Saturday, December 31, 2011

Obama signs National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into Law Today

WASHINGTON – President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law today. The statute contains a sweeping worldwide indefinite detention provision. While President Obama issued a signing statement saying he had “serious reservations” about the provisions, the statement only applies to how his administration would use the authorities granted by the NDAA, and would not affect how the law is interpreted by subsequent administrations. The White House had threatened to veto an earlier version of the NDAA, but reversed course shortly before Congress voted on the final bill.

“President Obama's action today is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law,” said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU executive director. “The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield. The ACLU will fight worldwide detention authority wherever we can, be it in court, in Congress, or internationally.”

Under the Bush administration, similar claims of worldwide detention authority were used to hold even a U.S. citizen detained on U.S. soil in military custody, and many in Congress now assert that the NDAA should be used in the same way again. The ACLU believes that any military detention of American citizens or others within the United States is unconstitutional and illegal, including under the NDAA. In addition, the breadth of the NDAA’s detention authority violates international law because it is not limited to people captured in the context of an actual armed conflict as required by the laws of war.

“We are incredibly disappointed that President Obama signed this new law even though his administration had already claimed overly broad detention authority in court,” said Romero. “Any hope that the Obama administration would roll back the constitutional excesses of George Bush in the war on terror was extinguished today. Thankfully, we have three branches of government, and the final word belongs to the Supreme Court, which has yet to rule on the scope of detention authority. But Congress and the president also have a role to play in cleaning up the mess they have created because no American citizen or anyone else should live in fear of this or any future president misusing the NDAA’s detention authority.”

The bill also contains provisions making it difficult to transfer suspects out of military detention, which prompted FBI Director Robert Mueller to testify that it could jeopardize criminal investigations. It also restricts the transfers of cleared detainees from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to foreign countries for resettlement or repatriation, making it more difficult to close Guantanamo, as President Obama pledged to do in one of his first acts in office.

Source: ACLU

8 comments:

RealityZone said...

Thank you for posting this.

Here is hoping that in 2012 more so called "dems" and "liberals" will see the true O.

I posted a lot about NDAA.
Hardly any so called liberal blogs mentioned it.

MSM stayed away from it.
Why?
Because both sides of the aisle and the O team were for it.

Disappear now has a completely new meaning.

Teach your children well.

Thomas Alice said...

I really think progressives would be better off with a Republican we could unite against to block. It's hard to know what to do when it's your own team that's doing these awful things.

Big Mark 243 said...

I second Thomas' comment... the betrayal seems to be a different kind of hurt, like a paper cut slice on your heart... how do you revolt against the person you thought would represent your beliefs..? Hard to do, especially in today's climate... it is more like 'dance with the devil you think you know' rather than you one that you 'know you know'...

Billie Greenwood said...

Thanks to you all for commenting. It is nice to see you on New Year's Eve. But what a kick in the head of democracy this news is! Sorry we're convening around this. I hope I don't disappear. Never would have thought I'd have to fear that in my nation.
Here's to a new and better era, starting in 2012--as the Mayan calendar predicted.

fan of Gaia said...

From outside the Republic, heard this very bad news today. The future of democratic action in your country is in jeopardy. This repressive law could be used against the "occupy" people. What has happened to the Land of the Brave?

Fran said...

HI BILLIE- I JUST POSTED ABOUT THE NDAA TODAY AS WELL. SOMETHING CONTAINED IN IT FOR EVERYONE TO HATE--

•$662 BILLION MILITARY SPENDING

•THE INDEFINITE DETENTION FACTOR

•KEEPS GITMO OPEN

•THE BLATANTLY OBVIOUS TREND OF FINDING SOME EXCUSE TO GO TO WAR WITH IRAN.

I'M GIVING A THUMBS DOWN TO THE "BETTER OFF WITH A REPUBLICAN" COMMENT.

OBAMA HAS FAILED ON SO MANY ISSUES, HE DOES NOT DESERVE ANOTHER TERM, WE NEED A
REAL LIBERAL OR PROGRESSIVE, NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!

PART OF THE REASON I VOTED FOR HIM WAS BECAUSE HE WAS ALLEGEDLY A CONSTITUTIONAL SCHOLAR. SURELY HE WOULD UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION.

APPARENTLY NOT.

Billie Greenwood said...

Thanks, Women, for weighing in on this. I feel really strongly also. I'm ready to go third party. I think I could be one of the people they'd love to put away--don't mean to aggrandize myself, but it's not inconceivable, so I feel empathy with those who will be victims.

Thanks, Fran, for the additional details. You're right: there's something in there everyone can hate. I agree that the Constitution is in jeopardy, and what a disappointment that is!

I was countered on Twitter by an Obama supporter for this post. I just can't understand blind loyalty. Is this what democracy looks like? No.

shahrukh said...
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