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Public Statements

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LANDRY. I would like to thank Chairman McKeon for working so diligently with me to protect the civil liberties that we enjoy so much in our country.

Mr. Chairman, as we debate the protection of these civil liberties in this bill, we need to ask ourselves: What are we trying to provide? We must protect every citizen's basic due process rights. What are those basic due process rights?

Specifically, it would be the right to notice, the opportunity to be heard, the right to a neutral forum, the right to counsel when before the court, and the right to an appeal. Some of my colleagues are proposing the creation of additional rights. Doing so does not further protect us under the Constitution nor does it further the protections of our constituents.

They say we must allow foreign terrorists captured domestically to be tried in criminal court, enveloping them with all of the protections granted to civil criminals. It gives them access to our national security intelligence that ordinary Americans currently are denied. We incentivize them to come to America. The base text of the bill makes it clear and precise that anyone detained is afforded access to the basic rights of due process that I mentioned earlier. Therefore, those basic rights are now enshrined.

I urge Members to support the underlying bill, accompanied by the Gohmert-Landry-Rigell amendment, and to oppose any other attempts to create additional rights for foreign terrorists.


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