Thank you for contacting my office regarding provisions related to the disposition of detainees in the FY2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Your input is important to me, and I appreciate the time you took to share your thoughts. Like you, I believe that protecting our constitutional rights is one of the most significant responsibilities of the U.S. Senate. I understand the concerns presented in your letter, but I think it is important to note that there is a significant amount of misinformation being circulated with regard to the provisions of the NDAA which recently passed in the Senate. I want to assure you that there is nothing in this bill that changes current law or practice in any way as it relates to the rights or treatment of U.S. citizens or the military's ability to operate within the United States. In an effort to clear up any misconceptions about the impact of the bill on the rights of citizens, an amendment was adopted by the Senate and was included in the final version of the bill, which reads: "Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities, relating to the detention of US citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States." This amendment passed overwhelmingly by a vote of 99 to 1. The final bill passed by a vote of 86 to 13, and includes authorization for a number of essential programs and benefits to support our troops, including a 1.6% pay raise for all members of the military. Our country's fight against al Qaeda and associated organizations is a struggle that continues to pose significant and diverse challenges for our country. I want you to know that protecting American citizens is a solemn responsibility, and I therefore believe we must have legal methods in place to remove combatants from the battlefield, obtain critical intelligence, and detain those that are a threat to the American people. However, I understand the important balance that must be met between protecting our nation from future attacks and preserving our civil liberties. As we work to strike that critical balance, I can assure you I will continue to uphold my oath of office to support and defend the Constitution. Thank you again for your letter. I hope you will continue to share your thoughts with me throughout the course of my term.
Bob CorkerUnited States Senator
Now yes, the amendment that was passed does help - barely. Go take a look at Arctic Patriot's post that fits well as a response to this e-mail. He cites a bill that is in the house and would allow citizenship to be stripped from any deemed to be a "terrorist" or to be aiding them. Keep in mind that we are each just a few keystrokes away from being determined to be "terrorists" by the .gov. Politicians, including everyone in our current presidential administration, have already said they believe Tea Partiers, and of course that means also those of us who are further to the right than the Tea Party, are terrorists. Just for our beliefs. We have a president who is openly defying the Constitution and Congress by making recess appointments while Congress is still in session. Federal agencies are running rampant with treating normal citizens like criminals without just cause. They are even mobile now (VIPR). Go ahead and try to tell me again that this amendment makes you feel safe.
To me, it looks more like theater.