Senator Brown replies to my NDAA letter - Can you believe this?Submitted by HopeRenewed on Tue, 12/13/2011 - 20:15
I sent Senator Brown a letter telling him how upset I was that he voted in favor of the NDAA. I didn't use the automated letters but went directly to his .gov site. Apparently he thinks I didn't read the act and is attempting to again suggest as did Levin and McCain that it only applies to non-citizens. If that were true than they would have actually written that into the bill. Or maybe he didn't read the act.
I haven't yet responded I am posting here first and would love to have some of your thoughts on what to include in my response. His letter is below:
Thank you for contacting me regarding Sections 1031 and 1032 of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) (S. 1253). As always, I value your input and appreciate hearing from you.
As you may know, the FY 2012 NDAA was introduced by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) on June 22, 2011. Regarding your specific concerns, Section 1031 would authorize the military to detain individuals who support al Qaeda, the Taliban or associated forces and who are engaged in hostilities against the United States. Section 1032 would permit the military to place under its custody terrorists who are affiliated with al Qaeda and are actively planning to attack the United States. To be clear, and as Senators Levin and John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, noted recently, Section 1032 applies “only to members of al Qaeda and its affiliates, like al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. . . . And it only applies to members of al Qaeda and its affiliates who are captured in a very narrow set of circumstances: those captured attacking the U.S. or its coalition allies, or attempting, or planning such an attack.”
I, along with an overwhelming majority of my committee colleagues, voted in favor of Sections 1031 and 1032 during the Armed Services Committee's consideration of the FY 2012 NDAA, which received overwhelming bipartisan support and now awaits action by the full Senate. Unfortunately, on October 4, 2011, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) wrote a letter to Senators Levin and McCain outlining his refusal to bring S. 1253 to the floor until Sections 1031 and 1032 were stripped from the bill. Subsequently, he withdrew this demand and agreed to let the legislative process move forward. Legislation as important as the defense authorization bill—which was favorably and unanimously reported to the Senate by the entire Armed Services Committee—should not be held captive. I am hopeful that the full Senate will debate the NDAA as soon as possible, as this legislation is critical to our national security mission, our troops and their families.
I understand your concerns regarding Sections 1031 and 1032 of the FY 2012 NDAA. As we continue to combat terrorism around the world and fight extremists on the battlefields in Afghanistan, it is important to have a judicial system in place to bring these suspects to justice. However, allowing detainees suspected of supporting terrorist activities to be tried in civilian courts in the United States jeopardizes the security of the city in which the trials would be held and would award detainees the same rights as U.S. citizens, hindering the government’s ability to bring these enemy combatants to justice. To mitigate these concerns, the Guantanamo Military Commission was created to give fair and meaningful trials to unlawful enemy combatants housed at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.
One of my priorities is to ensure that all American citizens are protected from terrorist attacks, and that America remains strong and secure. As a member of the Senate Committees on Armed Services and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, I am actively engaged with my colleagues in reviewing our policy for the War on Terror. Foreign terrorist organizations have demonstrated their willingness to kill innocent civilians. The nature of war is changing, and I believe it is critical to homeland security that our laws and policies reflect that.
Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. As the legislative process moves forward, I will keep your views in mind. Should you have any additional questions or comments, please feel free to contact me or visit my website at www.scottbrown.senate.gov.
Scott P. Brown
United States Senator