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Expansion of Military Detention Authority Would Harm National Security and Civil Liberties


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Later this week, the Senate will vote on my amendment to remove potentially harmful provisions from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that could damage our nation's ability to combat terrorism and weaken our national security.

Military officials and national security experts have said these provisions would give the military the power to indefinitely detain accused enemy combatants -- including Americans captured on U.S. soil. These changes were written without consulting the Department of Defense or the law enforcement community, and they could amount to an unprecedented expansion of military power inside the United States.

This expansion of military authority could limit the flexibility our government needs to combat terrorism by rebuilding walls between agencies that we've spent years tearing down, undermining progress we have made over the past 10 years to improve cooperation between military, intelligence and civilian law enforcement officials.

When considering matters of national security and civil liberties, we simply cannot afford to rush to failure. We need to hear from the military professionals who would carry out these provisions before we make them law. I urge my colleagues to pass my amendment to the NDAA, and give this issue the consideration it deserves.

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