Using his threat of vetoing the controversial National Defense Authorization Act, known as the NDAA, President Obama demanded that indefinite detainment include American citizens, sources say.
This information is in stark contrast to a press release issued after Obama signed the bill. This press release read, in part:
The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it. In particular, I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists.
Later in the press release, Obama states that he has no intention of indefinitely detaining American citizens.
There’s only one problem with Obama’s press release—according to major sources, Obama himself allegedly demanded that indefinite detention of American citizens be added to this bill In fact,Chairman of the Armed Services Committee and co-sponsor of the NDAA, Carl Levin, stood on the floor of the Senate and made that very claim. (See attached video).
However, according to ABC News:
Senior administration officials, who asked not to be named, told ABC News, ‘The president strongly believes that to detain American citizens in military custody infinitely without trial, would be a break with our traditions and values as a nation, and wants to make sure that any type of authorization coming from congress, complies with our Constitution, our rules of war and any applicable laws.
But there is even a bit of hedging on this statement by one of these unidentified White House sources:
One official explained that President Obama does believe, however, that American citizens can be temporarily detained, and that the military has the right to capture and hold any citizen who is engaged in conflict against the United States. If various provisions in the law prove unworkable, the president could go back to Congress to ask for changes.
For the American citizens, this may (or may not) be comforting.
Obama signed the NDAA into law on New Years’ Eve, 2011. In his press release, he said even though he has strong reservations of some of its elements—such as indefinite detention of American citizens without due process of law--he signed it because he needed the funding for the military.
What he didn't say is that he also signed a law that,depending upon which poll you read, has only between a 2 and a 9 percent approval rating with Americans.