I have now had a chance to read through House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon’s new detention and AUMF language, released yesterday as part of the Chairman’s mark of the National Defense Authorization bill. The language is available on pages 130-155 of this pdf. The bill is significantly different from McKeon’s earlier version, which I described and critiqued at length here. It still needs work, a lot of it, in fact. But it has improved a great deal–for which McKeon deserves a lot of credit.
In this post, I will try to describe the current bill, how it is different from the earlier version, and where it needs further changes. For organizational simplicity, I will describe the bill in the order in which its sections appear and compare these sections to the analogous ones in the earlier version. But I want to start by describing something that isn’t in the bill at all and consequently represents one of its most significant improvements.