It all began with the usual alarmist and deceptive ACLU blog in a post declaring, "Senators Demand Military Lock Up American Citizens". They are in a panic about S.1867. The provision they were concerned with is this one:
(b) Covered Persons- A covered person under this section is any person as follows:
(1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks.
(2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.
Strangely enough, there is nothing in there about "American citizens", nor is there anything declaring the U.S. homeland is part of the global battlefield in the war against terrorism. Oddly, Sen. Udall is proposing an amendment that would replace that section with this:
(a) In General.--Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall, in consultation with appropriate officials in the Executive Office of the President, the Director of National Intelligence, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Attorney General, submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report setting forth the following:
(1) A statement of the position of the Executive Branch on the appropriate role for the Armed Forces of the United States in the detention and prosecution of covered persons (as defined in subsection (b)).
(2) A statement and assessment of the legal authority asserted by the Executive Branch for such detention and prosecution.
(3) A statement of any existing deficiencies or anticipated deficiencies in the legal authority for such detention and prosecution.
(b) Covered Persons.--A covered person under this section is any person, other than a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, whose detention or prosecution by the Armed Forces of the United States is consistent with the laws of war and based on authority provided by any of the following:
(1) The Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40).
(2) The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution 2002 (Public Law 107-243).
(3) Any other statutory or constitutional authority for use of military force.
(c) Congressional Action.--Each of the appropriate committees of Congress may, not later than 45 days after receipt of the report required by subsection (a), hold a hearing on the report, and shall, within 45 days of such hearings, report to Congress legislation, if such committee determines legislation is appropriate and advisable, modifying or expanding the authority of the Executive Branch to carry out detention and prosecution of covered persons.
(d) Appropriate Committees of Congress Defined.--In this section, the term ``appropriate committees of Congress'' means--
(1) the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate; and
(2) the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives.
In other words, Sen. Udall's amendment protects people who are clearly terrorists with direct connections to 9/11 and the ACLU is lying in order to whip up fear and help him succeed.
Those, my friends, are the simple facts.