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I'm not writing this diary to defend or describe the NDAA as a whole. I haven't read the entire thing and it is quite possible that there are parts of it I would not wish to defend.

However, I have seen quite a few claims here about what the legislation could do regarding the military detention of American citizens and was naturally duly concerned. The other day, in the course of noodling around the Internet, I ran across a piece entitled Stop the Hysteria Over the NDAA. Fact vs Fiction on the site Republicans for Obama (no, I'd never heard of them before either). This is the relevant part:

. . . those who are fear mongering about it are leaving out something very important.  The amendment clearly states:
'AUTHORITIES.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States

And.....
APPLICABILITY TO UNITED STATES CITIZENS AND LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS.—

    (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS.—The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.

    (2) LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS.—The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.


The detainee provisions in the bill do not include new authority for the permanent detention of suspected terrorists. The "existing law" is contained within the Patriot Act.  

This appears to be true. See across the fold.

The text of the NDAA may be found here, and the language that appears to be relevant is on pages 265-267 in Sections 1021 and 1022, the text of which is below (emphasis added).

SEC. 1021. AFFIRMATION OF AUTHORITY OF THE ARMED FORCES OF
THE UNITED STATES TO DETAIN COVERED PERSONS
PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY
FORCE.
(a) IN GENERAL.—Congress affirms that the authority of the
President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to
the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40;
50 U.S.C. 1541 note) includes the authority for the Armed Forces
of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection
(b)) pending disposition under the law of war.
(b) COVERED PERSONS.—A covered person under this section
is any person as follows:
(1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided
the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001,
or harbored those responsible for those attacks.
(2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported
al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged
in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners,
including any person who has committed a belligerent act or
has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy
forces.
(c) DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR.—The disposition of a
person under the law of war as described in subsection (a) may
include the following:
(1) Detention under the law of war without trial until
the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for
Use of Military Force.
(2) Trial under chapter 47A of title 10, United States
Code (as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2009
(title XVIII of Public Law 111–84)).
(3) Transfer for trial by an alternative court or competent
tribunal having lawful jurisdiction.
(4) Transfer to the custody or control of the person’s country
of origin, any other foreign country, or any other foreign entity.
(d) CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this section is intended to limit
or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the
Authorization for Use of Military Force.
(e) AUTHORITIES.—Nothing in this section shall be construed
to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of
United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States,
or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United
States.
(f) REQUIREMENT FOR BRIEFINGS OF CONGRESS.—The Secretary
of Defense shall regularly brief Congress regarding the application
of the authority described in this section, including the organizations,
entities, and individuals considered to be ‘‘covered persons’’
for purposes of subsection (b)(2).

SEC. 1022. MILITARY CUSTODY FOR FOREIGN AL-QAEDA TERRORISTS.
(a) CUSTODY PENDING DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in paragraph (4), the
Armed Forces of the United States shall hold a person described
in paragraph (2) who is captured in the course of hostilities
authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force
(Public Law 107–40) in military custody pending disposition
under the law of war.
(2) COVERED PERSONS.—The requirement in paragraph (1)
shall apply to any person whose detention is authorized under
section 1021 who is determined—
(A) to be a member of, or part of, al-Qaeda or an
associated force that acts in coordination with or pursuant
to the direction of al-Qaeda; and
(B) to have participated in the course of planning or
carrying out an attack or attempted attack against the
United States or its coalition partners.
(3) DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR.—For purposes of this
subsection, the disposition of a person under the law of war
has the meaning given in section 1021(c), except that no
transfer otherwise described in paragraph (4) of that section
shall be made unless consistent with the requirements of section
1028.
(4) WAIVER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY.—The President may
waive the requirement of paragraph (1) if the President submits
to Congress a certification in writing that such a waiver is
in the national security interests of the United States.
(b) APPLICABILITY TO UNITED STATES CITIZENS AND LAWFUL
RESIDENT ALIENS.—
(1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS.—The requirement to detain
a person in military custody under this section does not extend
to citizens of the United States.
(2) LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS.—The requirement to detain
a person in military custody under this section does not extend
to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis
of conduct taking place within the United States, except to
the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.
(c) IMPLEMENTATION PROCEDURES.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 60 days after the date
of the enactment of this Act, the President shall issue, and
submit to Congress, procedures for implementing this section.
(2) ELEMENTS.—The procedures for implementing this section
shall include, but not be limited to, procedures as follows:
(A) Procedures designating the persons authorized to
make determinations under subsection (a)(2) and the
process by which such determinations are to be made.
(B) Procedures providing that the requirement for military
custody under subsection (a)(1) does not require the
interruption of ongoing surveillance or intelligence gathering
with regard to persons not already in the custody
or control of the United States.
(C) Procedures providing that a determination under
subsection (a)(2) is not required to be implemented until
after the conclusion of an interrogation which is ongoing
at the time the determination is made and does not require
the interruption of any such ongoing interrogation.
(D) Procedures providing that the requirement for military
custody under subsection (a)(1) does not apply when
intelligence, law enforcement, or other Government officials
of the United States are granted access to an individual
who remains in the custody of a third country.
(E) Procedures providing that a certification of national
security interests under subsection (a)(4) may be granted
for the purpose of transferring a covered person from a
third country if such a transfer is in the interest of the
United States and could not otherwise be accomplished.
(d) AUTHORITIES.—Nothing in this section shall be construed
to affect the existing criminal enforcement and national security
authorities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or any other
domestic law enforcement agency with regard to a covered person,
regardless whether such covered person is held in military custody.
(e) EFFECTIVE DATE.—This section shall take effect on the
date that is 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act,
and shall apply with respect to persons described in subsection
(a)(2) who are taken into the custody or brought under the control
of the United States on or after that effective date.

President Obama's signing statement highlighted these sections as potentially dangerous, and noted that the text I bolded above was put in to specifically ward against abusive misinterpretation of these sections.

Section 1021 affirms the executive branch's authority to detain persons covered by the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) (Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note). This section breaks no new ground and is unnecessary. The authority it describes was included in the 2001 AUMF, as recognized by the Supreme Court and confirmed through lower court decisions since then. Two critical limitations in section 1021 confirm that it solely codifies established authorities. First, under section 1021(d), the bill does not "limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force." Second, under section 1021(e), the bill may not be construed to affect any "existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States." My Administration strongly supported the inclusion of these limitations in order to make clear beyond doubt that the legislation does nothing more than confirm authorities that the Federal courts have recognized as lawful under the 2001 AUMF. Moreover, I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation. My Administration will interpret section 1021 in a manner that ensures that any detention it authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other applicable law.

So, can anyone help me out here? Without getting into other potential problems with the Act, I'd really like to know how its language lends itself to giving the military extra powers to detain US citizens. What am I missing?
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