While you were out partying on New Year’s Eve, President Obama signed away your civil liberties. Via the Washington Post:
HONOLULU — President Obama expressed misgivings about several provisions of a sweeping defense bill he signed into law on Saturday, pledging that his administration will use broad discretion in interpreting the measure’s legal requirements to ensure that U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism are not detained indefinitely by the military.
The $662 billion National Defense Authorization Act provides funding for 2012 at $27 billion less than Obama’s request and $43 billion less than Congress authorized in 2011.
The bill also contains several detainee provisions that civil liberties groups and human rights advocates have strongly opposed, arguing that they would allow the military greater authority to detain and interrogate U.S. citizens and non-citizens and deny them legal rights protected by the Constitution.
Obama initially had threatened to veto the legislation. In a signing statement released by the White House on Saturday, Obama said he still does not agree with everything contained in the legislation. But with military funding due to expire Monday, Obama said he signed the bill after Congress made last-minute revisions at the request of the White House before approving it two weeks ago.
In several cases, the president called those changes “minimally acceptable” and vowed to use discretion when applying the provisions.
“I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists,” Obama said. “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.”
The president said his administration would seek to repeal any provisions that are inconsistent with his values and added that he would “reject any approach that would mandate military custody where law enforcement provides the best method of incapacitating a terrorist threat.”…
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