Obama signs NDAA —despite Gitmo restrictions

US President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 (PDF) into law on Jan. 3. The bill, which authorizes appropriations for military activities for 2013, expressly prohibits using funds to transfer individuals detained at Guantánamo Bay and also prohibits using funds to construct facilities in the US intended to house Guantánamo detainees. Obama signed the NDAA despite earlier indications that he may veto (statement, PDF) the bill, in part because of concerns over the Guantánamo detainee restrictions. Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), has criticized Obama for signing the bill, stating that he has “utterly failed the first test of his second term” by effectively ensuring that indefinite detention will continue and jeopardizing his ability to keep his promise of closing the military prison.

From Jurist, Jan. 3. used with permission.

  1. NDAA sans Feinstein amendment —worse or better?
    In December, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), introduced an amendment to prevent the government from using the military to detain citizens indefinitely without trial. The Senate passed the “Feinstein Amendment” unanimously. However, a panel led by the senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI), removed the amendment from NDAA bill. In its place, Congress included a provision, Sec. 1029, that states that “any person inside the United States” is guaranteed the right of habeas corpus and other constitutional rights. (Digital Journal, Jan. 3)

  2. Living in a Society of Fear
    The NDAA only goes to further stifle our Constitutional Rights without the approval of the Americans, just as the Patriot Act was adopted WITHOUT public approval or vote just weeks after the events of 9/11. A mere 3 criminal charges of terrorism a year are attributed to this act, which is mainly used for no-knock raids leading to drug-related arrests without proper cause for search and seizure. The laws are simply a means to spy on our own citizens and to detain and torture dissidents without trial or a right to council. You can read much more about living in this Orwellian society of fear and see my visual response to these measures on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/09/living-in-society-of-fear-ten-years.html