"Don't Be Fooled": The Indefinite Detention Bill DOES Apply to American Citizens on U.S. Soil

George Washington's picture

Even at this 11th hour - when all of our liberties and freedom are about to go down the drain - many people still don't understand that the indefinite detention bill passed by Congress allows indefinite detention of Americans on American soil.

The bill is confusing. As Wired noted on December 1st:

It’s confusing, because two different sections of the bill seem to contradict each other, but in the judgment of the University of Texas’ Robert Chesney — a nonpartisan authority on military detention — “U.S. citizens are included in the grant of detention authority.”

A retired admiral, Judge Advocate General and Dean Emeritus of the University of New Hampshire School of Law also says that it applies to American citizens on American soil.

The ACLU notes:

Don’t be confused by anyone claiming that the indefinite detention legislation does not apply to American citizens. It does. There is an exemption for American citizens from the mandatory detention requirement (section 1032 of the bill), but no exemption for American citizens from the authorization to use the military to indefinitely detain people without charge or trial (section 1031 of the bill). So, the result is that, under the bill, the military has the power to indefinitely imprison American citizens, but it does not have to use its power unless ordered to do so.

But you don’t have to believe us. Instead, read what one of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Lindsey Graham said about it on the Senate floor: “1031, the statement of authority to detain, does apply to American citizens and it designates the world as the battlefield, including the homeland.”

Another sponsor of the bill - Senator Levin - has also repeatedly said that the bill applies to American citizens on American soil, citing the Supreme Court case of Hamdi which ruled that American citizens can be treated as enemy combatants:

“The Supreme Court has recently ruled there is no bar to the United States holding one of its own citizens as an enemy combatant,” said Levin. “This is the Supreme Court speaking.“

Levin again stressed recently that the bill applies to American citizens, and said that it was president Obama who requested that it do so:

Under questioning from Rand Paul, another co-sponsor - John McCain - said that Americans suspected of terrorism could not only be indefinitely detained, but could be sent to Guantanamo:

U.S. Congressman Justin Amash states in a letter to Congress:

The Senate’s [bill] does not even distinguish between American citizens and non-citizens, or between persons caught domestically and abroad. The President’s power, in his discretion, to detain persons he determines have supported associated forces applies just as strongly to Americans seized on U.S. soil as it does to foreigners captured on a far away battlefield.

Two retired 4-star generals (Charles C. Krulak and Joseph P. Hoar) write in the New York Times:

One provision [in the bill] would authorize the military to indefinitely detain without charge people suspected of involvement with terrorism, including United States citizens apprehended on American soil. Due process would be a thing of the past.

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson - General Colin Powell's chief of staff - says that the bill is a big step towards tyranny at home. Congressman Ron Paul says that it will establish martial law in America.

Indeed, Amash accuses lawmakers of attempting to intentionally mislead the American people by writing a bill which appears at first glance to exclude U.S. citizens, when it actually includes us:

Pres. Obama and many Members of Congress believe the President ALREADY has the authority the bill grants him. Legally, of course, he does not. This language was inserted to keep proponents and opponents of the bill appeased, while permitting the President to assert that the improper power he has claimed all along is now in statute.


They will say that American citizens are specifically exempted under the following language in Sec. 1032: “The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States." Don’t be fooled. All this says is that the President is not REQUIRED to indefinitely detain American citizens without charge or trial. It still PERMITS him to do so.

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Dr.Evil's picture

Nobel peace prize anyone?

Tompooz's picture

Declaring US soil as a "battlefield" =declaring martial law.

The US military tasked with executing this abomination of law will soon face the same dilemma as the Syrian military: following orders does not automatically absolve one of war crimes. (cf. the Neurenberg trials)

How many will have the balls to refuse obeying orders?

Money 4 Nothing's picture

How many will have the balls to refuse obeying orders?


And there within lies the problem, see, if I refuse an illegal order, I am taken into custody and all the bad apples end up on the street that accepted an illegal order. Kinda weeds all the good soldiers out and places them in remand of JAG.

Tompooz's picture

You are right, M4N. And this is how the scum floats up in any police state. The men with a conscience disappear (in camps) and the sadistic, bullying, know-nothing, order-obeyers line up at the recruiter's offices. 

Savak, Stasi, Khad, TSA, Gestapo, Kempeitai, always the scum of the nation.

Zero Govt's picture

Bit of a giveaway for our public representatives this

Not sure about Elvis but Adolf certainly never died, his paranoid sick authoritarism lives on in all our parliaments

Savyindallas's picture

Mccain is a low life treasonous pience of shit. Always has been, always will be.  As horrible as the stooge monkey Obama is  -McCain would have been worse. He's a degenerate who is mentally unstable-just like Bush and Clinton before him. .

bill1102inf's picture

Lock and load... and ready your claymores.

gangland's picture

NDAA CLEARS WH VETO - per cspan moments ago.

white house will not veto the bill,

wh says it is satisfied with changes made in conference report, will not veto bill.




Bring the Gold's picture

Just did a google search on NEWS and that is false. There are websites erroneously claiming it's been signed. I don't doubt it WILL be signed, but it hasn't cleared the House yet.



gangland's picture

what is false?

i never said it was 'signed' nor did i say it 'cleared' the house.

it cleared the wh veto which your aclu link confirms.


now take some sat english comprehension courses and go back to sleep.


Bring the Gold's picture

Clears WH Veto to me implied signing. My mistake. You don't need to be an asshole about it. There are also lots of rumors floating around about it being signed.

gangland's picture

i'd rather be an asshole than an uninformed whiny douche bag idiot

Bring the Gold's picture

I was perfectly informed actually. I simply misread your post. You are however an asshole. You seem to have a twin running around voting up everything you vote up.

gangland's picture

oh gawd if only all the idiots were so "perfectly informed" like you.



UpShotKnotHoleGrable's picture

don't worry so much about counting the vote tally, it's enough work for you to read simple english.


Money 4 Nothing's picture

The VETO part was a real important part, that means that our Represenatives caved to the will of the White House and changed the language to include Americans, That's why it didn't get the veto cause Obama was happy with the language change. It will hit the Senate and go through quickly at this point.

indio007's picture

I really don't see what the big deal is. Congress is not ominpotent. Any 10 year old can see this is directly against the Constitution. Statutes don't trump the Constitution. In fact, and law passed that is in contradiction to the Constitution is void and anyone that attempts to enforce it is personally liable.


I know it's slimy to even attempt this but atleast we will know who the traitors areand  who's oath of office means little or nothing to them.

Savyindallas's picture

Wrong  - if you think you can count on the Supreme Court to protect us from unConstitutional laws  -you are very ignorant. They're as bad  as Congress.

indio007's picture

I don't rely on the Supremes , I rely on a jury of my peers. I know how to frame a case so that the jury decides the law , not some judge.

There are also Writs other than Habeas Corpus AD SUBJECTUM



The gov't has been acting as a private party (corporate) since the civil war. 

JP McManus's picture

Except you'll never see a jury of your peers, you'll see Bubba's cockmeat sandwich for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Gitmo.

Bring the Gold's picture

Yep, if you look at the current SCOTUS it's a freaking nightmare. You might get one maybe two votes to uphold our Constitutional rights if they even hear the case.

shano's picture

Voting for Rocky Anderson and the Justice Party in 2012.

gwar5's picture

Of course it applies to all Americans. When the SHTF this will be in place to arrest and detain all demonstrators and malcontents when the riots begin. After that, they go after your stuff.

US Guns sales up 33% this X-mas, so who says people don't know what is going on? Internet kill switches, FEMA camps, TSA road stops, TSA strip searches, Snitch websites, guns to drug cartels along the border, cell phone surveillance, surveillance of your accounts by the FED money police, Capital controls, military drones helping local police, and military/TSA/local cop joint exercises over multi-state wide areas are all signs of a growing police state and TEOTWAWKI.

GW, glad to see you're finally getting real with your assessments and a least sidelining the anti-Cheney rants for 24 hours to take a second look at your hope and change. This American detention bill was brought up in the democratically controlled senate and Obama will sign it. The totalitarian socialists are gung ho for such things and were for the waterboarding years before they were against it, and they are pushing this because they are all little Cheneys on steroids who approve of taking your lightbulbs and euthanasia for their convenience so they can time their estate tax collections.

And this bill is not even really needed...

Obama has already signed executive orders 2 years ago for extra-constitutional powers, ie, for INTERPOL under control of the DOJ to disappear people, and another for militarization of the US homeland. Martial law can already occur immediately, inviolate of the posse commitatus, if the president declares an "emergency". It is complete with a diverse structured organization which indicates it is meant for more than a temporary duration.

This current bill under consideration is just bipartisan political cover for the executive orders that are already signed and sitting in Obamao's desk drawer. This shows how scared they all are.

Bring the Gold's picture

GW, glad to see you're finally getting real with your assessments and a least sidelining the anti-Cheney rants for 24 hours to take a second look at your hope and change. This American detention bill was brought up in the democratically controlled senate and Obama will sign it.

Have you been in a coma the past few months? GW has gone after Obama pretty hardcore for quite some time now. 


P.S. this is Cheney's fault along with Obama and the US Congress. It taint partisan McGee.

Sunshine n Lollipops's picture

Hey, maybe Hopie is gonna use it to 'disappear' the Newt.

Q: Whaddya call a politician shackled to a wall in a dank, rat-infested dungeon?

A: A good start. 

Sp00ky's picture

The military quite well knows what the Constitution says, so maybe instead of following this freedom crushing dictate, they decide instead to throw all of Congress into some dark hole indefinitely, with free daily waterboarding for those who think it's not torture.


Military coup, bitchez.

Tunga's picture

Obviously there is confusion here over the difference between an "American Citizen" and a "US citizen". They are two different animals.

1. The American Citizen is a freeborn state sovereign per the United States Code under Title 8 Section 1101 a A (21) & (22) as well as Section 1408 4 (A) and (B) whereby such humans can avail themselves of national status versus the bogus 14th Amendment Congressional servitude status.


2. The US citizen is a product of the nullity known as the 14th Amendment. They are the property of the US Congress and possess no Constitutional rights but only have Congressional privileges and immunities conferred upon them by their masters in the House and Senate.


The Senators that are confused by this distinction are brain dead morons and deserve to be flogged for their feigned ignorance.

Sunshine n Lollipops's picture

Tunga, have you claimed your status as a sovereign individual? 

Tunga's picture

Yes Sunshine. Admittedly though when push comes to shove Tunga looks just the same as all the US ciitzens in this country. The problem with taking up arms against the government is that most of us have friends or family in the military or law enforcement. This law is provocation. Tunga will wait as long as humanly possible before he takes the bait.In the end though; it's the empty stomach that becomes the loudest voice of reason.

Money 4 Nothing's picture

Hand over your Liberties and I can ensure you we will not confiscate your IPhone = Compliance. Idiot sheep, they will ask for a pen and where to sign away.

What I think the real problem is, were sick as a nation and have to experience some pain, get bank checked in the head a few times to realize angry birds is not where you live and farmville is not where you work. Then people who have not been paying attention will wake up to the Patriot's nightmare.

Ever since these wars started, we were asked to sacrifice nothing, as a matter of fact GWB told the Nation to go out shopping.. remember?

Well, the bar tab has come due and everyone in your group will be passing it around talking shrill and arguing that we couldn't have drank these many Kool Aid flavored Martini's..  

As a true Patriot and a prior service, I say, if you love your Country, Freedom and Liberties, you better be willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice to save your nation. Because this is next.. read link.


They don't want us to have our Revolution, they want a civil war, divide and conquor. And if you think you can skate off and be the exception to the rule, well, SHTF will not play favorites I shit you not.

onthesquare's picture

You will need financing for that civil war.  I suggest you stay away from the IMF, WB, BIS and any thing else linked to Rothschild.  The last time they offered to finance your civil war they wanted between 24 and 34 % interest.  Abe told them to fuck themselves and 6 months later he was dead.

i you look closely over the white house you can just make out the strings.

Yes it is that obvious.

Money 4 Nothing's picture

"They want a civil war" as in TPTB. And yes, they can fund it just from money missing from Muther Fu@&r Global,

3ringmike's picture

So the nieghbor next door that has dogs that bother you, or a kid that plays his music to loud, or parks his cars where you don't want them, can finally be taken care of. 'We heard him saying something that sounded like threats against the government' He gets arrested, problem solved. Now who else don't I like in the nieghborhood. Oh yea that guy across the street that mows his lawn to early on the weekends. No problem. Just another phone call. Whats the problem? This is great!

./sarc. off.

Bring the Gold's picture

That's pretty much exactly what happened in Nazi Germany and East Berlin under the Stassi. What you are describing is very likely what would happen. Scary shit.

Shizzmoney's picture

This and SOPA is really the beginning of fascism.

Yet again, my Euro, USD, and Constitution themed toliet paper business is booming.  I can't complain.

Gringo Viejo's picture

John McCain...Humanus Excrebus.

swani's picture

Pinochet. Chile, Argentina, the Junta. What's the difference? I guess the only difference is that our military was taught to uphold the Constitution. I wonder when they will vote to change that. 

shano's picture

It only takes time, the up & coming youngsters will not know the old rules or laws.

Rockfish's picture

One american citizen;

  • Speaking the truth 
  • Desenting
  • Protesting
  • Withdrawling thier money from BoA

could be considered a threat to national secuity. 

HomemadeLasagna's picture

If Harold & Kumar can get out, so can I dammit...

prains's picture

Logical Conclusions

Ambiguously defined detention of your own citizens means full scale meltdown is no longer theoretical but is now expected by governments.
By doing this the dots are connected ahead of time.Once food stamps get flushed it's only a matter of time before " terrorists" appear on home soil.

Lmo Mutton's picture

The bill is a non-event.  The Constitution is the law of the land and a law that outlaws the Constitution is not a valid law.


Problem solved.



hwwesq3's picture

The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that in a time of war, the 4th Amendment habeus corpus ceases to exist.  (They cite, among others, Lincoln's suspension of habeus corpis during the Civil War.)

In recent decisions, the Court said that the Congressional RESOLUTION, passed after 9/11, means that the U.S. is in a state of war.

Thus, the Court has already ruled that, under the Constitution, U.S. citizens do not presently have habeus corpus rights, and thus can be held indefinitely without access to the legal system.

This latest law just spells out procedures.

Sound of Silence's picture

Umm.. You're missing the point. While technically yes it is a violation of the constitution, what matters is enforcement. They enforce it, good luck defending your constitutional rights from Guantanamo.

n8dawg84's picture

If the goverment didn't fear the people, I don't think this bill would have been drafted.  They DO fear the people, and since its easier to control through fear than force, they attempt to control the people through fear.  Maybe they will try and make good on the threats of force, I dont know.  As El Oregonian said in a previous post, there are plenty who would oppose those actions.  The problem I see?  They're organized

hivekiller's picture

I don't believe Congress drafts much of anything. All these bills are drafted by think tanks and bodies controlled by the bankers or lobbyists. Congress is just a debating society designed to give the American public the illusion of democracy.

TSA gropee's picture

Frederic' Bastiat's quote seems quite appropriate for today, "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.

Westcoastliberal's picture

EVERY member of CON-gress who votes in favor of this bill needs to be removed from office for treason.  When they took the oath of office they swore to uphold the Constitution.  This bill uses it as toilet paper.  Of all the lame-brained, neo-con, dumbass actions we've endured since 9/11, this is by far the worst.