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Indefinite Detention Hurts Our National Security and Increases the Risk of Terrorism

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Washington’s Blog
December 15, 2011

Top counter-terrorism officials have said that indefinite detention increases terrorism.

A former Admiral and Judge Advocate General says that indefinite detention of Americans hands a big win to the terrorists.

And as Huffington Post notes today, indefinite detention is opposed by our own military and intelligence and police:

FBI Director Robert Mueller just this morning told the Senate that he fears the proposed law will create confusion over who has authority to investigate terrorism cases.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the National Defense Authorization Act will restrain the Executive Branch’s ability to use “all the counterterrorism tools that are now legally available” and “needlessly complicate efforts by frontline law enforcement professionals to collect critical intelligence concerning operations and activities within the United States.”

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has written that it “would introduce unnecessary rigidity at a time when our intelligence, military and law enforcement professionals are working more closely than ever to defend our nation effectively and quickly from terrorist attacks.”

Still, ignoring the advice from his most senior federal military and law enforcement professionals, President Obama is expected to sign the 2012 law, according to his senior advisors.

The concerns aren’t limited to federal officials. Earlier this week the 20,000-member International Association of Chiefs of Police wrote to Congress expressing concern that the law could “undermine the ability of our law enforcement counterterrorism experts, in particular those involved with Joint Terrorism Task Forces, to conduct effective investigations of suspected terrorists.”

A bipartisan group of 26 retired generals and admirals recently wrote that the legislation “both reduces the options available to our Commander-in-Chief to incapacitate terrorists and violates the rule of law” and “would seriously undermine the safety of the American people.”

The U.K. and Germany have said they won’t share intelligence or turn over suspected terrorists to the U.S. if they know they’ll be headed to indefinite military custody.

So not only will the bill allowing indefinite detention of Americans create an overt police state, but it will also make us more vulnerable to terrorism.

This article was posted: Thursday, December 15, 2011 at 4:21 am

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