Buried within an 1,844-page bill currently sitting on Barack Obama’s desk awaiting his signature is text that many critics are warning could give the president legal authority to send Americans to jail without charges, without trial, without end.

Both the U.S. House and Senate have passed the National Defense Authorization Act, a sweeping piece of legislation that affects dozens of aspects of foreign and military policy, but that was designed primarily to give the military – and not civilian courts – the clear authority for prosecuting and jailing terrorists.

But voices from across the political spectrum are concerned that the bill opens the door for the military – led by the president as commander in chief – to indefinitely detain American citizens, even within the U.S.

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