Obama admin refuses to veto detainee bill in a snub to human rights

President Barack ObamaPresident Barack Obama’s recent decision to not veto a controversial defense spending bill is troubling to many advocates for civil rights, human rights and the rule of law. The House of Representatives voted to pass the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a bill that 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.

The defense spending bill codifies indefinite detention without trial into US law and further expands the military’s role in holding terrorism suspects.  Earlier, the Obama administration had threatened to veto the 2012 NDAA over these controversial detainee provisions, but on December 14, it issued a statement indicating the president would likely sign the legislation.

What does the NDAA do and why is it a big deal, you ask?

The NDAA allows the government to detain any person on U.S. soil, including U.S citizens, for an indefinite time and without any charge or trial, if the person is suspected of supporting or engaging in terrorist activity or organization either directly or indirectly in the past, present or future. It’s a brave, new, horrifying world for civil liberties.

And if that wasn’t enough, please also note that leadership from all the major intelligence agencies (the Secretary of Defense, the Director of the FBI, the Director of National Intelligence, the White House Advisor for Counterterrorism, and the DOJ National Security Division head) have all spoken out in opposition to the bill and its indefinite detention authority.

If we believe in the importance of an intersectional feminism, we have to push back against this kind of assault against civil liberties; the kind that targets communities of color and divides them. As we know, detention and deportation affect families and communities far beyond the people who are detained.

Here’s a way to take action: let POTUS know that you don’t support this facturing of our rights and our families.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/samll/ Sam Lindsay-Levine

    I believe (and please correct me if I am wrong) Obama threatened to veto the earlier version because it was too restrictive on the President’s ability to indefinitely detain without trial, stating that it was power given to him by Congress; he wanted the bill to reaffirm that it was a power he already had without Congress’s authorization.

    I think this version of the bill is actually exactly what Obama wanted, as far as anyone can tell. Since being elected, his administration has acted in favor of indefinite detention without trial at the executive branch’s discretion, moved to clamp down on whistleblowers and transparency, and stepped up violent, often fatal attacks outside of Congressionally authorized war zones with remote-controlled flying bomb-launching robots.

    • http://feministing.com/members/samll/ Sam Lindsay-Levine

      Although of course, it’s also worth acknowledging that this bill is just a codification of the current state of affairs – everything in it is stuff that the Obama administration already claims it has the power to do and/or is already doing.

  • http://feministing.com/members/tashabunny/ natasha

    It is a remarkably sad day in America when I’m scared to sign the petition you linked to because of what might happen in the future.

  • http://feministing.com/members/cassius/ Brüno

    Along with handing over America to the federal reserve, using weapons of mass destruction on civillians MK ULTRA (if the potus knew about it to begin with) thats the worst thing a president ever did.