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Friday, January 13, 2012



January 13, 2012

Dear Mr. Mallernee:

Thank you for contacting me to share your thoughts regarding The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, H.R. 1540. As your Congressman, I am committed to putting the needs of Mississippi families first and knowing your views and ideas on Federal legislation is critical in order to best represent you. To this extent, your comments and ideas are always appreciated.

The final version of the National Defense Authorization Bill (NDAA) passed the House on December 14. The bill provides the weapons and equipment for our troops need as well as pay and benefits.

I understand concerns regarding the president's ability to hold individuals in military detention. That is why the Senate included language, for the first time ever, to address to gray areas in current law by giving congressional guidance and put a check on the Administration's power in this area. I believe we must work to maintain a careful balance between Americans' constitutional rights and liberties and providing for the common defense against our enemies.

To ensure the language included in this year's defense bill protects the rights of citizens while keeping the American people safe from terrorists, specific provisions were added in Section 1021 and Section 1022 of the bill.

Section 1021 only gives authority for detention of those working in league with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and those that were involved in plotting the September 11th terrorist attacks. Language was also added that specifically states: "Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States."

Under Section 1022 dealing with "Military Custody for Foreign Al-Qaeda Terrorists" subsection (b) paragraph (1) states: "The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States."

Before voting on this crucial piece of legislation, I read the bill carefully and sought the advice of constitutional lawyers and experts in this area to further ensure the constitutional rights of American citizens are fully protected.

This bill was signed into law on December 31, 2011. I will continue to stand firmly to protect the rights of American citizens while ensuring we have the ability to defend ourselves against "all enemies, foreign and domestic."

As I close, let me again thank you for contacting me and helping me to better understand the concerns of Mississippians. If there is any assistance I can provide or if you have additional thoughts and opinions, don't hesitate to contact me. As a reminder, please visit my website and sign up for our E-newsletter for updates on issues in legislation.


Member of Congress


1 comment:

MG William A. Flatt said...

...And if this Congress-critter voted for the (pre-amendment) House version of NDAA, and if he either cosponsors or votes for HR 3166, then he is openly guilty of violating his oath to the Constitution, warring against it, and the American people. AND, as such, should be arrested on sight by any commissioned law officer (for the charge of Treason).

And for those who are ready to make their declaration, I submit to you the following: