US Senate Votes To Keep Provision Allowing Military To Lock Up Americans Without Trial Or Being Charged

Senator Udall (D-NM). Image from

On Tuesday, the United States Senate, by a vote of 60 to 38, voted down the Udall Amendment, which would have deleted a controversial provision in the National Defense Authorization Act that allows the military to arrest and lock up Americans indefinitely without charge or trial.

Fifteen Democrats joined all but two Republicans to kill the amendment. Rand Paul and Mark Kirk were the Republicans who voted for the Udall Amendment along with most of the Democrats. Bob Casey (PA.), Kent Conrad (N.D.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Daniel Inouye (Hawaii), Herb Kohl (WI), Mary Landrieu (LA.), Carl Levin (MI.), Joe Manchin (WV.), Clair McCaskill (MO.), Robert Menendez (N.J.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) were the Democrats who voted with the rest of the Republican Party to kill the amendment.

The White House continues to stand by its veto threat but it is clear that Republicans want to unleash the military upon the American people. GOP Senator Lindsey Graham voted for the bill because he doesn’t think American citizens deserve Miranda Rights. “The enemy is all over the world. Here at home. And when people take up arms against the United States and [are] captured within the United States, why should we not be able to use our military and intelligence community to question that person as to what they know about enemy activity? They should not be read their Miranda Rights. They should not be given a lawyer. They should be held humanely in military custody and interrogated about why they joined al Qaeda and what they were going to do to all of us.”

There is still time to call your Senator to tell them to vote against the bill. This is perhaps the most threatening bill Americans have seen in a very long time. Under this bill, any law abiding American citizen can be swooped down upon by the military and arrested in the dead of night. You won’t be read your rights. You won’t get an attorney. You won’t get a trial. And you could spend a very long time in prison for just being suspected of being a terrorist. The only way to be released would be to obtain a waiver from the Secretary of Defense, which would not be easy. This bill is a threat to our freedom, our rights, and our very lives. We have a responsibility to demand that our Senate delete the provision or vote against the bill altogether. The Constitution and the future of America are at stake, and the stakes are too high to ignore.