Obama Will Not Veto National Defense Bill Allowing Indefinite Detention of U.S.Citizens

The White House has announced that Obama will not veto the hugely controversial National Defense Authorization Act, which would allow military custody of suspected al-Qaeda members, including U.S. citizens on American soil, and indefinite detention on suspicion of terrorism charges, without a fair trail. 

"While we remain concerned about the uncertainty that this law will create for our counter-terrorism professionals, the most recent changes give the President additional discretion in determining how the law will be implemented, consistent with our values and the rule of law, which are at the heart of our country's strength," said a statement from White House spokesman Jay Carney.

From the Associated Press

The White House had threatened a veto over the detainee provisions. Specifically, the bill would require that the military take custody of a suspect deemed to be a member of al-Qaida or its affiliates and who is involved in plotting or committing attacks on the United States. There is an exemption for U.S. citizens.

House and Senate negotiators announced late Monday that they had modified that provision. They added language that says nothing in the bill will affect "existing criminal enforcement and national security authorities of the FBI or any other domestic law enforcement agency" with regard to a captured suspect, "regardless of whether such ... person is held in military custody."

The bill also says the president can waive the provision based on national security.


AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at December 14, 2011, 11:07am