March 8th, 2012
12:31 PM ET

Lawmakers announce bill prohibiting indefinite detention in U.S.

Two Democratic members of Congress announced a bill Thursday that would prohibit the indefinite detention of any suspected terrorist apprehended in the United States, whether or not the suspect was a U.S. citizen.

Rep. Adam Smith of Washington, the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, and Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado said the legislation would ensure that anyone captured, detained, or arrested in the United States on suspicion of terrorism will go through the civilian justice system and be provided due process rights awarded under the Constitution.

This would not apply to suspected terrorists captured overseas who are now being held at the U.S. military facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"The goal here is to have clarity, first of all, on how these people are handled in the U.S., and second of all, to reassert the primacy and the importance of our civil justice system," Smith said. "It is our contention that our civil justice system absolutely protects us from the threat in this case."

The bill is aimed at amending a controversial provision added to the National Defense Authorization Act that gave the military the authority to indefinitely detain anyone suspected of terrorism in the United States.

"More than 10 years later, one thing has become absolutely clear: our criminal justice system in the U.S. is 100% adequate to take care of this problem," said Smith, who claimed that more than 400 terror suspects have been tried successfully by U.S. civilian courts. "But at the same time, on the books we have a law that gives the executive branch the power to indefinitely detain people here in the U.S., even U.S. citizens. And we believe that we should take that off the books."

The National Defense Authorization Act was strongly contested in Congress last year, with the issue of indefinite detention being high on the list of concerns for those who opposed its passing. President Barack Obama threatened to veto the bill, but after amendments were made, he relented.

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soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. chrissy

    @ philip, ive done nothing online to be ashamed of, have you? And im not talking about your endless tactics in trying to enduce fear in people.

    March 8, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. chrissy

    And IF what you say is true, which knowing your bias im not convinced, what happens to one who slanders an acting POTUS, as you just did? Maybe you need to heed your own advice and watch what YOU say online! You may find 2 suited men at your door!

    March 8, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. chrissy

    Not only might they be in *snappy attire and sunglasses* but they may be accompanied with a straitjacket!

    March 8, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • dazzle ©

      And Philip these fine men and women in black know what's on your computer and it aint pretty. You have turned into a pillar of salt

      March 8, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Kroch Inspector

    So she was snooping around in her boyfriends jeans and happened to notice the tag. Either that or she was doing his laundry like a good wench.

    March 8, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • I Think I Will Change My Name For Every Post And Talk To Myself

      Wrong thread. Go directly to prison.

      March 8, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. chrissy

    lmao @ dazzle, a pillar? or a pile?

    March 8, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. I Think I Will Change My Name For Every Post

    You need to be very careful of the lies that you spread around via internet terrorism. You are doing nothing to further whatever cause it is you are trying to represent, and everything to insure that you may wind up in one of your 'prisons'.

    March 8, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. chrissy

    @ inspector gadjet, youre on the wrong thread loopy!

    March 8, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • dazzle ©

      Could Philip be changing his name again? Nice IP address in Colorado.

      March 8, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jazzy, I mean Mary

    Philip, you poor darling! I am coming over with a bottle of Bayer aspirin because your butt is sore. We can read scripture together and talk all night about Nazis and your favorite topic, boys.

    March 8, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jazzy, I mean Mary

    Come out and play Philip, I love you so much

    March 8, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. chrissy

    Lmao, looks as though someones reputation has preceded them!

    March 8, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. saywhat

    I just came back to this thread @ chrissy and read what you @ banasy and others had to say. Check mune of 10;00 pm.

    March 8, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. saywhat

    What @ philips writes may or may not caryy weight as far as his disclosures go they need to be verified. But @ philip your beef with President Obama is misplaced and your tirade against him inappropriate.

    March 8, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. chrissy

    @ saywhat thats a big WORD! Him and hamsta seem to be cut from the same cloth. Both narrow minded and bigots even if one is at the opposite end of the intelligence spectrum!

    March 8, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
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