By JACOB IMHOFF, Guest Writer
The “Feinstein Amendment”, an alteration to certain indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2013 has passed the Senate in a 67-29 vote, the Washington Times reports.
The NDAA, which is an annual Department of Defense expenditure bill, sparked widespread controversy following the introduction of a single section embedded within some 1,000 pages text.
Sections 1021 and 1022 of the 2012 version give the United States military the option to “detain American citizens suspected of participating or aiding in terrorist activities without a trial, indefinitely,” Al Jazeera notes.
Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah and 14 additional co-sponsors supported the amendment, which states in part, “An authorization to use military force, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States.”
“If you don’t have a right to trial by jury, you don’t have due process. You don’t have a Constitution,” Paul said. “When zealots of the government arrest suspects or radicals without warrants, hold them without trial, deny them access to counsel or admission of bail, we have shorn the Bill of Rights of its sanctity.”
The amendment may, however, be for naught. Representative Justin Amash of Grand Rapids praised the focused effort, but warned of the bill’s convoluted nature.
While the indefinite detention provision is essentially eliminated, the revision retains the ability to cite previous acts of Congress regarding the matter.
“Well, that act of Congress is the 2012 NDAA, which renders the rest of the Feinstein Amendment meaningless,” Amash concluded.