So I just got this in the mailbox
The new year has just begun and we've already got our first big challenge. On New Year's Eve, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law. It contains a sweeping worldwide indefinite detention provision. And it has no time or geographic limits. It can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield.
Despite initial assurances that he would veto this outrageous bill, President Obama will now be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law.
Oh, there's more?
On December 31, 2011, President Obama signed a law known as the National Defense Authorization Act for the 2012 fiscal year, or the H.R. 1540. Congress passes this act every year to monitor the budget for the Department of Defense. However, this year the NDAA bill has passed with new provisions that should have the entire country up with pitchforks.
Normally, this is just an act which details the monetary calls of the Department of Defense which is passed every year. However, the act passed for the 2012 fiscal year changes the bill and can be seen as an extension of the Patriot Act. Now, the indefinite detention has been extended to U.S. citizens as well. If people are spied on and suspected of being terrorists, they may be detained indefinitely without trial.
Supporter of the NDAA, Representative Tim Griffin stated in the Daily Caller:
Section 1022's use of the word 'requirement' also has been misinterpreted as allowing U.S. citizens to be detained, but this provision does not in any way create this authority. This provision must be read in the context of Section 1022's purpose, which is reflected in its title and relates solely to 'military custody of foreign al Qaida terrorists.' The term "requirement" does not mean that detention of U.S. citizens is optional under this provision.
Wait that doesn't... even make any sense.
What does Obama have to say about it?
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.
Hmm this sounds familiar....
Interesting, isn't it, that both the executive and legislative branches felt compelled here to explicitly reassure Americans that they cannot be given indefinite military detention if they become terror suspects? This has everything to do with the language of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's 5-4 majority opinion in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, the 2004 Supreme Court decision which held that the due process clause of the Constitution prohibited the government from indefinitely detaining a U.S. citizen under military custody. The signing statement, like the language of Section 1021 itself, are designed to help shape the legacy of Hamdi the next time the matter comes before the justices. And there will be a next time.
Why are you signing this Obama, even though you don't agree with the first part... okay what about the other part? Do you agree with that?
I reject any approach that would mandate military custody where law enforcement provides the best method of incapacitating a terrorist threat. While Section 1022 is unnecessary and has the potential to create uncertainty, I have signed the bill because I believe that this section can be interpreted and applied in a manner that avoids undue harm to our current operation...
... As my Administration has made clear, the only responsible way to combat the threat of al-Qa-ida poses is to remain relentlessly practical, guided by the factual and legal complexities of each case and the relative strengths and weaknesses of each system. Otherwise, investigations could be jeopardized, our authorities (sic?) to hold dangerous individuals could be jeopardized, and intelligence could be lost.
Okay, why are you signing this then? What's in this section.
Section 1027 is the provision through which Congress has reminded the White House that it will not tolerate the transfer to the United States of any of the detainees currently held at the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Wait a minute. Don't you disagree wit that, Obama?
Then why the fuck did you sign it then, Obama!?!?!
I continue to oppose this provision, which intrudes upon critical executive branch authority to determine when and where to prosecute Guantanamo detainees, based on the facts and the circumstances of each case and our national security interests... Moreover, this intrusion would, under certain circumstances, violate constitutional separation of powers principles
Even worse, there's a new section to it. Section 1029. Oh, what's that?
But the White House evidently is willing to pick such a fight with Congress over Section 1029 of the new law, which seeks to require the Attorney General to consult with the Pentagon before filing criminal charges against a terror suspect. No dice, says the President:
Wait a minute, you're actually against this?
What the hell is wrong with Obama? It's pretty clear that he's really not a good president. But hey, in the positive sense I'm sure this has finally got a lot of his liberal followers to admit that Obama has done a lot of bad things.Section 1029 could impede flexibility and hinder exigent operational judgments in a manner that damages our security. My Administration will interpret and implement Section 1029 in a manner that preserves the operational flexibility of our counter-terrorism and law enforcement professionals, limits delays in the investigative process, ensures that critical executive branch functions are not inhibited, and preserves the integrity and independence of the Department of Justice.
At this point it's as if Reagan is walking among us again. Though Reagan was probably more liberal than Obama at this point. You know, what with Reagan actually raising taxes at one point. Reagan raise FICA taxes to shore up social security and medicare; Obama keeps cutting FICA taxes and proposing stuff like pushing back medicare eligibility by two years.
But hey, Obama will likely be way more worse than Reagan considering he has a good 5 more years to fuck things up even worse. It just leaves the question of why?
I have to believe that the reason why Obama has so gleefully followed in the footsteps of his predecessors was because he was confronted with the reality of the office that he took and gained a greater understanding of the way the world works.
It's really difficult to particularly be vigilant in protecting American civil liberties if you're constantly having to address the threats that the goa'uld pose to the whole world. But hey, it's not like we shouldn't have seen this coming. Not with the whole promise of HOPE and CHANGE...
For those who aren't nerds, that is Tzeentch. He is the Choas God of Hope, the vitality and volatility of CHANGE, He is the Great Mutator, the Changer of Ways, the Great Sorcerer...
Not saying Obama is the antichrist... Because as an atheist I don't believe in such silliness. But perhaps we should use this as a cautionary tale - Sometimes when we're hoping for change, we don't know exactly what we're going to be getting in the new try..