Appearing on Napolitano’s Fox Business show, Paul said it perplexed him “how anyone could vote to send an American citizen who’s been accused of a crime to a detention center in a foreign land without due process”.
Paul has offered an amendment to the NDAA bill that would completely strip Section 1031 from the legislation, although it’s unlikely to pass following yesterday’s rejection of Senator Mark Udall’s weaker amendment that would have merely provided more oversight.
The Senator said that he had spoken with other Republicans who had pointed out the numerous instances where the Constitution specifically mentions the right to a speedy trial, habeas corpus and legal due process, all of which would be completely eviscerated with the passage of the ‘indefinite detention’ provision of the National Defense Authorization Act.
Republican supporters of the bill are citing Supreme Court cases to justify the provision that don’t even validate their argument. As Napolitano pointed out, even a saboteur for the Nazis during World War II was allowed to have a trial because he was an American citizen and had innate rights that could not be stripped away.
Napolitano also makes the point that this is merely an act of codifying into law what previous Presidents violated the Constitution to do anyway, specifically under the “parallel legal system” initiated under the Bush administration, “In which terrorism suspects — U.S. citizens and noncitizens alike — may be investigated, jailed, interrogated, tried and punished without legal protections guaranteed by the ordinary system,” as the Washington Post reported in December 2002.