Indefinite Detention and American Citizens

I, like most Americans, want to ensure that we punish and prevent terrorism. However, we must do so in a way that protects the rights of American citizens. In his recent column, Andrew C. McCarthy simply has his facts wrong when he claims that last week’s Senate debate on the 2012 defense-authorization bill was not about American citizens. It was.

In fact, the protection of American citizens is largely what my energies last week were directed toward. The amendments I championed — both Sen. Mark Udall’s (D., Colo.) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D., Calif.) — were specifically offered in order to protect American citizens from the indefinite detention allowed in the underlying bill. All of these amendments failed, but I was able to defeat an amendment that would have allowed American citizens to be held indefinitely even after they had been tried and found not guilty.

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