Obama to sign “Indefinite Detention by the Military” bill into law

Short and incredibly depressing. The “indefinite detention” bill is actually the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Even though the NDAA passed the Senate, Obama has been saying (i.e., using words to assert an actual intention) that he would veto this violation of the Bill of Rights.

Wrong. Is it Cave Week again? Looks like words aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

Glenn Greenwald (emphasis in original; my paragraphing):

In one of the least surprising developments imaginable, President Obama – after spending months threatening to veto the Levin/McCain detention bill – yesterday announced that he would instead sign it into law (this is the same individual, of course, who unequivocally vowed when seeking the Democratic nomination to support a filibuster of “any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecom[s],” only to turn around – once he had the nomination secure — and not only vote against such a filibuster, but to vote in favor of the underlying bill itself, so this is perfectly consistent with his past conduct).

As a result, the final version [pdf] of the Levin/McCain bill will be enshrined as law this week as part of the the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

I wrote about the primary provisions and implications of this bill last week, and won’t repeat those points here.

The ACLU said last night that the bill contains “harmful provisions that some legislators have said could authorize the U.S. military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians, including American citizens, anywhere in the world” and added: “if President Obama signs this bill, it will damage his legacy.”

Human Rights Watch said that Obama’s decision “does enormous damage to the rule of law both in the US and abroad” and that “President Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law.”

Glenn has more. The underlying Guardian news story is here.

Tell me again why I should support the Democratic party — I forget.

I will say, on a more general note, that regardless of how any individual feels, Obama is systematically crossing Dem lines of conscience, Dem after Dem after Dem.

At some point, there simply won’t be enough Dems who can, in conscience, vote for him, no matter what drek the other side spits up. A huge opportunity to cement party gains, thoroughly wasted.


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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