President Obama promised us he would veto the National Defense Authorization Act if the indefinite military detention provision remained, yet Senator Carl Levin on the floor of Congress reported:
"The language which precluded the application of Section 1031 to American citizens was in the bill that we originally approved ... and the administration asked us to remove the language which says that U.S. citizens and lawful residents would not be subject to this section."
The NDAA's historic assault on American liberty: By signing into law the NDAA, the president has awarded the military extraordinary powers to detain US citizens without trial, Jonathan Turley, The Guardian, January 2, 2012.
President Barack Obama rang in the New Year by signing the NDAA law with its provision allowing him to indefinitely detain citizens. It was a symbolic moment, to say the least. With Americans distracted with drinking and celebrating, Obama signed one of the greatest rollbacks of civil liberties in the history of our country … and citizens partied in unwitting bliss into the New Year.
Obama promising to veto the bill and then signing it with a phony fig leaf of a signing statement that claimed he was against indefinite detention rings doubly duplicitous, knowing that his administration demanded the language to protect Americans from indefinite detention be removed in the first place.
Jonathan Turley debunks Obama's spin rationalizing signing this odious bill:
1. Funding the troops.
Since it was the White House who insisted that language exempting American citizens from being subject to indefinite detention by the military, without charges or a trial, Obama's claim that he only voted for the bill to keep funding the troops rings hollow.
Furthermore, how is it beneficial or respectful "for the troops," who take an oath to defend the Constitution, to do away with habeas corpus and the right to a speedy trial?
2. Obama has no intention of using the provision that allows indefinite detention of American citizens.
Whether or not Obama plans to use the provision is irrelevant. Signing the bill allows the provision to be used in the future.
3. NDAA only codifies what is already law.
That is not true. The administration has fought any challenges to indefinite detention to prevent a true court review. Moreover, most experts agree that such indefinite detention of citizens violates the constitution.
4. Changes made to NDAA have exempted American citizens from indefinite detention.
The provision merely states that nothing in the provisions could be construed to alter Americans' legal rights. Since the Senate clearly views citizens as not just subject to indefinite detention but even to execution without a trial, the change offers nothing but rhetoric to hide the harsh reality.
The exemption for American citizens from the mandatory detention requirement (section 1032) is the screening language for the next section, 1031, which offers no exemption for American citizens from the authorisation to use the military to indefinitely detain people without charge or trial.
Spin can not alter the fact that waterboarding is torture and that NDAA is a bad bill that threatens every American with indefinte detention without charges.
How can any of us feel that we can safely exercise our freedom of speech or assembly now?
We just lost America.
I'm sorry, but I can't stand up and cheer a President who signed this unAmerican bill into law that strips us of our rights and freedom. To discover how this administration had a hand in not exempting American citizens from military detention without end/charges/trial while Obama claimed that he would veto it, only to sign it into law with a meaningless statement professing his displeasure adds insult to injury.
And as for the bullies who call us names for speaking the truth and patriotically defending our Constitution, I ask them, do you "hate" our freedom, our Bill of Rights, our democracy, our country enough to throw them to the wind? How can you love our Constitution and not demand that this bill be struck down? How can you be so well satisfied with an administration who insisted we be threatened with indefinite military detention for no tangible reason and no hope of a trial?