House Republican Conference Secretary John R. Carter (TX-31) has joined Congressman Jeff Landry (R-LA) in supporting new legislation to clarify that no U.S. citizen can be detained by the military under provisions of the recently enacted National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA).
"The U.S. Constitution guarantees that no act of Congress can circumvent the court rights of U.S. citizens," says Carter. "But the continued concern of many Americans over the NDAA provisions that strengthen our ability to deal with foreign terrorists justifies this legislation. This bill clarifies that the NDAA terrorist provisions can in no way be misinterpreted to include U.S. citizens. If we push this bill into law, we can bring these questions to an end."
H.R. 3676 amends the detainee provisions of the NDAA to specifically state that United States citizens may not be detained against their will without all the rights of due process afforded to citizens in a court ordained or established by or under Article III of the Constitution of the United States. The contested provisions allow U.S. military forces to deal with foreign terrorists engaged in acts of war inside the United States such as the 9-11 hijackers, but have been hotly debated since their passage over concerns the language lacked necessary specificity to guarantee the authorization could not be extended to U.S. citizens.
Carter, Chairman of the House Army Caucus, authored key amendments to the NDAA related to the terror attack on Fort Hood, Texas in November 2009. Carter's language guarantees whistleblower protections to all service members and civilian defense employees who report radical Islamic statements or activities by other personnel, and provides "active shooter" training for all law enforcement personnel on U.S. military bases to deal with similar future attacks.