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Sen. Franken's Statement on Vote Against Defense Authorization Act

Friday, December 21, 2012

Today, after voting against final passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) released the following statement:

"Our troops risk their lives every day, and they deserve to have the resources they need to do their jobs. But I voted against this bill because, in its final form, it allowed for the indefinite military detention of Americans captured on U.S. soil - a clear violation of the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights is critical to the civil liberties of all Americans, and no act of Congress should ever threaten those freedoms.

"When the Defense Authorization came before the Senate, I voted for an amendment that made certain that the military could not detain Americans in the U.S. and hold them indefinitely without trial. That amendment, which passed the Senate by a large margin, addressed the worst of several problematic provisions included in last year's bill. But the amendment was taken out of the final version of the bill, so I could not vote for it. I continue to believe that allowing the military to arrest and detain people in the U.S. denigrates the Bill of Rights and what our Founders intended when they created a civilian, non-military justice system."

Sen. Franken also voted against the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012.

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