President Obama exempts US citizens from indefinite detainment
- then On the last day of 2011, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act which, amongst other things, allowed for the indefinite detention of US citizens suspected of terrorism.
- now Obama signed a policy directive today that exempts US citizens from that provision in the bill (Section 1022, if you’re keeping track). Here’s the fact sheet released by the White House. source
» Some nuance: Although the language in the bill as signed did permit for US citizens to be indefinitely detained, it did not mandate this. Obama actually said at the time that he wouldn’t implement the law such that US citizens would face this possibility, so his signing today of this directive is in line with what he’d pledged. Our take: While this development will surely please Obama’s base, we’re scratching our heads as to why the White House announced it on the day of what’s become the most important primary in the Republican nominating contest so far (Michigan). It’ll likely get completely lost in the news cycle amidst all the primary coverage, which would seem to blunt its political utility. Color us baffled.