You have to love politicians. First they create a problem and when everybody gets into an uproar they claim to have a fix for the problem but the fix really isn’t a fix at all. This is exactly what’s happening with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):
Late yesterday, Congressman Scott Rigell and 26 other members of Congress introduced a bill, H.R. 4388, which he is trying to sell to the American people as a “fix” for the National Defense Authorization Act. But in fact, it is a useless bill that might actually end up causing harm.
That’s right. The plan in the House of Representatives seems to be to try to fool Americans into thinking that they are fixing the indefinite detention problems with the NDAA and the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, when in fact, they are doing nothing good.
Don’t be fooled!
Here’s how they hope their trick will work. H.R. 4388, which was sneakily mistitled as the “Right to Habeas Corpus Act,” states that no one in the United States will lose their habeas rights under the NDAA. That might sound like something good, but it’s meaningless.
The question with the NDAA was never whether habeas rights are lost. Instead, the question is whether and when any president can order the military to imprison a person without charge or trial. The NDAA did not take away habeas rights from anyone, but it did codify a dangerous indefinite detention without charge or trial scheme. And nothing in the proposed bill by Rigell would change it. The Rigell bill won’t stop any president from ordering the military lockup of civilians without charge or trial.
I’m sure nobody is too surprised by this hand waving. Much like the Student Loan Forgiveness Act is actually a bank bailout hidden in a warm fuzzy name the Right to Habeas Corpus Act is a bill that actually does nothing to fix the NDAA as its sponsor promises.