National Defense Authorization Act

WH OKs military detention of terrorism suspects

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(CBS News)The White House is signing off on a controversial new law that would authorize the U.S. military to arrest and indefinitely detain alleged al Qaeda members or other terrorist operatives captured on American soil.

As the bill neared final passage in the House of Representatives and the Senate on Wednesday, the Obama administration announced it would support passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which contains slightly watered-down provisions giving the military a front line role in domestic terrorism cases.

The administration abandoned its long-held veto threat due to changes in the final version of the bill, namely that in its view, the military custody mandate has been “softened.” The bill now gives the President the immediate power to issue a waiver of the military custody requirement, instead of the Defense Secretary, and gives the President discretion in implementing these new provisions. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Veto threat was a mere political theater’

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العربية: أنور العولقي English: Imam Anwar al-A...
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Terror suspects in America could be held in prison indefinitely – without charge or trial. The military will be able to take custody of alleged terrorists virtually without question. Critics say this would be a stark violation of human rights.

­The controversial National Defense Authorization Act, which was met with criticism from human rights activists, faced a presidential veto, but since last month Obama has retracted his warning.

“The White House explained it would veto the bill because these provisions, mandating military custody amount to a restriction of president’s authority,”
explains John Glaser, assistant editor at Antiwar.com.

“But in truth it’s reasonable to assume that a veto threat was a mere political theater, because Senator Carl Levin one of the provision’s primary authors revealed during senate debate that it was the Obama administration itself who requested the inclusion of language mandating military detentions, including US citizens. So you could say the administration never changed their minds, it was just a sort of doing it for public consumption,” he told RT. Read the rest of this entry »