These senators today voted to indefinitely suspend habeas corpus, as part of an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act. Not only that, but this bill, the way they passed it, would allow them to send Americans to Gitmo indefinitely with no trial.
At first blush it would seem the opposite. There is a provision in the bill saying it doesn't apply to Americans Here is the text of that part.
SEC. 1032. REQUIREMENT FOR MILITARY CUSTODY.
- (a) Custody Pending Disposition Under Law of War-
- (1) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in paragraph (4), the Armed Forces of the United States shall hold a person described in paragraph (2) who is captured in the course of hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) in military custody pending disposition under the law of war.
- (2) COVERED PERSONS- The requirement in paragraph (1) shall apply to any person whose detention is authorized under section 1031 who is determined--
- (A) to be a member of, or part of, al-Qaeda or an associated force that acts in coordination with or pursuant to the direction of al-Qaeda; and
- (B) to have participated in the course of planning or carrying out an attack or attempted attack against the United States or its coalition partners.
- (3) DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR- For purposes of this subsection, the disposition of a person under the law of war has the meaning given in section 1031(c), except that no transfer otherwise described in paragraph (4) of that section shall be made unless consistent with the requirements of section 1033.
- (4) WAIVER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY- The Secretary of Defense may, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, waive the requirement of paragraph (1) if the Secretary submits to Congress a certification in writing that such a waiver is in the national security interests of the United States.
- (b) Applicability to United States Citizens and Lawful Resident Aliens-
- (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.
- (2) LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.
However, the sponsors of the bill say it DOES apply to Americans on American soil ANYWAY, because of the Supreme Court case of Hamdi vs. Rumsfeld. See here http://www.congress.org/soapbox/alert/57387501.
There has also been a lot of hand-wringing about this by the ACLU, they released a statement supporting an amendment that wasn't made part of the bill, on November 23. But the bill passed as-is, unfortunately.
Here are the Senators who voted for this, for the hall of shame:
Wicker (R-MS)Here is the text of the Senate bill http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:S.1867: