OBAMA SIGNS DEFENSE BILL

Posted: December 31, 2011 in by John Dilligent
Tags: , ,

December 31, 2011 is a day that will live in infamy within the history of our republic

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“The power of the executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious, and the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.”  — Winston Churchill

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“Is there not some chosen curse, some hidden thunder in the stores of heaven, red with uncommon wrath, to blast the man who owes his greatness to his country’s ruin?”  Joseph Addison

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On Saturday, December 31, 2011, President Barack Obama signed S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, into law, “despite reservations concerning the detention and prosecution of terror suspects”.

The $662 billion defense authorization bill, which funds a wide range of security programs and sets Pentagon policy, calls for the mandatory military detention of al Qaeda terror suspects and requires a waiver to move them to civilian courts.

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“I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists,” Obama said in a signing statement. “Ultimately, I decided to sign this bill not only because of the critically important services it provides for our forces and their families and the national security programs it authorizes, but also because the Congress revised provisions that otherwise would have jeopardized the safety, security, and liberty of the American people.”

The president’s signing statement said the administration will “interpret and implement the provisions… in a manner that best preserves the flexibility on which our safety depends and upholds the values on which this country was founded.”

Various civil liberties groups object to the law because it allows for the arbitrary arrest and indefinite detention of suspects without traditional constitutional protections such as the right to an attorney and the right to a speedy trial by a jury of peers.

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