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Udall opposes detainee provisions in defense bill

Sen. Mark Udall.

Holding suspects indefinitely undermines civil liberties and national security

By Summit Voice

Mark Udall and 12 other Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary committees say they are opposed to detainee provisions in the defense spending bill that enables the U.S. Military to hold U.S. citizens accused of terrorism in military prisons indefinitely.

Read a white paper on the detainee provisions here.

The provisions also require the Department of Defense  to hold certain foreign terrorism suspects unless the Defense Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, issues a waiver that their release or transfer would be in the interest of national security. And the military would be required to indefinitely prohibit the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to certain countries, even if the detainee were determined to be innocent and not a threat. Continue reading

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Colorado Sen. Mark Udall presses for Patriot Act reform

Sen. Mark Udall.

Colorado lawmaker quizzes intelligence agency leaders on civil liberties and U.S. torture policy during joint committee hearing

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Invoking a famous Benjamin Franklin  quote on liberty and security, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colorado) this week called on the Obama administration to finalize membership of a watchdog group formed to guard against over-zealous intrusion into the privacy of citizens in the name of the war on terrorism.

Udall’s comments came during a joint hearing of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees about the lessons of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and follows his earlier calls for more transparency about how intelligence officials interpret anti-terrorism laws including the Patriot Act.

The Senate has failed to confirm two key appointments to the independent Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, a delay that has drawn criticism from the co-chairs of the 9/11 commission. Last year, President nominated two members for the five-member board, but they have not yet been confirmed by the Senate, and one additional member needs to be nominated and confirmed for a quorum. The ACLU’s Patriot Act page is online here. Continue reading

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