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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Facing heated criticism, Rubio explains stance on Defense Authorization Act



Sen. Marco Rubio was forced Wednesday to defend of his support of controversial provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act.

"In particular, some people are wrongly suggesting that this legislation will allow the military to capture and indefinitely detain any American citizen, and that the US Armed Forces would be able to perform law enforcement functions on American soil because of the authority conferred under Sections 1031 and 1032 of the Act," Rubio wrote. "While I do have other serious concerns with this legislation, those particular assertions could not be further from the truth." His full letter is here.

Some are not satisfied.

"Rand Paul was correct. You sir are wrong," wrote a man on Rubio's Facebook page. Another person wrote, "Here we go, with the.. let me explain and how the people are wrong, You voted for this, i guess castro and chavez are proud of you, I had so much respect for you, now your just another loser in D.C." And another, "I voted for you but you have disappointed me....this bill is not good for us.....I am not a sheeple."

Critics contend the language allowing indefinite detention of terrorist suspects without a trial is too expansive. The Senate Tuesday voted on an amendment that would remove the detainee measures but it failed. Rubio voted no, to reject the amendment. Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson voted yes.

"I'm very, very, concerned about having U.S. citizens sent to Guantanamo Bay for indefinite detention," said Paul, a tea party Republican from Kentucky.

But 16 Democrats sided with Republicans to keep the provision.

Wrote Rubio, "Any person detained under Section 1032 must be a member of, or part of, Al-Qaeda or its associates AND they must have participated in the planning or execution of an attack against the US or our coalition partners.  Simply put, the application of this detention requirement is limited to Al-Qaeda members that have tried to attack the US or its allies.  However, this detention requirement is clearly limited by a clause that states that the requirement to detain does not extend to US citizens or lawful permanent residents."

[Last modified: Thursday, December 1, 2011 1:39am]


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