Lawfare Blog: The FY2013 NDAA and Domestic Detention—Now With More Misdirection by Steve Vladeck

The FY2013 NDAA and Domestic Detention—Now With More Misdirection

By Steve Vladeck 
Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 12:03 AM

Ben is a far better wordsmith than I—”a little cowardly” communicates a lot more in a lot less than my post from Tuesday afternoon about why the House Armed Services Committee’s version of the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act does absolutely nothing to ameliorate the domestic detention concerns voiced from both ends of the political spectrum in response to the FY2012 NDAA. Moreover, I think Ben hits the nail on the head in suggesting with respect to the HASC bill that “its very purpose is to be inconsequential.” But it’s not just that the language in the HASC version of the FY2013 NDAA is designed to be inconsequential; it only works if it can at once (1) be inconsequential; and (2) look like it does a great deal. Without (2), one couldn’t argue that there’s simply no need for proposals like the Smith-Amash amendment (of course, one might still object to such proposals on <gasp!> substantive grounds, but alas, that’s another matter).

It seems that the secret may be out:

An amendment being proposed by Rep. Louis Gohmert is rumored to be circulating as a suggested “fix” to the Chairman’s Mark—as doing what the original bill did not do, i.e., adequately protecting the rights of individuals within the United States. On my reading, the Gohmert Amendment makes three material changes to the Chairman’s Mark:

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