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View Diary: President Obama signs Defense Authorization Bill and issues signing statement (312 comments)

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  •  The NDAA does not permit detentions of Americans (7+ / 0-)

    ... without trial and ordinary due process.

    Read the law.  Don't just read Glenn Greenwald and Ron Paul.

    •  Right - I gave this link earlier (5+ / 0-)

      Here is is again.

      This blog exist to analyze National Security Laws.  From the FAQ:

      Does the NDAA expand the government’s detention authority?

      Nope. Under current law, the Obama administration claims the authority to detain:

      ... persons that the President determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, and persons who harbored those responsible for those attacks. The President also has the authority to detain persons who were part of, or substantially supported, Taliban or al-Qaida forces 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 hostilities, in aid of such enemy armed forces.

      That claim of authority is based on the Authorization for Use of Military Force (“AUMF”) passed by Congress shortly after the September 11 attacks, as informed by the law of war.  The Bush Administration previously claimed very similar authority, albeit invoking not just the AUMF but also the inherent power of the President under Article II of the Constitution. In any event, such claims have been subjected to judicial challenge repeatedly, most commonly in the context of the Guantanamo detainee habeas litigation. As we explain below, the courts have had a decidedly mixed reaction in the pair of cases involving persons captured within the United States, but as for persons captured abroad, they have largely endorsed the government’s position.  The D.C. Circuit, in fact, has tentatively adopted a definition of the class detainable under the AUMF that is, if anything, broader than what the administration seeks. While the administration–and now Congress–would detain only on the basis of “substantial support,” the D.C. Circuit has articulated a standard which would permit detention of those who “purposefully and materially support” the enemy, even if not substantially.

      In light of all this, a law that writes the administration’s successful litigating position into statute cannot reasonably be said to expand the government’s detention authority. In fact, to the extent that the new statutory language will preempt the arguably broader D.C. Circuit definition, it may actually narrow it–if only very slightly.

      Thanks for helping to get the word out.  


      •  ACLU Says It Does (0+ / 0-)

        That statement says that the NDAA doesn't give Obama more powers than the Iraq AUMF did. But the Iraq War is "over" (in a legally binding sense). The NDAA makes those powers permanent, and not limited to the specific situation of the US invading Iraq.

        That's why the ACLU said

        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

        The equivalent would be if the current Supreme Court ruled that Bush v Gore was in fact precedential, unlike the 2000 decision that stated its application was strictly limited to "the present circumstances". That would be a disaster, though arguably the disaster was already fully in effect in 2000. If Obama's SC appointees voted for that new decision, we'd rightly blame Obama. If Obama himself sat on the Court and voted for that, of course we'd blame him. That is what he has done with the NDAA.

        Obama told us he'd be much better than Bush, especially on these worst abuses. You're arguing that he's merely no worse than Bush, or indistinguishably better (perhaps, and in theory).

        Obama also told us he'd veto this NDAA because of the problems he referenced in the signing statement. He's not supposed to cop out in a signing statement; he's supposed to veto it - like he said he would. Instead he's making policy in signing statements, another Bush abuse.

        If you can believe Obama isn't doing heinously wrong here, in policy, in lying, in governing technique, you shouldn't be bothered when people like me point out where you're wrong. You should just ignore us the way you manage to ignore the overwhelming evidence you can see without our help.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 08:54:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No No (0+ / 0-)

          There are two AUMF.  The Authorization to Use Military Force in the fight against Al Quida is different than the one for Iraq.

          And it didn't make anything permanent.  Repeal the AUMF and this means nothing.

          He would have vetoed it without Difi's amendment.  If he does so now, he gets overridden and there is no signing statement.  Additionally, you send this thing back to the House and god knows what you will get back.

          They already stripped out prohibitions regarding military gay marriage.


          •  Yes Yes (0+ / 0-)

            It doesn't matter which AUMF you're referring to, or which I'm referring to. Your argument is that "the" AUMF already established these powers, so the NDAA is not a problem for making them permanent. Repeal either AUMF, or let the basis for either expire (Iraq War ends, the Qaeda definitively destroyed), and the NDAA still stands. Further the NDAA cannot be argued to be the product of "Bush/Cheney, the illegal presidency and war criminals". It shows that multiple presidencies, of each party, and multiple congresses, across a decade, assigned these powers to the president. That makes it far more permanent than just an AUMF.

            If he vetoes it and it's overridden, then it's not his fault. So what if he has no signing statement? You're now insisting on arguing that signing statements have legal force, which they do not. Unless, again, the repeated use of them as a legal instrument gives courts a reason to treat them as having legal force. Obama is doing that, too.

            You're spinning. Obama said he'd veto the NDAA, he signed it, and now it's worse. Spinning isn't going to change any of that, and it's not fooling me or anyone else who's serious about the damage Obama is making permanent, that we elected him to change after it was so horribly rammed down our throats before him.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 07:13:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Poppycock (0+ / 0-)

              Barack threatened a veto, got conscessions and signed a funding bill.  Again - there has been no change to the authority granted by the AUMF and the relevant decesions.  The Demcorats did a really good job in making this bills effect primarily... funding.

              This is not a civil rights bill.  There is another bill that is not tied by funding and Barack will sign that as well.

              The real analysis on this bill, the relationship of the signing statement, the AUMF, the relevant cases and the rules of war on interpreting the AUMF is here:



              These two articles are the work of By Marty Lederman and Steve Vladeck.  Marty Lederman worked at the Department of Justice when some of the briefs discussed herein were filed, and Steve Vladeck represented amici in some of the cases discussed.  The views they express are there own after consideration of the NDDA and relevant cases.


              PS - Please pass these links on.  There is a lot of misinformation.  Liberals and Democrats like to line up in ciruclar firing squads.  It is helpful to remove hyperbolic nonsense to prevent them from firing.


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