definition of lethal military force against U.S. citizens and who the government has the right to detain without due process.
“We want to make sure that if there is any policy that Americans are given their right to due process before any consideration of lethal force,” Radel said. “It asks for clarification on our drone policy in the states because we’ve seen Americans abroad assassinated.”
The first amendment on the table prohibits the federal government from using lethal military force, specifically the use of unmanned aircrafts, on American citizens on American soil.
“Right now, the president is given a list of who they can target abroad. I want to make sure there’s no kill list here,” Radel said. “I’m not the guy with the tin foil hat into conspiracy theories. But as a representative, I want to make sure we protect all Americans.”
The second NDAA amendment requires the Secretary of Defense to submit to Congress an annual report on U.S. 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.
“I cannot allow this bill to stand as is because it allows for indefinite detention of American citizens. It’s unconstitutional,” Radel said. “You’re a U.S. citizen and you should have your day in court.”
Radel, who said he was critical of the Bush administration for the way it handled these same issues, said this amendment holds the executive branch accountable by shining light into the military detention process.
He added, again, there is no clarification from the Obama administration on what a terrorist is or who is under suspicion.
“If you use the word ‘Patriot’ or ‘Tea Party,’ you’ve raised the suspicion of the IRS and the Dept. of Justice,” Radel said. “Where does this stop? I don’t want conservatives or liberals to be profiled or subjected to the heavy hand of government.”
The National American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) had nobody available for comment on the issue. The state office said it didn’t have enough information on it to comment.
The co-sponsors of the amendment were Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI), Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Matt Salmon (R-AZ).