House Passes NDAA & White House Won't Veto Indefinite Detention

Update 12/31: President Obama signs the NDAA into law.

© Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

The House passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) yesterday 283 -136. The bill will make President Obama the first President since the red scare in the McCarthy era to sign a law to introduce indefinite detention in the US. It will keep the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, open potentially forever.

The Non Detention Act of 1971 was introduced specifically to address the indignities suffered by Japanese Americans interned during WW2 and the NDAA is the first bill to seek to actively turn that page back.

Ten years after the attacks of 9-11 with Osama Bin Laden finally removed from the equation, do we really need more draconian powers to undermine the liberties of US citizens? And why would we place that trust in this government, or blindly hand it to a future administration.

The bill’s supporters say it does not require the military detention of US citizens indefinitely in the US, but it also does nothing to protect their rights internationally. The bill does nothing to protect the country, it makes it more difficult to keep Americans safe at home and abroad. It creates a confusing landscape in which many of our best tools: FBI, law enforcement and courts are going to be less able to do what they do best to deal with terrorism.

The head of the FBI Robert Mueller, testified on Capitol Hill yesterday,

“I still have concerns and uncertainties that are raised by the statute. Given the statute the way it is now, it does not give me a clear path to certainty as to what is going to happen when arrests are made in a particular case. And the facts are gray as they often are at that point.”

The utter confusion in Congress and among lawyers of the effect of this bill, underlines a deeper truth, that it creates confusion exactly where the bills supporters said we need certainty: potential adversaries need to know that domestic and external tools will be relentlessly aimed at them.

The bill muddies the waters, does nothing to protect Americans civil liberties, or national security. The bill does not protect anyone, and creates a double standard between the detention of citizens and non citizens, undermining the fundamental principle of equality before the law.

In the 1950s then Senator Kennedy wrote a book - “Profiles in Courage”, wags said he needed to show less profile and more courage. This administration shows neither profile nor courage. It is a purely political and tactical decision that creates a terrible precedent and undermines a core value.

It could be said that in the circumstances the White House made the best judgement it could when faced with tough political realities in the House and Senate. But when we look back it will be seen as yet another time when those we elected to lead, instead followed. And those we look to defend our values chose to erode them.

Does anyone really believe Ayman Al Zawahiri sleeps any less soundly today than yesterday? It makes not one ounce of difference to the essential struggle. But instead Al Qaeda can claim comfort knowing that we are chasing our tails and eroding our values.

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38 thoughts on “House Passes NDAA & White House Won't Veto Indefinite Detention

  1. This is a biggie in a series of steps systematically taken by the US (and others) 1% and their gvt watchdogs to reduce and eventually eliminate resistance to what they are doing or planning to do. They will not succeed. They underestimate the reaction of the Ms/Mr average: Arab awakening, OWS just two early 21st century movements, the embryonic start of effective protest and change to come. Amnesty don't let that candle burn out ever.

  2. This is a biggie in a series of steps systematically taken by the US (and others) 1% and their gvt watchdogs to reduce and eventually eliminate resistance to what they are doing or planning to do. They will not succeed. They underestimate the reaction of the Ms/Mr average: Arab awakening, OWS just two early 21st century movements, the embryonic start of effective protest and change to come. Amnesty don’t let that candle burn out ever.

  3. Why are you giving a win to Al-qaeda. There is NO stated reason to sign NDAA. Doing so, dismantles our core freedoms for no reason. If there is some credible threat, requiring us to dismantle our basic freedoms, then let the American people know. Otherwise it just looks like your hijacking the country. If you sign The NDAA and SOPA you are killing America. Tell America why this and why now, or history will label you the traitor, you are seeming to be. Do you really want to be known as the next best president to McCarthy. At least, McCarthy had the balls to address the American people and explain the reasoning behind his madness, what' yours. I was a strong Obama supporter, if you sign the NDAA and SOPA, I will begin efforts to bring back George W Bush, for he is apparently more patriotic than you. Don't look for my vote, or anybody I talk to's vote, for this is your decision and your decision alone. Think wisely and reassess your priorities and actions.

  4. Why are you giving a win to Al-qaeda. There is NO stated reason to sign NDAA. Doing so, dismantles our core freedoms for no reason. If there is some credible threat, requiring us to dismantle our basic freedoms, then let the American people know. Otherwise it just looks like your hijacking the country. If you sign The NDAA and SOPA you are killing America. Tell America why this and why now, or history will label you the traitor, you are seeming to be. Do you really want to be known as the next best president to McCarthy. At least, McCarthy had the balls to address the American people and explain the reasoning behind his madness, what’ yours. I was a strong Obama supporter, if you sign the NDAA and SOPA, I will begin efforts to bring back George W Bush, for he is apparently more patriotic than you. Don’t look for my vote, or anybody I talk to’s vote, for this is your decision and your decision alone. Think wisely and reassess your priorities and actions.

  5. A letter I got yesterday from @SenBillNelson re #NDAA :

    (I don't know what to think anymore.)

    Thank you for contacting me about the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. I share your concern about provisions of the bill dealing with detention policy.

    I joined 98 other Senators in passing an amendment to the defense bill reaffirming that the government cannot hold U.S. citizens indefinitely without trial. More specifically, the amendment stated that the bill would not affect existing law relating to the detention of U.S. citizens who are captured or arrested in the United States. In other words, the bill provides no new authority to detain U.S. citizens without trial.

    To resolve any doubts about how the courts will interpret the law when it comes to the detention of U.S. citizens suspected of supporting terrorist activity, I am also a cosponsor of the Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011. That legislation states that a declaration of war or authorization for the use of military force shall not automatically authorize the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens and lawful residents apprehended in the United States.

    Because I believe our national security professionals should decide the best way to detain and prosecute terror suspects, I also opposed provisions of the defense authorization bill that would allow only the military to handle terror suspects captured in the United States. Efforts to change that language were unsuccessful in the Senate. But after negotiations with the House of Representatives, the final legislation preserves the rights of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and allows the President to waive the requirement for military custody when necessary to preserve our national security.

    After those changes were made I voted for final passage of the defense authorization bill, which authorizes many important programs and operations of the Department of Defense, including a pay raise for our troops. The legislation passed the Senate 86-13 and now awaits the President’s signature.

    I will continue to monitor this issue closely in my work on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and I will keep your views in mind.
    Sincerely,
    Bill Nelson

  6. A letter I got yesterday from @SenBillNelson re #NDAA :

    (I don’t know what to think anymore.)

    Thank you for contacting me about the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. I share your concern about provisions of the bill dealing with detention policy.

    I joined 98 other Senators in passing an amendment to the defense bill reaffirming that the government cannot hold U.S. citizens indefinitely without trial. More specifically, the amendment stated that the bill would not affect existing law relating to the detention of U.S. citizens who are captured or arrested in the United States. In other words, the bill provides no new authority to detain U.S. citizens without trial.

    To resolve any doubts about how the courts will interpret the law when it comes to the detention of U.S. citizens suspected of supporting terrorist activity, I am also a cosponsor of the Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011. That legislation states that a declaration of war or authorization for the use of military force shall not automatically authorize the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens and lawful residents apprehended in the United States.

    Because I believe our national security professionals should decide the best way to detain and prosecute terror suspects, I also opposed provisions of the defense authorization bill that would allow only the military to handle terror suspects captured in the United States. Efforts to change that language were unsuccessful in the Senate. But after negotiations with the House of Representatives, the final legislation preserves the rights of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and allows the President to waive the requirement for military custody when necessary to preserve our national security.

    After those changes were made I voted for final passage of the defense authorization bill, which authorizes many important programs and operations of the Department of Defense, including a pay raise for our troops. The legislation passed the Senate 86-13 and now awaits the President’s signature.

    I will continue to monitor this issue closely in my work on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and I will keep your views in mind.
    Sincerely,
    Bill Nelson

  7. This is the primary concern I have with the NDAA –

    NDAA THREATENS THE CONSTITUTION AND YOU

    The biggest problem is here in section 1031 –

    ———————————————————————

    (2) A person who was a part of or substantially
    supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces
    that are engaged in hostilities against the United
    States or its coalition partners, including any person
    who has committed a belligerent act or has directly
    supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy
    forces.

    ———————————————————————

    Now if a citizen is not involved in al-Qaeda but is hostile even in a non-violent fashion and emotionally charged enough to be branded belligerent then they could be detained indefinitely according to this. Also that list of coalition partners contains some 50+ countries so we aren't just talking about anti-American statements. There may even be more ways they can work the works "hostile" and "belligerent" as an excuse to lock you up.

    So how does this go down in the future? Someone of a certain rank is
    sitting on a base and hears Jones was belligerent drunk last night
    and saying hostile things against Spain. So they go pick Jones up
    and detain him for a few years?

    Also check out the list of "coalition partners" mentioned in 1031 http://www.centcom.mil/en/countries/coalition/

  8. This is the primary concern I have with the NDAA –

    NDAA THREATENS THE CONSTITUTION AND YOU

    The biggest problem is here in section 1031 –

    ———————————————————————

    (2) A person who was a part of or substantially
    supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces
    that are engaged in hostilities against the United
    States or its coalition partners, including any person
    who has committed a belligerent act or has directly
    supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy
    forces.

    ———————————————————————

    Now if a citizen is not involved in al-Qaeda but is hostile even in a non-violent fashion and emotionally charged enough to be branded belligerent then they could be detained indefinitely according to this. Also that list of coalition partners contains some 50+ countries so we aren't just talking about anti-American statements. There may even be more ways they can work the works "hostile" and "belligerent" as an excuse to lock you up.

    So how does this go down in the future? Someone of a certain rank is
    sitting on a base and hears Jones was belligerent drunk last night
    and saying hostile things against Spain. So they go pick Jones up
    and detain him for a few years?

    Also check out the list of "coalition partners" mentioned in 1031 http://www.centcom.mil/en/countries/coalition/

  9. This is the primary concern I have with the NDAA –

    NDAA THREATENS THE CONSTITUTION AND YOU

    The biggest problem is here in section 1031 –

    ———————————————————————

    (2) A person who was a part of or substantially
    supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces
    that are engaged in hostilities against the United
    States or its coalition partners, including any person
    who has committed a belligerent act or has directly
    supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy
    forces.

    ———————————————————————

    Now if a citizen is not involved in al-Qaeda but is hostile even in a non-violent fashion and emotionally charged enough to be branded belligerent then they could be detained indefinitely according to this. Also that list of coalition partners contains some 50+ countries so we aren't just talking about anti-American statements. There may even be more ways they can work the works "hostile" and "belligerent" as an excuse to lock you up.

    So how does this go down in the future? Someone of a certain rank is
    sitting on a base and hears Jones was belligerent drunk last night
    and saying hostile things against Spain. So they go pick Jones up
    and detain him for a few years?

    Also check out the list of "coalition partners" mentioned in 1031 http://www.centcom.mil/en/countries/coalition/

  10. Here is the final text from the bill (found here: )

    SEC. 1021. AFFIRMATION OF AUTHORITY OF THE ARMED FORCES OF
    THE UNITED STATES TO DETAIN COVERED PERSONS
    PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY
    FORCE.
    (a) IN GENERAL.—Congress affirms that the authority of the
    President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to
    the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40;
    50 U.S.C. 1541 note) includes the authority for the Armed Forces
    of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection
    (b)) pending disposition under the law of war.
    (b) COVERED PERSONS.—A covered person under this section
    is any person as follows:
    (1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided
    the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001,
    or harbored those responsible for those attacks.
    (2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported
    al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged
    in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners,
    including any person who has committed a belligerent act or
    has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy
    forces.
    (c) DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR.—The disposition of a
    person under the law of war as described in subsection (a) may
    include the following:
    (1) Detention under the law of war without trial until
    the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for
    Use of Military Force.
    (2) Trial under chapter 47A of title 10, United States
    Code (as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2009
    (title XVIII of Public Law 111–84)).
    (3) Transfer for trial by an alternative court or competent
    tribunal having lawful jurisdiction.
    (4) Transfer to the custody or control of the person’s country
    of origin, any other foreign country, or any other foreign entity.
    (d) CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this section is intended to limit
    or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the
    Authorization for Use of Military Force.
    (e) 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.
    (f) REQUIREMENT FOR BRIEFINGS OF CONGRESS.—The Secretary
    of Defense shall regularly brief Congress regarding the application
    of the authority described in this section, including the organizations,
    entities, and individuals considered to be ‘‘covered persons’’
    for purposes of subsection (b)(2).

    Note the section that says "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."

    So they can't indefinitely detain US Citizens, apparently. They did get it amended properly.

  11. This is the primary concern I have with the NDAA -

    NDAA THREATENS THE CONSTITUTION AND YOU

    The biggest problem is here in section 1031 -

    ———————————————————————

    (2) A person who was a part of or substantially
    supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces
    that are engaged in hostilities against the United
    States or its coalition partners, including any person
    who has committed a belligerent act or has directly
    supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy
    forces.

    ———————————————————————

    Now if a citizen is not involved in al-Qaeda but is hostile even in a non-violent fashion and emotionally charged enough to be branded belligerent then they could be detained indefinitely according to this. Also that list of coalition partners contains some 50+ countries so we aren’t just talking about anti-American statements. There may even be more ways they can work the works “hostile” and “belligerent” as an excuse to lock you up.

    So how does this go down in the future? Someone of a certain rank is
    sitting on a base and hears Jones was belligerent drunk last night
    and saying hostile things against Spain. So they go pick Jones up
    and detain him for a few years?

    Also check out the list of “coalition partners” mentioned in 1031
    http://www.centcom.mil/en/countries/coalition/

  12. Here is the final text from the bill (found here: )

    SEC. 1021. AFFIRMATION OF AUTHORITY OF THE ARMED FORCES OF
    THE UNITED STATES TO DETAIN COVERED PERSONS
    PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY
    FORCE.
    (a) IN GENERAL.—Congress affirms that the authority of the
    President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to
    the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40;
    50 U.S.C. 1541 note) includes the authority for the Armed Forces
    of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection
    (b)) pending disposition under the law of war.
    (b) COVERED PERSONS.—A covered person under this section
    is any person as follows:
    (1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided
    the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001,
    or harbored those responsible for those attacks.
    (2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported
    al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged
    in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners,
    including any person who has committed a belligerent act or
    has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy
    forces.
    (c) DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR.—The disposition of a
    person under the law of war as described in subsection (a) may
    include the following:
    (1) Detention under the law of war without trial until
    the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for
    Use of Military Force.
    (2) Trial under chapter 47A of title 10, United States
    Code (as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2009
    (title XVIII of Public Law 111–84)).
    (3) Transfer for trial by an alternative court or competent
    tribunal having lawful jurisdiction.
    (4) Transfer to the custody or control of the person’s country
    of origin, any other foreign country, or any other foreign entity.
    (d) CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this section is intended to limit
    or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the
    Authorization for Use of Military Force.
    (e) 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.
    (f) REQUIREMENT FOR BRIEFINGS OF CONGRESS.—The Secretary
    of Defense shall regularly brief Congress regarding the application
    of the authority described in this section, including the organizations,
    entities, and individuals considered to be ‘‘covered persons’’
    for purposes of subsection (b)(2).

    Note the section that says “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.”

    So they can’t indefinitely detain US Citizens, apparently. They did get it amended properly.

  13. The final version of the amendment is not sufficient. The statement that, "Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law…" is not credible as this legislation does in fact change existing law.

    In addition, if the true intent of this legislation was to broaden the powers of the Military to deal with foreign terrorists then US citizens would be specifically excluded under (b) COVERED PERSONS.

    The purpose of this legislation is to declare the United States as a battlefield and to provide the Executive branch power to combat political dissent.

    The problem with this bill is not it's wording, but the original intent. This is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. I don't care how you try to sell it to me. I'M NOT BUYING IT!

    This legislation starts us towards a path where speaking out against war aligns you with terrorists and allows for your indefinite detention/silence, and is designed to tilt the power scales in the favor of Congress and the Executive branch as they begin to launch war propaganda against Iran.

    Think about it. Through the power of Congress/Executive branch they can go to war with Iran whenever they want and when U.S. Citizens organize to protest what some believe to be unnecessary intervention they will be labeled as terrorist organizations and all of their members can be legally subjected to indefinite detention without due process.

    This absolutely cannot be allowed to happen. If NDAA is signed into law and without massive dissent, I will lament the death of the greatest country on Earth.

    In addition, the media's blackout of coverage on this issue confirms my suspicion that the majority of MSM has been bought and is no longer loyal to the American People.

  14. THANK YOU! This is one of the first posts about this bill that points out how it takes away power from the local authority (police, CIA, FBI), and puts it in the hands of the military. In the United States, we have have the local police for a reason; they are an extension of the Judicial Branch, and enforce the laws. The military is an extension of the Executive Branch, and can operate outside of the law, as is required on the battle field sometimes. But, this law essentially states that the miltary can now operate inside the US as a police force, taking over the real polices' jurisdication. As the quote said, it makes it even more confusing to figure out who has jurisdiction, and apparently this bill would make it where the military's jurisdiction trumps them all. That's scary, b/c military jurisdiction is open-ended; no due process, etc, etc.

    People are going back-n-forth over whether this bill allow detention of citizens, doesn't allow, blah, blah. There are LEGAL PROFESSIONALS that are on both sides of the fence on it. Bottomline, this bill is very ambiguously worded, and if LEGAL PROFESSIONALS are arguing over what it can and cannot do, then it needs to be sent back to draft and clarified. This bill is causing a lot of controversy. Now, it's either justified, and as such, the bill needs to go back, or it's not justified, and the bill needs to go back for clarification. Either way, THE BILL NEEDS TO GO BACK.

  15. The final version of the amendment is not sufficient. The statement that, “Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law…” is not credible as this legislation does in fact change existing law.

    In addition, if the true intent of this legislation was to broaden the powers of the Military to deal with foreign terrorists then US citizens would be specifically excluded under (b) COVERED PERSONS.

    The purpose of this legislation is to declare the United States as a battlefield and to provide the Executive branch power to combat political dissent.

    The problem with this bill is not it’s wording, but the original intent. This is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. I don’t care how you try to sell it to me. I’M NOT BUYING IT!

    This legislation starts us towards a path where speaking out against war aligns you with terrorists and allows for your indefinite detention/silence, and is designed to tilt the power scales in the favor of Congress and the Executive branch as they begin to launch war propaganda against Iran.

    Think about it. Through the power of Congress/Executive branch they can go to war with Iran whenever they want and when U.S. Citizens organize to protest what some believe to be unnecessary intervention they will be labeled as terrorist organizations and all of their members can be legally subjected to indefinite detention without due process.

    This absolutely cannot be allowed to happen. If NDAA is signed into law and without massive dissent, I will lament the death of the greatest country on Earth.

    In addition, the media’s blackout of coverage on this issue confirms my suspicion that the majority of MSM has been bought and is no longer loyal to the American People.

  16. THANK YOU! This is one of the first posts about this bill that points out how it takes away power from the local authority (police, CIA, FBI), and puts it in the hands of the military. In the United States, we have have the local police for a reason; they are an extension of the Judicial Branch, and enforce the laws. The military is an extension of the Executive Branch, and can operate outside of the law, as is required on the battle field sometimes. But, this law essentially states that the miltary can now operate inside the US as a police force, taking over the real polices’ jurisdication. As the quote said, it makes it even more confusing to figure out who has jurisdiction, and apparently this bill would make it where the military’s jurisdiction trumps them all. That’s scary, b/c military jurisdiction is open-ended; no due process, etc, etc.

    People are going back-n-forth over whether this bill allow detention of citizens, doesn’t allow, blah, blah. There are LEGAL PROFESSIONALS that are on both sides of the fence on it. Bottomline, this bill is very ambiguously worded, and if LEGAL PROFESSIONALS are arguing over what it can and cannot do, then it needs to be sent back to draft and clarified. This bill is causing a lot of controversy. Now, it’s either justified, and as such, the bill needs to go back, or it’s not justified, and the bill needs to go back for clarification. Either way, THE BILL NEEDS TO GO BACK.

  17. To Dan Obstrowski:
    Maybe that added language makes you sleep better at night. It was intended to. But, if you think it means anything, you are wrong. No law ever affects other laws unless Congress expressly says it does or its new law totally encompasses a particular area. "Briefing" Congress? It doesn't give them any power to do anything but listen. This statute gives absolute power to the president to detain American citizens without any form of due process, indefinitely, period. The amendment language takes absolutely nothing away from the Orwellian reality of this statute. It was meant to make us more docile while they steal our country. With or without the amendment language, all that has to happen is for the government to determine that you have committed a "belligerent act" that is "in aid of" one of the terrorist groups in such a way that you are deemed to be giving "substantial support" to them. So, if you protest the next war, and it is coming soon, you can be locked up, indefinitely. I'm telling you as someone who knows the law well, this statute completely abolishes the Bill of Rights. Keep telling yourself otherwise, and one day you will wake up and find yourself wondering why you are being followed. Your phone will be tapped; your computer communications will be monitored; your children will live in fear of what was once a government for the people, and is now a government only for itself. You will be afraid to speak your thoughts, or even to have them. You are wrong. Wake up.

  18. With this statute, the terrorists have won. Thanks, Congress. I'm sure all those soldiers who sacrificed so much will be grateful for your giving away everything they thought they were fighting for. By the way, Bill Nelson's letter is similar to one I received from my Congressman. He voted for the original Bill, then changed his vote after the amendments were inserted. Maybe we really are as stupid as the politicians obviously think we are. I hope not. But, in a country where "Dancing with the Stars" is considered art, and where "The Donald" conducts presidential debates, I have to worry. With this statute, our "representatives" have just sent the snowball of revolution down the hill. If they do not pull back now, it will be inevitable, and my grandchildren will never know what it is like to live in peace and opportunity in a country where they are not afraid of their own government. We had better start marching in the streets now, or we will be fighting in them soon. Ask yourself: who you would rather be afraid of, terrorists or your own government? I know my choice. Wow, who would have guessed that the conspiracy nuts were actually right all along? ACT before it is too late to act.

  19. To Dan Obstrowski:
    Maybe that added language makes you sleep better at night. It was intended to. But, if you think it means anything, you are wrong. No law ever affects other laws unless Congress expressly says it does or its new law totally encompasses a particular area. “Briefing” Congress? It doesn’t give them any power to do anything but listen. This statute gives absolute power to the president to detain American citizens without any form of due process, indefinitely, period. The amendment language takes absolutely nothing away from the Orwellian reality of this statute. It was meant to make us more docile while they steal our country. With or without the amendment language, all that has to happen is for the government to determine that you have committed a “belligerent act” that is “in aid of” one of the terrorist groups in such a way that you are deemed to be giving “substantial support” to them. So, if you protest the next war, and it is coming soon, you can be locked up, indefinitely. I’m telling you as someone who knows the law well, this statute completely abolishes the Bill of Rights. Keep telling yourself otherwise, and one day you will wake up and find yourself wondering why you are being followed. Your phone will be tapped; your computer communications will be monitored; your children will live in fear of what was once a government for the people, and is now a government only for itself. You will be afraid to speak your thoughts, or even to have them. You are wrong. Wake up.

  20. With this statute, the terrorists have won. Thanks, Congress. I’m sure all those soldiers who sacrificed so much will be grateful for your giving away everything they thought they were fighting for. By the way, Bill Nelson’s letter is similar to one I received from my Congressman. He voted for the original Bill, then changed his vote after the amendments were inserted. Maybe we really are as stupid as the politicians obviously think we are. I hope not. But, in a country where “Dancing with the Stars” is considered art, and where “The Donald” conducts presidential debates, I have to worry. With this statute, our “representatives” have just sent the snowball of revolution down the hill. If they do not pull back now, it will be inevitable, and my grandchildren will never know what it is like to live in peace and opportunity in a country where they are not afraid of their own government. We had better start marching in the streets now, or we will be fighting in them soon. Ask yourself: who you would rather be afraid of, terrorists or your own government? I know my choice. Wow, who would have guessed that the conspiracy nuts were actually right all along? ACT before it is too late to act.

  21. Please read the linked-to cbs article (link appears at the top of this page: "President Obama signs the NDAA into law.") Obama at least addressed his concerns–and his commitment to do what he can to circumvent the offensive provisions of this law–in his signing statement. It is not a veto, which would have been a more principled stand. But a veto would not have held anyway, and the outcome would be little different.

  22. Why, why? This is the saddest action taken and I am saddened that this was done as are a country united and this law breaks down what we have gained as a united nation under God with liberty and justice for all. :(

  23. Please read the linked-to cbs article (link appears at the top of this page: “President Obama signs the NDAA into law.”) Obama at least addressed his concerns–and his commitment to do what he can to circumvent the offensive provisions of this law–in his signing statement. It is not a veto, which would have been a more principled stand. But a veto would not have held anyway, and the outcome would be little different.

  24. Why, why? This is the saddest action taken and I am saddened that this was done as are a country united and this law breaks down what we have gained as a united nation under God with liberty and justice for all. :(

  25. Such draconian laws are indeed necessary for the sole reason that it prevents wanted criminals from walking out free men by courtesy of good lawyers. How would you feel if, say, Bin Laden had been captured alive and thanks to a good lawyer and/or corruption in high places or both he walks out a free man at liberty to continue venting hatred and terror on the western world?

  26. Malaysia has a similar law called the ISA, or Internal Security Act, similar in unpopularity too. However, the good news is, it works. Yours should too.

  27. Such draconian laws are indeed necessary for the sole reason that it prevents wanted criminals from walking out free men by courtesy of good lawyers. How would you feel if, say, Bin Laden had been captured alive and thanks to a good lawyer and/or corruption in high places or both he walks out a free man at liberty to continue venting hatred and terror on the western world?

  28. Malaysia has a similar law called the ISA, or Internal Security Act, similar in unpopularity too. However, the good news is, it works. Yours should too.

  29. please we need to resurrect Thomas Jefferson the only president with reality vision and a sense of humanity. Obama is a turncoat………..

  30. please we need to resurrect Thomas Jefferson the only president with reality vision and a sense of humanity. Obama is a turncoat………..

  31. Quantanamo Bay in my Body.
    For 8 years, I have been secretly implanted with 2 Radio Frequency Identification Chips AND a voice synthesizer.
    These 3 devices inside my body are used to record my where abouts,
    what I am doing by scanning everything around me,
    record what I say,
    record what I read,
    record my thoughts
    record my dreams as I lay asleep.
    AGNES WILLIAMS
    15543 caravelle Ave
    Fontana CA 92336

  32. Quantanamo Bay in my Body.
    For 8 years, I have been secretly implanted with 2 Radio Frequency Identification Chips AND a voice synthesizer.
    These 3 devices inside my body are used to record my where abouts,
    what I am doing by scanning everything around me,
    record what I say,
    record what I read,
    record my thoughts
    record my dreams as I lay asleep.
    AGNES WILLIAMS
    15543 caravelle Ave
    Fontana CA 92336