Obama to sign indefinite detention bill into law by Glenn Greenwald

In one of the least surprising developments imaginable, President Obama – after spending months threatening to veto the Levin/McCain detention bill – yesterday announced that he would instead sign it into law (this is the same individual, of course, who unequivocally vowed when seeking the Democratic nomination to support a filibuster of “any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecom[s],” only to turn around – once he had the nomination secure — and not only vote against such a filibuster, but to vote in favor of the underlying bill itself, so this is perfectly consistent with his past conduct). As a result, the final version of the Levin/McCain bill will be enshrined as law this week as part of the the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). I wrote about the primary provisions and implications of this bill last week, and won’t repeat those points here.

The ACLU said last night that the bill contains “harmful provisions that some legislators have said could authorize the U.S. military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians, including American citizens, anywhere in the world” and added: “if President Obama signs this bill, it will damage his legacy.” Human Rights Watch said that Obama’s decision “does enormous damage to the rule of law both in the US and abroad” and that “President Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law.”

Both groups pointed out that this is the first time indefinite detention has been enshrined in law since the McCarthy era of the 1950s, when — as the ACLU put it — “President Truman had the courage to veto” the Internal Security Act of 1950 on the ground that it “would make a mockery of our Bill of Rights” and then watched Congress override the veto. That Act authorized the imprisonment of Communists and other “subversives” without the necessity of full trials or due process (many of the most egregious provisions of that bill were repealed by the 1971 Non-Detention Act, and are now being rejuvenated by these War on Terror policies of indefinite detention). President Obama, needless to say, is not Harry Truman. He’s not even the Candidate Obama of 2008 who repeatedly insisted that due process and security were not mutually exclusive and who condemned indefinite detention as ”black hole” injustice.

Read more: http://www.salon.com/2011/12/15/obama_to_sign_indefinite_detention_bill_into_law/singleton/

Action Opportunity...

Tell President Obama to veto the Defense Authorization bill that allows the government to jail Americans indefinitely.

Sign here: http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5105

Freedom Shrine

Do you remember having a Freedom Shrine in your high school? Freedom Shrines are a collection of fundamental U.S. Government documents outlining the hard won freedoms that these documents showcase. Among the documents in the Freedom Shrine are: The Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights, The Constitution, etc. A full collection costs around $5,000 (five thousand dollars) and contains 32 documents. They are distrubuted through The Exchange Club; I just wonder if these people do a follow-up program with white out, or something. I wrote them about this just a moment ago and wonder what kind of response I will get.
This legislation hearkens back to the "Intolerable Acts" which England foisted on the United States. (One bright light I found in reviewing these acts is that New York, in regards to The Quartering Act which this bill resembles, just chumped the Brits off.) One concern I did have was that the ACLU said that Obama risked "tarnishing his legacy." I am no longer certain that there is enough decency in the government to warrant any praise whatsoever.


This on the 220th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights.

Agree about the ACLU comment. What, do they think Obama and Holder have had a shimmering record on civil liberties and due process prior to this? More comments like that and I may have to reassess the ACLU's legacy.