The highly controversial National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which recently passed federal statute on the military detention and trial of terrorist suspects has just been whittled down by the Obama Administration.
The NDAA’s section 1022, which is the section that in context could potentially require that non-citizens suspected of strong links to terrorism be held in military instead of civilian custody has been reversed.
When President Obama used a waiver which extracted the nation out of the questionable part of the NDAA, it gave him some leeway to reverse the Bush/Cheney era policy of military detention — in essence, returning terrorism cases to civil courts as the default.
Daily Kos reports:
But legal experts agree that the waiver rules that President Obama has just issued will effectively end military detentions for non-citizen terrorism suspects:
“Yesterday evening, the Obama Administration issued a policy directive that effectively negates much of the NDAA’s section 1022, the section that purports to require that non-citizens suspected of strong links to terrorism be held in military, rather than civilian, custody.Using a national security rationale, the directive reverses the presumption of military detention that section 1022 had established.” says Joanne Mariner, director of Hunter College’s Human Rights Program at her blog Verdict.
“The President has–rightly in my view–read this law virtually out of existence.”says the terrorism-focused legal blog Lawfare.
“This is essentially a 3,450-word line-item veto, rendering the mandatory military detention provision mostly moot,” said Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch.
This should calm the masses. I was suspect of the signing of the NDAA and have been relentless in pursuing the reasons behind that provision — certainly in this day with the overreach of the government, law enforcement and powers that be, caution is wise.
Search through the revised NDAA here. This does not solely apply to American citizens but non-citizens as well. If the President would now step up on closing Gitmo this would be a slam dunk.