Voting 406-17, the House has closed off meetings about the Defense Bill reconciliation from public scrutiny. The big problem with this, as OpenCongress.org points out:
As you can read for yourself here, Section 1031, affirming the “authority of the armed forces of the United States to detain covered persons…” does not contain an exemption for U.S. citizens. Section 1032, mandating the military detention authority be used for terrorism suspects, does[.]“
Still, at least the Obama Administration has pledged opposition and threatened veto because of those provisions—right? Not so fast:
Contrary to popular perception, the Obama Administration is not strongly opposed to the provisions in the bills that would authorize indefinite military detentions for U.S. citizens. [...] [T]hey’ll take it and recommend that Congress passes clarifying legislation in the future, which, of course, will never happen. What they oppose is the provision that would mandate that power be used for all terrorism suspects besides U.S. citizens.
Section 1032, mandating the military detention authority be used for terrorism suspects [...] is the section that the Obama Administration says must be removed or else he will veto. The Administration has been stressing the need for flexibility in their powers to collect information and incapacitate terrorists, which likely means that they want to retain the power to detain suspects outside the context of war and the Geneva Convention protections that would apply. The secretive conference committee may still be able to overcome Obama’s veto threat while also codifying the power to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens without having to charge them or give them a trial.”
This bears repeating—President Obama is not expressing strong opposition to indefinite military suspension.
Emphasis editor’s. Full text available here. In addition, we must mention how impressed with are with OpenCongress.Org, and how much we highly recommend them.