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Stop the Hysteria Over the NDAA. Fact vs Fiction


By Suzi LeVeaux - Posted on 17 December 2011

There is a lot of hysteria coming from the far left ( I call them the "professional left" ) and libertarians over the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  Led by the ACLU, they are calling it the “Indefinite Detention Bill.”.  The amendment about "indefinite detention" is only a small part of the Defense Dept budget bill.  And, those who are fear mongering about it are leaving out something very important.  The amendment clearly states:

'AUTHORITIES.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States

And.....

APPLICABILITY TO UNITED STATES CITIZENS AND LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS.—

    (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS.—The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.

    (2) LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS.—The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.


The detainee provisions in the bill do not include new authority for the permanent detention of suspected terrorists. The "existing law" is contained within the Patriot Act.  

Also, remember that President Obama cannot veto this "provision" without vetoing the whole bill, which would be disasterous.  He fought hard to have the language clarified to protect US citizens.

Please!  Stop the hysteria over the NDAA bill, and fight fiction with facts.  Stop blaming Obama for everything imagined by both the far left and far right.   Let's give him four more years, and a Congress willing to work WITH him, so he doesn't have to fight so hard for fairness and justice.

Excellent!  Allow me to add the following political dimension I've been trying to uncover, best said by [Sally Ninety-Nine Percent Hampton:] 

The President was saddled with a lose-lose situation where he either seriously harmed American defense policy (political suicide), or passed offensive legislation knowing that it would cost him political capital. To all of you here lamenting that you ever voted for this 'corporate shill', congratulations: you are the result the Republicans were hoping for. They get the law they want, they get the weakened Presidential candidate they want. And many of you just don't seem to see that. You don't have to like your country's two-party system, but it pays to be able to understand it so that you can recognize when it's being used like this. 

And I just watched a pundit who was left unchallenged, claim that Obama should have vetoed just that section of the bill he didn't agree with. He can't!!! First the bill passed with a 2/3 majority and line item vetoes were ruled unconstitutional! Obama's hands were tied by the Republicans who are the ones responsible for the language that everyone hates!

[Me:] There are some who say he ought to have 'stood up for what's right' and address the nation in a challenge.  I wish to remind you that Progressives are 13%-15% of the electorate, while Fox News' zealot audience is quite a bit greater. So, what's 'standing up' going to do?  In the end, the Republicans get what they want.

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