Obama Signing Statement: The NDAA Doesn’t Apply To US Citizens

In his signing statement attached to the NDAA, President Obama made it clear that the language about detentions does not apply to US citizens.

In the second paragraph of his NDAA signing statement, Obama stated, “The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it. In particular, I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists. Over the last several years, my Administration has developed an effective, sustainable framework for the detention, interrogation and trial of suspected terrorists that allows us to maximize both our ability to collect intelligence and to incapacitate dangerous individuals in rapidly developing situations, and the results we have achieved are undeniable. Our success against al-Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents has derived in significant measure from providing our counterterrorism professionals with the clarity and flexibility they need to adapt to changing circumstances and to utilize whichever authorities best protect the American people, and our accomplishments have respected the values that make our country an example for the world.”

The president explained why he signed the NDAA, “Against that record of success, some in Congress continue to insist upon restricting the options available to our counterterrorism professionals and interfering with the very operations that have kept us safe. My Administration has consistently opposed such measures. Ultimately, I decided to sign this bill not only because of the critically important services it provides for our forces and their families and the national security programs it authorizes, but also because the Congress revised provisions that otherwise would have jeopardized the safety, security, and liberty of the American people. Moving forward, my Administration will interpret and implement the provisions described below in a manner that best preserves the flexibility on which our safety depends and upholds the values on which this country was founded.”

Obama then strongly debunked once and for all the notion that the NDAA detention provisions apply to American citizens, “Section 1021 affirms the executive branch’s authority to detain persons covered by the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) (Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note). This section breaks no new ground and is unnecessary. The authority it describes was included in the 2001 AUMF, as recognized by the Supreme Court and confirmed through lower court decisions since then. Two critical limitations in section 1021 confirm that it solely codifies established authorities. First, under section 1021(d), the bill does not “limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.” Second, under section 1021(e), the bill may not be construed to affect any “existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.” My Administration strongly supported the inclusion of these limitations in order to make clear beyond doubt that the legislation does nothing more than confirm authorities that the Federal courts have recognized as lawful under the 2001 AUMF. Moreover, I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation. My Administration will interpret section 1021 in a manner that ensures that any detention it authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other applicable law.”

The Lawfare blog, translated section 1022 into plain English, “We would also note that, under a plain-language reading, section 1022 would not even cover persons apprehended in the U.S. by the FBI or other law-enforcement officials: That provision applies only to a person “who is captured in the course of hostilities authorized by the AUMF”—and in the case of a domestic FBI or other law-enforcement arrest, presumably neither the arresting entity nor the individual would be engaged in “hostilities authorized by the AUMF.” On this reading—which is fortified by the language clarifying that 1022 does not affect FBI authorities—the statute could only apply in the first instance to someone captured by a U.S. agency acting pursuant to the AUMF, which in effect would mean apprehensions by the armed forces overseas.”

Lawfare also pointed out that although Section 1022 is both ambiguous and toothless it is troubling because the message it sends it that the American legislature prefers indefinite detentions. The language added to the NDAA could potentially undo much of the work of the Obama administration to show the world the prosecutions are our preferred method to deal with suspects.

In summary and for the millionth time, the detention provisions do not apply to the NDAA. The law itself states that it does not apply to American citizens. Some people will still continue to feed their mistrust of government, but it is in black and white. It was written in the revised legislation.

The NDAA is a terrible law because it forbids the funding to close GITMO. It is a terrible law because the language of the bill contains a predisposition towards indefinite detentions. The language used is the right’s attempt to revive the policies of the war on terror. The NDAA is lousy because what it is advocating runs counter to who we are as a people and what this great nation stands for. The NDAA stinks for all of these reasons and many more, but it is NOT lousy because it allows for the detention of US citizens.

Those who believe that Obama should have vetoed the NDAA don’t seem to realize that what they are asking for is that the military go unfunded. The NDAA is a yearly funding measure, and as such could be amended when a new, and hopefully saner Congress is sworn into session to remove the war on terror language that this Congress foolishly in a bit of near election year pandering passed.

Too many Democrats went along with supporting the NDAA, and those members of Congress along with their detention and torture loving GOP colleagues must be held accountable. I know that it is easier to blame the president for everything, because he is but one man, but the truth that we need to clean out and disinfect this Congress.

Yes, Obama signed the NDAA. Even if he would have vetoed it, an override would have been likely. His veto would have been nothing more than an empty symbolic gesture that would have caused more problems than it solved.

The NDAA does a lot of things, but the one thing it does not do is authorize the detention of American citizens. As we head into to 2012, can we finally put this bogus piece of misinformation to bed?

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99 Replies to “Obama Signing Statement: The NDAA Doesn’t Apply To US Citizens”

  1. “Those who believe that Obama should have vetoed the NDAA don’t seem to realize that what they are asking for is that the military go unfunded”

    Thanks Jason! There is SO MUCH BS and MISINFO about this from firebaggers and RWNJ!

  2. The very same people that said if you are not doing anything wrong then you have nothing to worry about when Herr Bushler passed the patriot act

  3. This is a load of nonsense. Barack Obama is the President of the United States. It is his job to defend the Constitution. A veto was called for. Even if it had then been overridden he would have done his job. He has taken the next step towards a totalitarian society.

  4. I cant disagree with you, but to extend that out, ALL the people who put that crap in the bill also pledged to protect the constitution. Worse, the Supreme COurt aught to be on this like stink in an outhouse.

    So ALL of them have taken us to the bank

  5. Thank-you ! Now maybe pages like ” 1 billion against indefinite detention ” will pull their heads OUT of their butts and admit they were WRONG at least with regard to detention of American citizens . yeahhh….let us all hold our breaths shall we ? It’s not like enough of the stuff that individuals and branches of the gov’t is beastly enough and important enough to fight against . NO !! We have to make shit up ! That said Baruch is perfectly correct . the President should have vetoed the wretched , unconstitutional , unamerican and above all UNNECESSARY thing ! One wonders why he didn’t .

  6. NO….what obama said is that his administration, “”My administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens,”

    Now…show us where in the bill it says that….it doesn’t

  7. What you mean it is it sounds like Congress is trying to take authority away from Ex Branch re detainees and trials, as ex branch has expressly pushed for civilian trials and closure of Gitmo. Senate Armed Services Committee wrote the bill. The language was changed at Obama’s request to clarify that it not apply to US citizens, but even after that clarification, he used the signing statement to clarify how his admin would handle it.

    It’s come to the point where you have to laugh at people who are using this as a reason to hate Obama, because while they may have plenty of legitimate reasons for feeling this way, this is not one of them. It only shows that they have no desire to hold the people responsible who are behind NDAA – so they don’t care about the issue; they care about using it politically.

    And then you add up who was behind it and it should all start to make more sense.

  8. Jesus, it is in the article. Section 1021 (e). Have you even bothered to read the bill? 1021 (e), “Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.”

  9. Putting the “whys” aside, the idea that a veto would be a dangerous thing is ridiculous. Bush I vetoed the NDAA be ause it contained language he had great reservations about. Unlike the debt the NDAA is not an immediate release budget item.

  10. Agreed Matt.The Bill was designed from the start to be nothing more but a political weapon the Republicans couls use against President Obama accusing him of not funding the troops.The President clearly made it understood to the Senate Armed Services Committee that he wanted the indefinite detentions provisions out for everyone involved including american citizens.The very least least he got from the former was that he could use his executive powers to transfer detainees from military custody to civilian custody for trial in civilian courts.

  11. He sure didn’t veto the Patriot act that allowed him to hold anyone indefinitely now did he?

    Nor did he veto the war powers act giving him limitless power. Oh wait, that wasn’t approved by congress was it

  12. Want to really end terrorism, start building decent relations with foreign countries. Homeland Security and TSA should be closed now.

  13. I think people are worried because of the phrase “this section,” when the language that could mean indefinite detention of US citizens was in section 1032. I’ve been worried as hell about that, because I don’t know the peculiarities of legislative grammar well enough to know for sure that I’m not subject to indefinite detention. My great-grandparents came here from Russia to escape pogroms – I’ll catch the next plane to Sweden and beg asylum if I’m subject to that in the US.

  14. Please link to that veto by Bush 1. Perhaps you are thinking of George W Bush, who claimed he pocket vetoed NDAA but he did not. He simply ignored it. The House proposed an identical bill with slight modifications which he signed.

  15. I worry that this is step one in the grand scheme. Once established, the ambiguous term “terrorist” will give government agencies infinite openness. Consider all the things that can be linked to terrorism now. Drugs, ideology, gun collecting, online piracy, and other stupid shit.

  16. …”And then you add up who was behind it and it should all start to make more sense…”

    Dick Cheney was seen (or nor seen) in Phoenix this past week with ambulance in tow…I guess he, McCain, Kyle were out at the Quail Klan Ranch doing a little “hunting” to talk over their next move.

  17. his accompanying statement with this bill that lays blame with congress and makes him and his admin appear as nothing but purely harmless protectors of the american people is nothing but his usual double speak. In my mind, it was crystal clear he had no qualms with the excessive militant force against OWS, who were utilizing their constitutional rights to protest, so why on Earth should one believe he now has sufficient respect for our rights to due process if we pose some sort of perceived ambiguously stated “terrorist” threat.
    He’s already assassinated an american citizen without due process,supposedly killed bin laden but conveniently disposed the body and furthered right wing war mongering with multiple military campaigns and hideous drone strikes, mutilating innocent civilians in Pakistan and launched further directives in africa.

    Pathetic how this site portrays him as a do gooder who only wants the opposite of the evil conservatives when many of his policies and political ideologies, especially fiscally,have mirrored theirs, exactly.

  18. I come here a lot and I always appreciate y’all’s take on things. But I am a little disappointed in your attitude here. So far, all I have seen is that 1. this act’s claim to sanctity is that it doesn’t change the law of the Patriot Act. 2. it funds the military.
    So here we go. I don’t think the fact that it doesn’t reach further than the Patriot Act is a bonus. That is bullshit. The language used in the bill and by Obama merely states that they’re not willing to push us further than they have already been able to and the the application of this bill relies upon the benevolent interpretation of THIS current POTUS. What happens if he loses? Has he set in motion the probability that if GOP gets in power that Padilla II or lies of WMD will be so easily ignored like before? I mean if the “mean” is 2001, what do we have to lose? Everything. And as far as the non signing of this bill threatening the defunding of the military, what the bloody hell? The GOP can threaten to close their own doors of Congress (twice so far) out of obstinate preening and yet the POTUS won’t use the fact that untenable language that cannot be safeguarded regardless of who is in office, threatens the liberty of Americans as well as the care for our soldiers? He can’t use that politically??? I am beginning to have my doubts about him. (My love has never been blind for O, and it never will be.)
    Mostly your attitude has bothered me. This is not good. It is not okay. Obama screwed this up and for you to dismiss other’s concerns because you’ve found peace with this bullshit political move, makes me doubt just how liberal your thinking is. As of today, I see you in a very similar light to the smarmy, smug GOP. I hope you all get along great. You shouldn’t demean people’s concerns especially in light of the fact that you have not addressed the lingering issues of how the NEXT guy will interpret this bill and why ANY POTUS would sign ANY bill he had reservations about. I still love you guys, but you really dropped the ball here.

  19. “Even if he would have vetoed it, an override would have been likely. His veto would have been nothing more than an empty symbolic gesture that would have caused more problems than it solved.” Ugh, what does this say about our politicians? That they shouldn’t try to do the right thing because it seems difficult? How does this person know the likeliness of the override? This guy is just trying to save Obama’s face before elections, and this article might actually convince people “he’s a good guy but has opposition in congress”. Bullshit. The president has ridiculous power with executive orders and he could’ve done something about this act if he was really against it.

    So the act is more military funding. Oh yeah, that makes it alright. We have empty schools in dilapidated buildings, and we’re giving the military more money. There is no redeeming factor in this whole Defense Act. More like Offense Act, it’ll be use to bother other countries for no reason.

  20. The likelihood of a veto override is a matter of math and you can make this assessment based on the votes that passed the law and the number of people who would love to embarrass the President. It was passed with what was referred to as “veto proof majority” for this reason.

    It’s important to be able to assess the probable outcome because if the President vetoes something and it gets over-riden, he loses a lot of power and capital. Naturally, you will say well who cares- tough for him- give my my freedom. But of course, this isn’t the only egregious law passed in a year by far. So the president has to decide where he has the best chance of making a difference. In this case, he issued the signing statement after getting the language changed. The signing statement acknowledged where he feels the law is unconstitutional. This will no doubt be used in court challenges. This is your 3 branches of government working to protect you from overreach in any one branch.

    As for your he has superman powers and can do whatever he wants– what are these magical powers the President has to step over congress re legislation, aside from the signing order which he already did? You might recall that even the “dictator” (as presidential scholars called him) Bush often couldn’t get his own party in congress to do what he wanted, esp in his second term after Rove had irritated them to death with his bullying.

    These are the challenges for a president, but they are also the things that keep that office in check. It’s easy to be pissed off and think someone could fix everything if they wanted to. It’s a lot harder to realize that actually they can’t. What are we going to do then?

  21. Every person that voted for this bill in Congress and the President had a chance to vote no or not sign and they did not. They had to option to refuse until the detention language was removed and they did not. I know three people who will not receive my vote ever. I would say, “again” but pretty sure I’ve never voted for any of them. Guess I had good sense the first time around.

  22. Bravo for being so rational and thoughtful. I share emoprogs’ frustration, but am still able to see realistic pragmatism as being able to live and fight another day. That, not a short, masturbatory Pyrrhic victory which feels good but accomplishes absolutely nothing, except weakening you, is the right course of action for any strategist that actually cares about change.

  23. section 1021(d), the bill does not “limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.” Second, under section 1021(e), the bill may not be construed to affect any “existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.

    These sections of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011- which are the sections covering detention of terrorist by US forces are straightforward.

    The powers delegated to the President by the 2001 Athorization to Use Military Force are confirmed in section 1021 (d), thus the President can continue to hold the Guantanamo detainees.

    No other US laws are affected by these provisions- this guarantee against any expansion of the governments’ authority to detain people is explicitly stated in section 1021(e).

    This is very limited and specific legislation.

  24. Read the law, Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C., sections 1021 d and e are very specific and limit the authorization to detain terrorists to the provisions of the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force, (AUMF).

  25. How did Congress and the President do the wrong thing on this bill?

    We have a huge military budget, we are engaged in the militarization of space, no comments about that.

    We are operating nuclear power generating plants in the Atlantic Range and other ocean depths, no comment about that.

    We continue to build and deploy nuclear weapons whose only purpose is blow up cities and kill civilians, no comment about that.

    On the plus side, we maintain an airlift capibility that has saved countless lives and prevented great suffering at many disaster sites, no comment about that.

    We are about to engage in the biggest renewable fuel production and procurement program ever undertaken to make the Navy and Air Force energy independent, no comment about that.

    Most of all US soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are available around the clock to protect us and preserve our freedom. No comment about that.

    How does this insignificant, unconsequential legislation garner so much attention?

  26. Ridiculous Shiva, I remember the passage of the PATRIOT Act and I was part of town board resolutions to restrict amend it.

    The main reason for the passage of the original PATRIOT provisions was the United We Stand hysteria gripping the country in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

    The Bushies were unable to launch a counter-action against al Qaada for three weeks and compensated for it with draconian domestic measures.

    NDAA assures that we will have the forces to deal with any threat promptly and effectively, obviating the need for another round of assaults on civil liberties.

    That is another example of how military preparedness protects our civil liberties.

  27. There is direct threat to the US constitution in the provision of NDAA under discussion in this article. The detention provisions are legal authorization to maintain custody of the detainees held in Guantanamo and elsewhere, the law printed above explicitly limits these provisions to the Authorization to Use Military Force.

    It is intriguing that no one has raised the question that Ike so astutely raised in his farewell address regarding the effects on democracy of a permanent state of such high military readiness.

  28. There is direct threat to the US constitution in the provision of NDAA under discussion in this article oops this line should read There is NO DIRECT THREAT to the US Constitution….

    Bad proofing sorry for the error.

    RC

  29. Fortunately, the people required to carry out these policies, READ the legislation and the surrounding statutes. You won’t have to worry about going to Sweden over the detention issue.

    Not that aren’t other things to worry about.

  30. The US still has not settled the question of where the bad actors currently held in Guantanamo will be re-housed. Since there are no facilities yet for holding them here, or even in other countries, and none in the offing, it is necessary to re-authorize the Guantanamo situation.

    This is an extremely improper and frustrating situation, but not a general threat to US civil liberties.

  31. I don’t ignore anything I see. So stop with your idiotic assuming of how my mind works and how I arrive at my views and conclusions about issues. I don’t care who says what, be it Moore, Maddow, Olbermann, Obama, or the Queen. I always scrutinize everything I read and hear and since I don’t mindlessly align myself with a candidate because of their party label, I don’t fall victim to blind loyalty for ANYONE.

    I saw that article about a month ago but it does not mean that because the DOJ has been investigating for several years isolated and individual civil rights abuses by thug cops that obama’s admin and his DOJ are in support of the OWS movement and their right to peaceful protest being what their activity is about it is not the same as investigating brutal attacks by police against individuals who don’t represent a threat to the status quo government as OWS does and as obviously the average victim of police brutality who is not part of the OWS movement does not. Just the fact that so many major cities and virtually every city where OWS had encampments, coordinated or allowed brutal, unthinkable assaults that were very much reported in the scope of mainstream media, including FB, and that those brutal acts continued on until presumably all encampments were dismantled via excessive force, says a lot about obama’s duplicitous, phony, arrogant stance on the rights of peaceful protestors as he conveyed about the arab countries protestors rights. When asked about the OWS movement in an interview, unsurprisingly , OBama remained vague and noncommittal to even affirming their basic constitutional rights to protest their government and half assed acknowledged their grievances, as Cenk Ungar noted from OWS. Obama’s usual betrayal to progressive ideologies in favor of his heavily funded Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan campaign simply will not allow him to. Let’s not forget JPMorgan donated that little 4.6 million to NYPD just after the movement began and let’s not forget that we don’t have all the facts about who all was behind supporting the coordination of U.S. mayors to disband OWS.

    That article regarding DOJ activities that’s been going on for several years says absolutely zilch about how obama views unnecessary militant brutality against a movement that us intellectually honest folks know threatens his political corporate status quo and of course his Goldman Sachs admin.

  32. Shiva, yes Susan Landuer was imprisoned for 5 yrs for trying to tell the truth about 911, Patriot pretty handy to shut people up. Non of these clowns worrying about this law said a peep about Patriot act.

  33. Pathetic how YOUR side let Bush take us head on into a war and police state with Patriot act.
    Oh and last I heard from the Cons Bush “got bin laden”
    What private citizen did he assassinate? Put down the fricken crack pipe!
    Take your Fearmongering BS elsewhere, like “the blaze”….!

  34. Yes there are some Americans that believe that. They are conservatives and religious fundamentalists

  35. I don’t trust what he says after he vowed to veto the bill. Why should I trust it won’t apply to American citizens, when there is no mention of differentiation in the law?

  36. I would imagine you recall the case of Jose Padilla, who was arrested based on information extracted under torture, imprisoned by civil authorities, transferred to military custody, and tortured for years until he completely lost his mind — which was the intention behind the sophisticated torture applied.

    Obama has changed no one in this case. He approves of this, and assumes he has the power to do the same.

  37. He had that power when he took the oath of office. You knew that. However he has said in a signed statement he wouldn’t

  38. I’ve always been a religiously stout Democrat and have contributed to your campaign But this NDAA thing is B.S. So is your turning your back on Bradley Manning and Medical Marijuana in California. Don’t hear you bring up Bradley OR Medical marijuana. So sad. I had so many hopes when you were elected. But now since I won’t vote Republican I probably won’t vote at all for the first time in my life and I’m 52.

  39. But Shiva. The US signed the Geneva Convention saying we wouldn’t torture and the language in that was pretty straight forward. Bush rallied support from lawyers and henchmen to find a way to read AROUND the legality of that document. So why in the hell are we settling for anything less than a law being passed that says, not infers, not reverbs, not insinuates but states clearly that US citizens and god for that matter any human will not be subjected to detention without due cause? Why on god’s green earth would the POTUS sign ANYTHING he had reservations about? It stinks. And any ambiguity in the hands of ruthless greed monsters will bite us in the end. I feel like Liberals are hanging their Mission Accomplished banner when all that’s been achieved is placation.

  40. We know Bush broke every Geneva convention rule possible.

    I imagine he signed it to get the military funded. I wish he had sent it back and said get that out of the funding bill, it has nothing to do with it. But even as he signed it he already had any power at his disposal that was in this bill. For real or implied

  41. Good point as congress used a funding bill to run end game around civilian trials and closing gitmo yet again.

    I suppose some people would feel better if Obama had vetoed it even knowing that it would have been political suicide to do so and wouldn’t have mattered anyway given the veto proof majority. But then he would have been weakened on this issue and then who would bother to even slap these clowns back? I suppose you saw the votes. Not a lot of help there.

  42. Certainly it would have been suicide. And that’s embarrassing. The Dems voting in a block on this means to me everyone of them needs to go.

  43. “PRESIDENTIAL SIGNING STATEMENTS HAVE NO LEGAL EFFECT”
    THEY ARE JUST WORDS TO TRICK YOU, DO NOT BE FOOLED!!!
    THEY DO NOT MEAN A THING! THEY HAVE NO LEGAL EFFECT, SAYS THE LAW!!!
    WHO CARES WHAT OBAMA SAYS IN HIS PRESIDENTIAL PROPAGANDA, HE DOES ANY UNCONSTITUTIONAL THING HE WANTS… THAT IS THE AGENDA!

    OBAMA SAID HE HAS “SERIOUS RESERVATIONS” ABOUT DETENTION… VETO WOULD BE THE PLAY… HE IS ACTUALLY REQUIRED NOT TO SIGN A LAW THAT COULD BE UNCONSTITUTIONAL, SINCE HE SWORE AN OATH… CONGRESS AND OPBAMA DO NOT GIVE A S__T ABOUT THEIR OATH… WHY IS THE AUTHOR SELLING BS PROPAGANDA?!

    TELL THE TRUTH, PRESIDENTIAL SIGNING STATEMENT HAVE NO LEGAL EFFECT!!!!!

    ‘New Year 2012: Obama Starts off Fresh! (And his signing statement is bullshit!)”
    Obama signed NDAA 2012, Presidential Signing-Statements HAVE NO LEGAL EFFECT.
    http://saynotocorporateamerica.blogspot.com/2012/01/new-year-2012-obama-starts-off-fresh.html

  44. Excuse me while I cut into your rant, but signing statements are defined as ways Presidents can object to parts of a law they find unconstitutional, which is exactly what he did here. They are not law, they are signifiers of his interpretation of this law and how his admin will implement it. Signing statements like this can also be used in a court of law when this law is challenged in court.

    Thanks for playing, please turn off your all caps, this is not a tin foil nursery. I like your user name.

  45. That’s a great point re the impact on democracy. My main issue with this version of NDAA was the push toward those Bushian type policies and what that meant – the end run around POTUS civilian trial push, etc. It seems to me as if people are missing the real problem.

  46. But part of that problem seems to be that none of elected officials wants any detainees brought to THEIR areas. It appears to be a political problem in this regard and I don’t see any resolution to it in the near future as we are always coming up on an election.

  47. You can’t say that the provisions included in the NDAA are not a direct threat to the constitution. They definitely are, and only time will tell us how this legislation is followed and implemented. How many examples do you need of Government (and authorities in general) abusing their power?

    To the author of this article (and I guess anyone else interested): Until Obama addressed this, sections 1021 and 1022 DID initially mention “…including U.S. Citizens” when referring to indefinite detention. And remember, an amendment to exclude American citizens from this legislation was rejected. It is still essentially, legalized martial law, and like Obama basically said, this “indefinite detention of American citizens” is open for interpretation. Do I trust Obama to interpret lawfully? Likely not. It’s already illegal. Under International law, you can’t just go capture (or murder) unarmed people, in non-combat context; far from the battlefield; based on suspicions of suspected ties to terrorists lol. Here’s the problem I have with that. According to new provisions from the Justice Department, if you have more than 7 days worth of food in your house, you’re a potential terrorist. If you have missing fingers, you’re a potential terrorist. If you own a gun (I think 80 million Americans do) then you could be a terrorist.

    Obama is even more dangerous than Bush. Bush started the wars, yes. But Obama has expanded them (when his whole campaign was about peace), and at the same time, he’s neutralized the anti-war left. Bombing Libya, Pakistan, Egypt, building a $1 billion fancy Embassy in Baghdad; are all things that the left would have ripped on Bush for. Now Obama has brought the war home with martial law, and if this Internet bill passes the Senate (which it likely will), then Obama will have the authority to shut down parts of, or the entire Internet, during a “National Emergency”…like Obama said “well in the event of a terrorist attacks on multiple cities”…Really? Obama…You’re preaching this “war on terror” crap too? More people die of f*cking bee stings every year, then they do of terrorist attacks.

    Oh and I thought in 08 Obama was hinting towards legalizing medical marijuana; because everyone knows, there is study, after study, after study, of amazing positive effects for sick people. This naturally growing plant, cures more (and is 1000% safer) than most pharmaceutical synthetic drugs. Now Obama says He doesn’t think it’s a good idea. He doesn’t think it’s a good idea to stop suppressing people? To stop locking up adult human beings, who should be able to choose what to put in their body, as long they’re not harming anyone else. There’s absolutely no single points on why marijuana should be criminalized….oh sh!t…except that Obama is lobbying with the pharmaceutical companies! Of course.

    We don’t need to sacrifice our freedoms and liberties to be safe. Do you really want the Internet shut down in a “National Emergency”? I sure as hell don’t.

    Obama is a complete fail. Don’t try to defend this guy who voted for the Patriot Act. This guy doesn’t care about your freedoms, or people abroad. He should return his Nobel Peace Prize, and give it to Ghandi. Total failure of a President. I’m also very disappointed he bailed out his buddies on Wall Street, with the taxpayer’s money, while the taxpayers lost their homes and jobs. Meanwhile, these CEO’s are taking in record high bonuses, and doing the same things that caused the financial bubble in the first place. In a real capitalist society, you let the banks fail, those rich CEO’s lose their jobs, and you liquidate the debt so your country can grow, and attract capital again.

    Anyways..Ron Paul 2012. He’s not perfect. But I’d rather have someone who actually WANTS to stop policing the World and actually come home from the endless wars, and just defend our own country, and only go to war, when there’s an act of war, and you finish the war. I’d rather have somebody who voted against the NDAA and the Patriot Act; or, the destruction of the fourth amendment, whichever you prefer. I’d rather have someone who voted against the war on drugs, and wants to legalize freedom of choice. I’d rather have someone who voted against every single tax increase in his 30 years in the House. That alone, pwns Obama.

    By the way, I’m from Canada. Your politics is much more interesting than ours; and not from the entertainment value exposed by the media. Also I’m interested because, whatever happens in your country, is very influential on us. Please just send us Ron Paul, you guys can keep Obama, Bush, McCain..whatever you wanna call them…they’re all the exact same person with a different face.

  48. We will gladly send you Ron Paul. He is far too dangerous to be here.

    BTW, Obama had the powers of the NDAA the instant he took Office. Bush gave them to him through the patriot act. What Obama signed is not new. But at least Obama said he would not use them.

    Obama didn’t run on peace. He ran on getting troops out of Iraq and into Afghanistan which is exactly what he did.

    “Bombing Libya, Pakistan, Egypt, building a $1 billion fancy Embassy in Baghdad; ”

    Yes we bombed Libya. And we are continuing the Bush bombing in Palistan. Personally I don’t like any of the wars. We did not bomb Eqypt, nor did Obama build the &1 billion Embassy. Bush did several years ago.

    You are very misinformed on many levels. Perhaps you might want to rescind a great deal of your post.

  49. <> Wow. That sounds like an very mendacious defense of this act. The author is saying that Congress pandered, presumably to please a majority of Americans, and thus included this language. Is the claim that most Americans want to abolish the Bill of Rights? The Senate passed it 93-7, after all. Congress were “foolish” to include this. Is that all? That really undercuts the seriousness of this, IMO, and suggests that it’s no big deal that the president didn’t fight this. I understand that passing a law and implementing a law are different things, but what will Obama’s successor do with this if the language is not removed? I see no less fear-mongering among politicians and media than I saw five years ago. To keep the irrational fear going seems like a non-partisan continuity-of-agenda thing to me.

  50. For those of you who insist that this bill does not pertain to US Citizens, either you can not read or are talking out of butts. Yes it states it does not apply, but if you pay attention to the language, note the word “require”. And if you ha e not read the section of the.Bill we are discussing then shut up. It most certainly grants the president the authority to detain…indefinitely any person whom is labled as a terrorist, or any person who causes unrest. Seriously, how can any educated person read that Bill and not understand that. The language in it isn’t that complicated. If you need me to do a word by word analysis of it I will. Wake up people.

  51. That is one less Vote for Democrats which gives Republicans one more. If you vote republican plan on getting your fresh water from a bottle because without EPA the Republicans will let Big Oil destroy our water supplies. Republicans also think it is more important for Drug companies to get new medications on the market before they have been thoroughly tested so the drub companies bottem line is healthy, not the consumers. I hope you get exactly what you deserve for not voting.

  52. No. The part that worries me is that it won’t have any effect on “shall be construed to affect existing law” which covers all the laws Bush set into place that we have yet to over turn. i.e. Patriot Act. This bill will not impose new ways, but it won’t prevent old ways either. I can’t believe how the Liberals are just eating this excuse up. Have we forgotten how vague interpretations by various powers that be can effect us? It seems like everyone is high fiving at half time.

  53. Very disappointed in the smugness of some of the responses here. Liberals are just like conservatives. What a shame. I used to enjoy this site. I will say this in parting. If you receive some egotistic joy in your self righteous political views, you are no better than your perceived enemy and you message will always get lost to those who seek clarification. It is difficult enough to muddle through the chaos of life without trying to sort out the Truth from the egos.

  54. if you were talking to me, I’m a far left progressive and I’m anti Obama BECAUSE I AM a true leftist progressive and because obama is a right wing republican server to his 1% corporatist backers aka goldman sachs and the rest of wall street.

    Amazing you’re so intellectually deficient you couldn’t construe from all I said about Obama’s non defense of OWS, brutality against them and obama betraying progressive ideologies and my obvious disgust with his conservative fiscal policies and beliefs, that I’m anything BUT a conservative.
    If you need help comprehending or interpreting what I just said, let me know. I’ll try to explain it on a grade school level.

  55. Seriously, this goes far beyond political views. This was done by democrats and republicans alike. They are all the same. Bottom line is this year will be like none we have ever seen in our life time. The constitution is null and void. The time to “fix” the problem has long passed, and now they are making moves to deal with what is coming. Please Americans don’t take my word for it. Do the research yourselves. But use the brain God gave you. Verify everything. Is it a coincidence that this bill was signed in to law, the TSA found a soldier with explosives, and an veteran reportedly killed a park ranger? Is that not odd that all of those things happened on the same weekend? I guess we should give more of a leash to the TSA, and be suspect of all war vets? It is my opinion that these are not coincidence, they are chess pieces moving on the board. Prepare your family. A man who does not stay prepared to protect his family and God will see no favor in His eyes. I am a police officer and can tell you that your liberties are short lived. Enjoy them while they last.

  56. Vince – I would be very much interested in a word by word analysis. With all the critical issues before us and limited time, it is hard to filter thru all the articles, bills,opinions, etc while working 6o hour weeks.

  57. “Those who believe that Obama should have vetoed the NDAA don’t seem to realize that what they are asking for is that the military go unfunded”

    This is incorrect. The NDAA doesn’t fund the military at all. You’re thinking of the Department of Defense appropriations bill, which is different legislation entirely.

    There are obvious differences in what the NDAA does and doesn’t mean, and they stem from the interoperability of different provisions of law, both within and outside of the four corners of this bill. The impact this bill has, as is the case with most legislation, will depend not as much on what’s in the text as on the interplay of the text with existing law. There’s a whole body of law out there, an understanding of which is critical to being able to have some grounds for predicting what the NDAA will and won’t do, not to mention an unfortunate body of extralegal claims that government actors are sometimes tempted to make, and courts sometimes afraid to settle.

    That’s why it’s so important to be precise in language when discussing gray areas. And even more important to be precise about what’s cut and dried, like the fact that this bill does not fund the military.

    I’d stick to the argument about the bill’s provisions, rather than try to bully or frighten anyone into believing that the military would go unfunded if an authorization bill were delayed or even never passed at all. Only appropriations bills have that effect, and pretending otherwise — especially as a tactic in the debate over the substance of the NDAA — is wrong.

  58. Except many that did, most of the severest critics of the President here, Glenn Greenwald, were also on the case with Bush and the Patriot Act, which did already start the process that the NDAA finishes. Greenwald is clear on this.

    Furthermore, we know that signing statements have no binding legal affect, and if they are used like a line item veto are unconstitutional in practice, so that move is a deceptive one.

  59. Regarding the NDAA, Obama admitted the law allows the President to order with impunity the indefinite imprisonment without trial of U.S. Citizens. He offered soothing claims in his signing statement that he would not enforce that part of the law, but nowhere did he deny it’s there.

    For reference to the fact that the law allows the President those powers, see this Forbes article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2012/01/02/president-obama-signed-the-national-defense-authorization-act-now-what/

    More importantly, Obama’s signing statement means nothing whatsoever legally. His word is not law, just opinion, and cannot be enforced if at some point he changes his mind. He knows that. In my estimation, he hopes, even plans that the law will ensure his reelection. After all he’s an ‘honorable Democrat’ who would ‘never’ use the law he signed against the American people. But the Republicans ‘abusers’ WILL! So, fear for your own safety and don’t allow him to lose the next election. Typical Bush/Cheney-style double bind.

    Feel free to deny and rationalize the dwindling state of freedom you are permitted by law to enjoy as it not so slowly melts in front of your unseeing eyes into the globally warming seas. Obama is not the solution to the very problems he passive aggressively creates. Forget him in the next election and forego voting all together or if that scares you too much, work to elect Democratic majorities in the House and Senate and let Mitt flail his way into history’s dustbin along with our current dear leader. After all, President Romney will be powerless, like poor Obama, to enact anything the Democrats in Congress won’t allow. But remember, a majority of Democrats in our current Congress voted to approve the NDAA.

  60. Figured I’d post this link. Yes, the YouTube video on Carl Levin’s accusations was edited. It was also probably posted by spammers. No, the edited video does not alter the meaning of the CSPAN-2 feed it was taken from. it was taken from. This here a direct link to Senate Session 4951 on CSPAN’s website. I cut the video since I didn’t think you would want to watch all ten hours of it, but if you would like to simply fast-forward to 06:59:51 and listen to Carl Levin himself. I urge you to investigate this. Don’t believe everything the media tells you.

    Here’s the link: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/SenateSession4951/start/25164/stop/25258

    I’ve given you all the tools to do your research. In fact, I urge you to read the full text of Sec. 1022 AND Sec. 1021 of H.R. 1540, the bill our President signed. Don’t believe every random blogger. Go straight to the source.

  61. Subtitle D–Detainee Matters

    SEC. 1031. AFFIRMATION OF AUTHORITY OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES TO DETAIN COVERED PERSONS PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE.

    (a) In General- Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection (b)) pending disposition under the law of war.

    (b) Covered Persons- A covered person under this section is any person as follows:

    (1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks.

    (2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, 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 such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.

    (c) Disposition Under Law of War- The disposition of a person under the law of war as described in subsection (a) may include the following:

    (1) Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

    (2) Trial under chapter 47A of title 10, United States Code (as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2009 (title XVIII of Public Law 111-84)).

    (3) Transfer for trial by an alternative court or competent tribunal having lawful jurisdiction.

    (4) Transfer to the custody or control of the person’s country of origin, any other foreign country, or any other foreign entity.

    (d) Construction- Nothing in this section is intended to limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

    (e) Authorities- Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities, relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.

    (f) Requirement for Briefings of Congress- The Secretary of Defense shall regularly brief Congress regarding the application of the authority described in this section, including the organizations, entities, and individuals considered to be `covered persons’ for purposes of subsection (b)(2).

    SEC. 1032. REQUIREMENT FOR MILITARY CUSTODY.

    (a) Custody Pending Disposition Under Law of War-

    (1) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in paragraph (4), the Armed Forces of the United States shall hold a person described in paragraph (2) who is captured in the course of hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) in military custody pending disposition under the law of war.

    (2) COVERED PERSONS- The requirement in paragraph (1) shall apply to any person whose detention is authorized under section 1031 who is determined–

    (A) to be a member of, or part of, al-Qaeda or an associated force that acts in coordination with or pursuant to the direction of al-Qaeda; and

    (B) to have participated in the course of planning or carrying out an attack or attempted attack against the United States or its coalition partners.

    (3) DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR- For purposes of this subsection, the disposition of a person under the law of war has the meaning given in section 1031(c), except that no transfer otherwise described in paragraph (4) of that section shall be made unless consistent with the requirements of section 1033.

    (4) WAIVER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY- The Secretary of Defense may, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, waive the requirement of paragraph (1) if the Secretary submits to Congress a certification in writing that such a waiver is in the national security interests of the United States.

    (b) Applicability to United States Citizens and Lawful Resident Aliens-

    (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.

    (2) LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.

    (c) Implementation Procedures-

    (1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall issue, and submit to Congress, procedures for implementing this section.

    (2) ELEMENTS- The procedures for implementing this section shall include, but not be limited to, procedures as follows:

    (A) Procedures designating the persons authorized to make determinations under subsection (a)(2) and the process by which such determinations are to be made.

    (B) Procedures providing that the requirement for military custody under subsection (a)(1) does not require the interruption of ongoing surveillance or intelligence gathering with regard to persons not already in the custody or control of the United States.

    (C) Procedures providing that a determination under subsection (a)(2) is not required to be implemented until after the conclusion of an interrogation session which is ongoing at the time the determination is made and does not require the interruption of any such ongoing session.

    (D) Procedures providing that the requirement for military custody under subsection (a)(1) does not apply when intelligence, law enforcement, or other government officials of the United States are granted access to an individual who remains in the custody of a third country.

    (E) Procedures providing that a certification of national security interests under subsection (a)(4) may be granted for the purpose of transferring a covered person from a third country if such a transfer is in the interest of the United States and could not otherwise be accomplished.

    (d) Effective Date- This section shall take effect on the date that is 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall apply with respect to persons described in subsection (a)(2) who are taken into the custody or brought under the control of the United States on or after that effective date.

  62. (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.

    Note that it states the “requirement”. Which means that they dont have to…doesnt mean they cant.

    2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, 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 such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.

    Note the language “any person who has committed a belligerent act” pretty vague.

    These are the two main points of contention. If you read it carefully what it is saying is the president or the secretary of defense has the authority to detain, indefinately, any person that the deem as a threat to national security. So if you protest you could be deemed as belligerent. I mean anything you do could be deemed as belligerent. Then you have no right to a trial by jury. No lawyer. Nothing. Doesnt apply to U.S. citizens? Come on.

  63. The Act itself and Section 1032 most certain CAN apply to American citizens. Don’t fooled by Obama’s words and his signing statement which carries absolutely NO weight of law. Please read section 1032 carefully and you will find an exception which gives authority to the Sec of State, Sec of Defense and Director of National Intelligence. It is this (Para 4) which allows these three to IGNORE the “it doesn’t apply to American citizens” language so carefully thrown into the bill in order to con the American public. In the interest of National Security, as stated in Para 4, these 3 can indeed apply the law to American citizens and on American soil.

  64. The patriot act gave any president the right to do what is in this bill. Obama neither changed it or did anything new here except to say his administration would not use it. Thats common knowledge. If he had veto’d it the congress would have over ridden his veto and passed this

  65. And certainly we can take Obama at his word! He would never, ever CONSIDER abusing the power of his office, trampling the rights of the American people or taking advantage of those who stand up to his thuggish ways.

    The point is, congress has put extraordinary power in the hands of the most corrupt, America hating president in US history. And those who suggest the “Americans are exempt” language in this law is anything but meaningless should understand just how wrong they are.

  66. LOL, read my posts. Limited…I think not. If it is as you states then there was no need for the bill in the first place. This is out right tyranny.

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