I would like your help in understanding something about HR 1540, the bill described below and the discussion being sent around. The narrative acts as if your fantasy friends in the Constitution League could suddenly disappear because of this law. The writer even seems to quote the law. However, under the law for the horror story presented below to be true, your friends would have had to be members of Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or other Islamic organization linked to 9/11, they would have to have formed a Islamic revolutionary cell or become supporters of your other friends that had, they would have helped prepare 9/11 or had to plot a new attack against the US and been supported in that by your friends. Oh yes, they also had to be citizens of a foreign country or illegal aliens resident in the US.
I have read every version of this bill from its start in the Senate as S-1867 and its final version HR-1540 and the laws it references and I cannot yet understand why each and every source that says this bill authorizes the detention of American citizens leaves out the section about who this applies to… and that it specifically applies to those who carried out the 9/11 attacks and their supporters and excludes American citizens and legal resident aliens:
The War Powers Resolution requires Congressional review and approval of any Presidential act engaging our military forces, so your friends would not have disappeared until after Congress had publicly approved the use of military force against people like your friends or they were found to be directly involved with the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks.
The War Powers Resolution was passed in 1973 and limits the power of the President to use military force without Congressional approval (Korea and other multinational military actions were done without a Congressional declaration of war because they were not about a direct attack on the United States). The bill was passed by Congress and vetoed by the sitting President. It was then passed by a 2/3 majority of Congress (overruling the veto). Every President since 1973 has declared the War Powers Resolution unconstitutional because it limits the President’s unilateral ability as Commander in Chief to order the military into action without Congressional approval.
Public Law 107-40 is the authorization that authorizes the President, “to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.” It is noted as such under Title 50 United States Code. So, it does not cover your friends in the CL as described below in the email story about imminent detention.
Section 1021 specifically limits itself to: “(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. I have not met many tea party members plotting to attack the United States in support of Al-Qaeda or the Taliban, so you’re safe.
Section 1022 (b), that specifies how the law is to be implemented says, ”(1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States. (2) LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.
Not very ambiguous is it…
So how does anyone come to conclusions like those of the writer cited below unless they just haven’t read the law. I understand how liberal and progressive politicians make statements like these without reading the laws, we all found that one out during Obamacare. However, when candidates proclaiming to be the conservative answer, like Ron Paul, use this kind of posturing, I get very worried.