02.29.12

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Release Of Procedures For The Implementation Of The Mandatory Military Detention Provisions Of The NDAA

“I opposed and continue to oppose the mandatory military detention provisions enacted last year as part of the National Defense Authorization Act.  I strongly supported efforts to strip these provisions from that legislation. 

“The White House has released the procedures that were required by the NDAA with respect to the mandatory military detention of terrorism suspects.  I appreciate that the President has taken an aggressive approach in these procedures to preserve the flexibility of law enforcement, as well as military and intelligence professionals, to investigate and prosecute alleged terrorists. 

“Nonetheless, these procedures do not mitigate my concerns that the mandatory military detention requirements in the law are overly broad and threaten core constitutional principles.  Once sacrificed, our treasured constitutional protections are not easily restored.  After all, the policy directive of this President can be undone by the next administration.  I support the full repeal of these ill-advised provisions, and urge all Senators to carefully consider the unintended consequences that could result from an abuse of this authority.”

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