The controversial legislation has passed both the House and Senate, and now awaits the Obama administration's final approval before becoming law.
The bill passed the Senate on Dec. 1, 2011, despite concerns that it may infringe upon certain constitutionally guaranteed rights, including that of due process. The bills supporters would like to classify individuals with suspected links to Al Qaeda as enemy combatants, even if they are discovered on US soil.
Many speculated that this would lead to US citizens being unlawfully detained.
The Obama administration threatened to veto the original bill, but the bills sponsors have since attempted to clarify and amend much of the language that concerned the current adminstration.
"I assured the president that we were working on additional assurances, that the concerns were not accurate...That we'd do everything we could to make sure they were allayed, and met," Sen.(D-Mich), chairmnan of the Senate Armed Services Committee reportedly told those gathered at a news conference last week, according to the AP's Donna Cassata .
Indeed Title X , Subtitle D - Detainee Matters, section 1031 states that,
(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) 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.
Section 1032 offers further clarification regarding the rights of US citizens,
(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.
More on the bills other aspects can be found here:
You can read the bill in its entirety here: