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December 24, 2013
18:31 // 8 months ago
February 28, 2012

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.

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21:59 // 2 years ago
January 1, 2012
19:33 // 2 years ago
December 31, 2011
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.
Barack Obama • Speaking specifically about the indefinite detention rules in the National Defense Authorization Act, which were changed specifically to prevent the indefinite detainment of U.S. citizens or legal U.S. residents suspected of terrorism, before the law was passed by Congress. “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,” he also noted. The president is fighting two schools of thought on the matter — a number of human rights activists are worried about the ramifications of what they see as unconstitutional, while law enforcement and intelligence officials say the changes will greatly complicate their job. Obama goes far enough as to call the passage where the controversial language is included “unnecessary.”
16:25 // 2 years ago
15:43 // 2 years ago
December 27, 2011
These politicians from both parties betrayed our trust, and violated the oath they took to defend the Constitution. It’s not about the left or right, it’s about our Bill of Rights. Without the Bill of Rights, there is no America. It is the Crown Jewel of our Constitution, and the high-water mark of Western Civilization.
Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes • Discussing his plan to force a recall of elected Montana officials who supported the National Defense Authorization Act, an act which has proven quite controversial among some parts of the population — leading even to extreme interpretations of the law (think “FEMA death camps,” the dumbest internet rumor since the last time the comedian Sinbad “died” at the hands of Wikipedia). Rhodes, who leads the somewhat hard-line libertarian group, is certainly not afraid of the Alex Jones crowd. But that said, this whole thing is certainly worth keeping an eye on: Rhodes plans to use an interpretation of Montana law that allows for recalls “on the grounds of physical or mental lack of fitness, incompetence, violation of oath of office, official misconduct, or conviction of certain felony offenses.” Just nine states allow for that type of recall. (Thanks to Michael Cote for the tip-off on this one)  source (viafollow)
23:14 // 2 years ago
December 14, 2011

More thoughts on the NDAA

thenoobyorker says: My understanding was that they modified it enough to satisfy some of the president’s wants while giving it the authority needed to pass congress. It just seems like a another compromise in order to pass.

» SFB says: That’s what it seems like to us, too. Just enough compromise so that something gets passed, but not enough so that it makes the changes toothless. Will be curious to see some deeper analysis. — Ernie @ SFB

17:09 // 2 years ago
16:56 // 2 years ago
While we remain concerned about the uncertainty that this law will create for our counter-terrorism professionals, the most recent changes give the President additional discretion in determining how the law will be implemented, consistent with our values and the rule of law, which are at the heart of our country’s strength.
White House spokesman Jay Carney • Regarding the White House’s decision not to veto the National Defense Authorization Act, which they changed their tune on after changes that make it so detainees would be allowed to go through civilian court. Carney emphasizes, however, that the broader bill is very important: ”This legislation authorizes critical funding for military personnel overseas,” he says, “and its passage sends an important signal that Congress supports our efforts as we end the war in Iraq and transition to Afghan lead while ensuring that our military can meet the challenges of the 21st century.”
16:24 // 2 years ago

BREAKING: White House will NOT veto National Defense Authorization Act

Disturbing news, as this is the bill which would allow for indefinite detention. More details here. EDIT: Jay Carney’s statement on the changes that allowed the bill to go through. EDIT 2: More details on the bill’s changes.

15:47 // 2 years ago