Sunday, January 1, 2012

US President Barack Obama signs controversial NDAA into law

Notice that Obama is using a "signing" statement as a means to reassure the public that no U.S. citizen will be indefinitely detained without a trial.  Signing statements have no constitutional basis and have no basis in U.S. law.   A successful legal challenge to signing statements is a possibility and it would strip the "safeguard" protecting U.S. citizens.

Digital Journal

President Barack Obama signed the controversial National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law earlier today in Hawaii. 
CNN reports Barack Obama "reluctantly signed a defense authorization bill, saying he was concerned about some in Congress who want to restrict options used by counterterrorism officials." Even before the bill was signed by Obama, there were mixed feelings on NDAA. The bill only has a 2 percent approval rating on a poll conducted by Only 8 people support the bill out of 395 voters. Another poll, of 397 people, conducted by PopVox gives the bill a 9 percent approval rating and a 91 percent disapproval rating. One of the more controversial aspects of the bill involves the ability for the president to detain United States' citizens. According to The International Business Times, "The bill affirms and codifies the U.S. President's authority to indefinitely detain in military custody anyone, including U.S. citizens, suspected of terrorism or supporting terrorists." In a statement released after the signing of the bill, Obama says, "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." Even though Obama signed the bill he does not agree with everything that's included in the bill. "I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists," Obama said. CBS news reports, "If Mr. Obama violates any of the provisions in the bill, Congress could challenge the White House in court, which would have the final say in any dispute." The $662 billion bill also includes tough sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. Sponsored by Republican Representative from California, Howard McKeon, the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act on November 30th, House on December May 26th. Changes were made to the original House bill in the Senate. The House passed the changes on December 14th. The Senate approved their changes on December 15th. The bill was introduced on April 13th.

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