Thank you for contacting my office

After submitting my name and email to one of the many online petitions by the ACLU to stop the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, I received this email from Senator JOHN CORNYN in a seemingly dismissive response to the concerns of those who signed said petition. I thought I'd share this email response with you.

Dear Mr. (my name):

Thank you for contacting me regarding the military detention and prosecution of terrorists. I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this important matter.

I do not believe terrorists should be brought to the United States and be granted the same rights and privileges as American criminal defendants. Terrorists should be kept at Guantanamo Bay and prosecuted through the military commissions established by Congress under terms circumscribed by the United States Supreme Court. Trying to hold civilian trials in the United States for terrorists does nothing more than place Americans at risk, while providing terrorists with a platform from which to spew their hate-filled ideology and recruit like-minded fanatics around the world to join them in jihad. We must not forget that we are a nation at war against ruthless killers who wear no uniforms and use civilians as human shields. Treating these war crimes as ordinary criminal acts and trying these killers in a civilian court under the U.S. Constitution is simply reverting to a dangerous, pre-9/11 mentality.

As you may know, Congress passed the Military Commissions Acts of 2006 and 2009, making a powerful statement that U.S. civilian courts are not the appropriate venue to bring terrorists to justice. The military commissions were specifically designed to prevent damaging disclosures and to protect classified information, as well as sensitive sources and methods. We know that these military commissions have a long history in our Republic—dating back from the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, to World War II. They are the most appropriate forum for terrorists to be tried for their crimes.

Therefore, I supported amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (FY 2012 NDAA; S. 1867) regarding terrorist detention practices. Section 1031 of the FY 2012 NDAA would reaffirm the President’s military detention authority under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (P.L. 107—40). Additionally, Section 1032 would require military custody for a certain subset of unprivileged enemy belligerents, members of al-Qaeda and affiliated entities, pending their disposition under the law of war. By its terms, Section 1032 does not apply to U.S. citizens. These provisions were included in the FY 2012 NDAA that was unanimously reported out of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

I appreciate having the opportunity to represent you in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.

United States Senator

517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-2934
Fax: (202) 228-2856

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ACLU Action and Contacts...

When freedom is under attack in Congress and state legislatures, an engaged populace is its first line of defense. Take action on the issues below to let law makers know that we want them to protect our civil liberties. Because freedom can't protect itself!

Tell President Obama: Veto indefinite detention

Washington Only Listens To Think-Tanks/Foundations

Politicians at best are ignorants who are unduly influenced by think-tanks and foundations and at worst are agents or puppets for these interests, who actually devise such bills that are later sponsored by cooperative public officials.

The appearance of working in the public interest is mostly theater. These politicians don't even appear for votes many times. Don't be fooled into believing that they are the ones actually drafting legislation.

Political Leaders talking about the importance of NDAA.