BREAKING: Obama Signs Defense Authorization Bill

Judd Legum
ThinkProgress / News Report
Published: Sunday 1 January 2012
President Obama: “My administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a nation.”
Article image

This afternoon, Obama signed the controversial Defense authorization bill, despite his reservations about provisions related to the treatment of terrorism suspects. The National Journal reports:

President Obama signed on Saturday the defense authorization bill, formally ending weeks of heated debate in Congress and intense lobbying by the administration to strip controversial provisions requiring the transfer of some terror suspects to military custody.

“I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists,” Obama said in a statement accompanying his signature.

The AP has more from the signing statement: “My administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a nation.”

Full text of the signing statement below:

Statement by the President on H.R. 1540:

Today I have signed into law H.R. 1540, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.” I have signed the Act chiefly because it authorizes funding for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad, crucial services for service members and their families, and vital national security programs that must be renewed. In hundreds of separate sections totaling over 500 pages, the Act also contains critical Administration initiatives to control the spiraling health care costs of the Department of Defense (DoD), to develop counterterrorism initiatives abroad, to build the security capacity of key partners, to modernize the force, and to boost the efficiency and effectiveness of military operations worldwide.

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. Over the last several years, my Administration has developed an effective, sustainable framework for the detention, interrogation and trial of suspected terrorists that allows us to maximize both our ability to collect intelligence and to incapacitate dangerous individuals in rapidly developing situations, and the results we have achieved are undeniable. Our success against al-Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents has derived in significant measure from providing our counterterrorism professionals with the clarity and flexibility they need to adapt to changing circumstances and to utilize whichever authorities best protect the American people, and our accomplishments have respected the values that make our country an example for the world.

Against that record of success, some in Congress continue to insist upon restricting the options available to our counterterrorism professionals and interfering with the very operations that have kept us safe. My Administration has consistently opposed such measures. Ultimately, I decided to sign this bill not only because of the critically important services it provides for our forces and their families and the national security programs it authorizes, but also because the Congress revised provisions that otherwise would have jeopardized the safety, security, and liberty of the American people. Moving forward, my Administration will interpret and implement the provisions described below in a manner that best preserves the flexibility on which our safety depends and upholds the values on which this country was founded.

Section 1021 affirms the executive branch’s authority to detain persons covered by the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) (Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note). This section breaks no new ground and is unnecessary. The authority it describes was included in the 2001 AUMF, as recognized by the Supreme Court and confirmed through lower court decisions since then. Two critical limitations in section 1021 confirm that it solely codifies established authorities. First, under section 1021(d), the bill does not “limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.” Second, under section 1021(e), the bill may not be construed to affect any “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.” My Administration strongly supported the inclusion of these limitations in order to make clear beyond doubt that the legislation does nothing more than confirm authorities that the Federal courts have recognized as lawful under the 2001 AUMF. Moreover, I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation. My Administration will interpret section 1021 in a manner that ensures that any detention it authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other applicable law.

Section 1022 seeks to require military custody for a narrow category of non-citizen detainees who are “captured in the course of hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.” This section is ill-conceived and will do nothing to improve the security of the United States. The executive branch already has the authority to detain in military custody those members of al-Qa’ida who are captured in the course of hostilities authorized by the AUMF, and as Commander in Chief I have directed the military to do so where appropriate. I reject any approach that would mandate military custody where law enforcement provides the best method of incapacitating a terrorist threat. While section 1022 is unnecessary and has the potential to create uncertainty, I have signed the bill because I believe that this section can be interpreted and applied in a manner that avoids undue harm to our current operations.

I have concluded that section 1022 provides the minimally acceptable amount of flexibility to protect national security. Specifically, I have signed this bill on the understanding that section 1022 provides the executive branch with broad authority to determine how best to implement it, and with the full and unencumbered ability to waive any military custody requirement, including the option of waiving appropriate categories of cases when doing so is in the national security interests of the United States. As my Administration has made clear, the only responsible way to combat the threat al-Qa’ida poses is to remain relentlessly practical, guided by the factual and legal complexities of each case and the relative strengths and weaknesses of each system. Otherwise, investigations could be compromised, our authorities to hold dangerous individuals could be jeopardized, and intelligence could be lost. I will not tolerate that result, and under no circumstances will my Administration accept or adhere to a rigid across-the-board requirement for military detention. I will therefore interpret and implement section 1022 in the manner that best preserves the same flexible approach that has served us so well for the past 3 years and that protects the ability of law enforcement professionals to obtain the evidence and cooperation they need to protect the Nation.

My Administration will design the implementation procedures authorized by section 1022(c) to provide the maximum measure of flexibility and clarity to our counterterrorism professionals permissible under law. And I will exercise all of my constitutional authorities as Chief Executive and Commander in Chief if those procedures fall short, including but not limited to seeking the revision or repeal of provisions should they prove to be unworkable.

Sections 1023-1025 needlessly interfere with the executive branch’s processes for reviewing the status of detainees. Going forward, consistent with congressional intent as detailed in the Conference Report, my Administration will interpret section 1024 as granting the Secretary of Defense broad discretion to determine what detainee status determinations in Afghanistan are subject to the requirements of this section.

Sections 1026-1028 continue unwise funding restrictions that curtail options available to the executive branch. Section 1027 renews the bar against using appropriated funds for fiscal year 2012 to transfer Guantanamo detainees into the United States for any purpose. I continue to oppose this provision, which intrudes upon critical executive branch authority to determine when and where to prosecute Guantanamo detainees, based on the facts and the circumstances of each case and our national security interests. For decades, Republican and Democratic administrations have successfully prosecuted hundreds of terrorists in Federal court. Those prosecutions are a legitimate, effective, and powerful tool in our efforts to protect the Nation. Removing that tool from the executive branch does not serve our national security. Moreover, this intrusion would, under certain circumstances, violate constitutional separation of powers principles.

Section 1028 modifies but fundamentally maintains unwarranted restrictions on the executive branch’s authority to transfer detainees to a foreign country. This hinders the executive’s ability to carry out its military, national security, and foreign relations activities and like section 1027, would, under certain circumstances, violate constitutional separation of powers principles. The executive branch must have the flexibility to act swiftly in conducting negotiations with foreign countries regarding the circumstances of detainee transfers. In the event that the statutory restrictions in sections 1027 and 1028 operate in a manner that violates constitutional separation of powers principles, my Administration will interpret them to avoid the constitutional conflict.

Section 1029 requires that the Attorney General consult with the Director of National Intelligence and Secretary of Defense prior to filing criminal charges against or seeking an indictment of certain individuals. I sign this based on the understanding that apart from detainees held by the military outside of the United States under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, the provision applies only to those individuals who have been determined to be covered persons under section 1022 before the Justice Department files charges or seeks an indictment. Notwithstanding that limitation, this provision represents an intrusion into the functions and prerogatives of the Department of Justice and offends the longstanding legal tradition that decisions regarding criminal prosecutions should be vested with the Attorney General free from outside interference. Moreover, section 1029 could impede flexibility and hinder exigent operational judgments in a manner that damages our security. My Administration will interpret and implement section 1029 in a manner that preserves the operational flexibility of our counterterrorism and law enforcement professionals, limits delays in the investigative process, ensures that critical executive branch functions are not inhibited, and preserves the integrity and independence of the Department of Justice.

Other provisions in this bill above could interfere with my constitutional foreign affairs powers. Section 1244 requires the President to submit a report to the Congress 60 days prior to sharing any U.S. classified ballistic missile defense information with Russia. Section 1244 further specifies that this report include a detailed description of the classified information to be provided. While my Administration intends to keep the Congress fully informed of the status of U.S. efforts to cooperate with the Russian Federation on ballistic missile defense, my Administration will also interpret and implement section 1244 in a manner that does not interfere with the President’s constitutional authority to conduct foreign affairs and avoids the undue disclosure of sensitive diplomatic communications. Other sections pose similar problems. Sections 1231, 1240, 1241, and 1242 could be read to require the disclosure of sensitive diplomatic communications and national security secrets; and sections 1235, 1242, and 1245 would interfere with my constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations by directing the Executive to take certain positions in negotiations or discussions with foreign governments. Like section 1244, should any application of these provisions conflict with my constitutional authorities, I will treat the provisions as non-binding.

My Administration has worked tirelessly to reform or remove the provisions described above in order to facilitate the enactment of this vital legislation, but certain provisions remain concerning. My Administration will aggressively seek to mitigate those concerns through the design of implementation procedures and other authorities available to me as Chief Executive and Commander in Chief, will oppose any attempt to extend or expand them in the future, and will seek the repeal of any provisions that undermine the policies and values that have guided my Administration throughout my time in office.


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106 comments on "BREAKING: Obama Signs Defense Authorization Bill"


February 17, 2012 6:35pm


Connie Knox

January 08, 2012 11:44am

Thank God! Someone with a brain. I was beginning to think I was alone out here. I've been trying to get people to pay attention to this bill and what the signing of it meant. I have been complaining about Obama's two-faced manner since I also campaigned and voted for him in 08. Some of us pay attention to campaign promises Mr Obama. You may fool me once, but it won't happen twice. I would highly recommend that the sheeple get their collective heads out of their butts and retake our government before it's too late. If that isn't more important than 'Dancing With the Stars'/ Nascar/Sports, then I hope those things will be available in your detention centers. Oh, did you think all those FEMA camps in all fifty states were to help us during disasters? Really?


January 06, 2012 8:48pm

I didn't watch the Rose Parade so I don't know who the offending media are. I think the article should have included that information as well as the names and phone numbers of the CEO's whose organizations failed in their duty to report the Occupy protesters at the end of the programs.Betsy Barnett

Who will be desiding who is a terrorist,you,me,Nancy Pelosi,God.
Be very careful what you say,do, & dont trust your friend they may say you own a gun. Our bill of rights that your fore fathers spilled there blood for has just been spit on and flushed down Obama's toilet.


January 03, 2012 10:59am

Shame on all of you who want President Obama to do every little thing YOU want him to!President Obama trys to get all he can from this do nothing GOP TEA Party crazies. I will vote Obama in a second term, and try to make sure he gets an all REAL Democtatic congress(no blue dogs who are gop in democratic clothing) I lived through Presidents from FDR to President Obama, and I will pick President Obama over each and every one of them. What a suprise to all of you who fault a part African, part caucasian, intelligent,steady hand on the wheel, gentleman, President Obama, that this man has done for America and the world, that among all the bills he has passed, as promised, could also make us safer for taking out Osama bin lauden, when Bush/Cheneywho got us into this mess, gave up looking for the evil person who killed over 3thousand of our people in the WTS, and stopped the stupid war in Iraq by bringing what is left of our troops, home. A war that killed over 4 thousand of our troops and many, many more of innocent people. where were all of you when this was happening? And what has the GOP Crazies have to offer to get us out of the mess President Obama has started to do without the GOP's help, they do not have a clue of what to do except to say they want to make President Obama a one term President. Yep, they sure are smart. The most they have done so far is to call our President every rotten name under the sun. Real grown up bullies! President Obama has not brought disgrace to the White House as some of the other Presidents have done in their personal life. Think about that!God Bless President Obama God Bless America. And bless all those who call him names, for they know not what they do.


January 02, 2012 5:54pm

obama is the best conservative, right-wing, pro-war, anti-liberty president ever, and he's taking a governance lessons from north korea.


January 02, 2012 6:01pm

fuck obama, he's the most conservative right-wing republican president in a so called progressive's clothing..."change" my ass


January 02, 2012 3:02pm

I hate to say, but are we even a democracy anymore? We are moving further from that step by step. I think we are more of an Oligarchy now, and later we will be???

To the comment from the person in New Zealand "would we support it if it were 'US Citizen exempt' "? Some would, others wouldn't. Those others might be seen as "terrorists".


January 02, 2012 12:34pm

Liberals like being lied to using sophisticated diction, Repubs like being lied to in a "down to Earth" fashion.

Divided and Conquer we fall.

All you who still believe Obama are seriously delusional, like a female who really believes her boyfriend who swears he won't hit her next time.

Wood Gas

January 02, 2012 10:51am

Only the tip, and just for a little while.

bertha k

January 02, 2012 8:21am

This message is for all of you who thought that President Obama would unravel 8 and 30 years of american decline in 3 years:

If you think Obama is "bad" or a hypocrit, then vote *Ron Paul, **the Mittens or throw your vote away by not voting. All of you 99 percenters/"progressives" on this blog will reap the whirlwind.

Also, since most of you on this blog seem to like to complain anyway, a republican president AND congress would more than satisfy your need for negative expression. FELIZ NUEVO ANOS!

*too old; too bigoted; an establishment guy who pretends to be anti-establishment. The "powers that be" will give him the "Herman Cain Treatment" before they allow him to win.

**fake, fake, fake. oh, and did I say "fake"?


January 02, 2012 4:42pm

Obama is the natural offspring of George Bush except his black mask.

"My Administration will aggressively seek to mitigate those concerns through the design of implementation procedures and other authorities available to me as Chief Executive and Commander in Chief, will oppose any attempt to extend or expand them in the future, and will seek the repeal of any provisions that undermine the policies and values that have guided my Administration throughout my time in office."

even his time in office, Obama will be unable to garantee whatsoever. He signs all the bills puting on his desk without questioning their content and without wondering if they are for American people interests or for those of a minority represented by a few corporate and a few capitalists.


January 02, 2012 5:00am

There is no "line item veto". For a short time, until the Supreme Court found it unconstitutional, there was a line item veto provision relating only to spending and tax bills. This was abolished in 1998. Only Congress can make laws, and once passed they can only be vetoed in total... that is the entire bill, not parts of it.

This President, and many others especially Bush, have put "signing statements" on various bills presented to them. Those signing statements do not have the authority of law, and if they are legitimate at all, only last as long as that particular President is in office. Any future executive will not necessarily follow those earlier signing statements, and indeed, may commit a crime by doing so. Again... only Congress can make laws.

By signing this National Defense Authorization Act, President Obama, whatever his intentions for his administration, has signed into law all of the provisions of that act. Interpretations of the various provisions will now be argued in court and in public for as many years as they are in force. Any new administration can interpret them in any way that suits them, and let the courts sort it out. The trouble is, that if you are whisked away to some foreign land or held incommunicado, your voice may never be heard in a court. You simply vanish! To even contemplate that my country would consider such a provision to exist, let alone implement it, flies in the face of all I have been brought up to believe about law and justice.

Once again I must repeat the old saying... "You become your enemy". If there is a war on terror, then terror is winning!


January 02, 2012 2:42am

So, will Americans be satisfied if US Citizens are exempted? Bit selfish if you ask me.

What about the rest of us?

Writing from New Zealand (still a democracy)

Ardin Bolt

January 02, 2012 11:10am

Love and respect the people of New Zealand, but if American citizens can't get their civil rights restored, then not much chance that non- citizens are going to be treated any better. I don't want to see anyone from New Zealand or any other country being detained without a trial indefinitely by the US military.


January 01, 2012 10:22pm

For all the "Obama can do no wrong" wishful thinkers who have posted, please go back and view the C-SPAN recordings of the debate on HR 1540. In particular, see the part where Senator Levin (a Democrat) responded to another Democratic Senator who challenged Sec 1021 of the bill. Senator Levin explained that all of the sections of the Act related to provisions for indefinite military detention or custody of US citizens were demanded by the Obama administration. Based on that disclosure, plus previous disclosures regarding the original bill S 1867, the most recent statement by President Obama claiming that he is signing even though he objects to the provisions is totally two-faced and hypocritical. In fact, on Dec 23rd, Nation of Change reported that the Obama Administration had requested the removal of the detention exemptions for US Citizens ( The administration's dissatisfaction with the previous bill was that it did not give the administration enough power to hold US citizens in custody.

In 2008, I was among the Obama can do no wrong wishful thinkers. To set the record straight, I am not a Republican "troll" trying to discredit President Obama. I voted for him in 2008, hoping as did many others that we had finally found a person with real principles. Well, his time in office has shown that he may be a person of principles, but they aren't the principles he claimed when he was campaigning. Human rights - Nope. Accountability for people who caused the financial crisis - Nope. Transparency and Open Government - Nope.

Even if you believe that everyone in the Obama administration will act in good faith and not one of them will be overzealous or over react to an imagined threat, as @Christopher Miller correctly pointed out "...a politician's verbal assurances mean nothing against legislation that is sure to outlast 'His Administration' even in the unlikely case he believes he speaks the truth." This is now law. It is available for any government official at any level to use for what ever reason he/she chooses. It does not require that the official actually prove anything, only convince an official authorized to sign a detention order that there is sufficient reason to create "suspicion". It does not require proof of actual wrong doing. No trial, no opportunity to challenge the detention, not even notification to next of kin or legal representation. Just an official detention order and then being taken into indefinite custody. I say officials at any government level, because a local government official can refer people who are suspicious in his/her view to the applicable Federal agency and effectively get rid of a local problem.

This type of regulation is what the Chinese Communist Party government officials use to legalize indefinite administrative detention of not only human rights activists, but also is used to get rid of people who challenge corrupt government officials. To say that this is a slippery slope is to understate the situation. In the hands of the wrong government official, this is the slippery edge of a constitutional rights cliff. It can be used by government officials having any kind of political belief against any person who holds a different political or social belief. From an overzealous or corrupt official's point of view, he is in power, so anyone who opposes him must be trying to bring down established authority, so is therefore a "terrorist". It can be used against anyone - right, left, libertarian, middle-of-the-roader, or whatever.

The only hope to get this corrected is not to place misguided faith in the words of a leader who has shown himself repeatedly to be unwilling or unable to live up to his campaign promises. We must actively and aggressively show support for either or both of two bills currently in the House of Representatives. HR 3676 (co-authored by a predominantly Republican group) and HR 3702 the Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011 (co-authored by a group of Democrats) are both being held in Committee. They need to be fast tracked out of Committee, preferably as a single bill, and approved by the House of Representatives with a large enough majority to show President Obama that his likely veto will be overridden. This will give President Obama a chance to deliver on the words in his statement regarding his signing of HR 1540. He can sign one of the bills to remove the provisions of Sec 1021 of HR 1540 and thereby restore due process for US citizens and permanent residents. If he really stands behind the words of his signing statement, he will sign a due process rights restoration bill. If he is just another two-faced, hypocritical politician, it will become very obvious when he vetoes the due process rights restoration bill. PLEASE WRITE YOUR REPRESENTATIVE AND SENATORS NOW IN SUPPORT OF EITHER OR BOTH HR 3676 AND HR 3702. You can do this easily at the website


January 01, 2012 9:37pm

Once again he fails to use the line item veto. Pathetic puppet of Wall St. Vote Ron Paul 2012 and start to solve the problem.


January 06, 2012 1:07pm

There IS no 'line item veto' - please check your facts next time.


January 01, 2012 9:36pm

Once again he fails to use the line item veto. Pathetic puppet of Wall St. Vote Ron Paul 2012 and start to solve the problem.

Jerold Toomey

January 01, 2012 8:56pm

In the last days, the multitude will be deceived. And once again, Obama will be blamed for the lame GOP obstructionism.
Will you GOP trolls please bother to outline how McCain would have done so much better than Obama? And please start you're discourse with how he might have handled the BP Gulf disaster?
How is "Bomb Bomb Bomb Iraq" the voice of a leader?
I'm so sick of people Bitchin Bout Bama. Were we Bitchin Bout Bush like this,
we would need no new laws, we would just disappear. Probably because some pseudo-conservative neighbor ratted us out.


January 01, 2012 8:49pm

"I authorise $5 benefits to families living below poverty line." - stipulates a nondescript leader d'jour. Rider #1 as added by nondescript member of house: addition, hang every terrorist until dead. Rider #2 as added by nondescript member of house #2: terrorist is anyone who disagrees with me. Rider #3 as added by nondescript member of house #3: I'll take a rain check on better ways to screw the nation. Rider#4: stwrewdsn (*consult ambiguous equivocating nonfumbaliscious stfmbl to-mean-whatever-when-need-be)

Outcome: all in favor say "aye". "In today's news", joyfully proclaims the androgenous TV anchor'person', "our benevolent ruling party announced passage of a bill to assist poor families. In addition the nation becomes more draconian, there is no sense to make of all the non-seuiturs, it is for our good. Tomorrow the space-time will become reconfigured as per unintelligible provisions our analysts are working hard to decipher, and don't worry, it will in no way interfere with your viewing pleasures involving the idiot box".


January 01, 2012 7:57pm

you are righton and i am promoting and voting for RP. go to his site and but some stuff and show your support


January 01, 2012 7:43pm

''Moreover, I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation. My Administration will interpret section 1021 in a manner that ensures that any detention it authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other applicable law.'' by President Obama.
@Grttrng.... I agree with your appraisal of Obama's statement. I also think there are many misinformed Trolls on this site. They complain about our country becoming a dictatorship, when what they seem to want is for Obama to be a dictator. He didn't write this bill ! Send your outrage to those that wrote it!

Crusader Rabbit

January 01, 2012 6:39pm

Welcome to the United Gulag of America. Hereʻs a letter I had printed a few days ago in our local paper. Maybe Obushma read it, since he was vacationing here:

"During WWII, the US military detained 110,000 Japanese Americans, 11,000 German-Americans and 3,000 Italian-Americans, all deemed potential terrorists. A Japanese-American senator has just voted for a law that negates the 1971 Non-Detention Act, created specifically to make another mass detention impossible. Sadly, itʻs now again possible, with the help of Dan Inouye.

"The Senate has just passed the National Defense Authorization Act with provisions specifically requested by Obama that void core constitutional protections: the right to be assumed innocent unless proven guilty and the right to be argue your innocence in front of a judge or a jury of your peers.

"The military now has authority to detain anyone, anywhere, forever, for any vague activity deemed in support of terrorism. This “support of terrorism” does not even need to be directed against this country. Americans supporting Arab Spring uprisings against the ruthless dictators of US client states may be subject to the same indefinite military detention in Guantanamo-style prisons — for life.

"The bill itself, opposed by the heads of the FBI and the Dept. of Defense, is an act of terrorism against the constitution. Those who voted for it should be the ones subject to “indefinite military detention.”


January 03, 2012 10:27am

Also people who criticize or denounce how the government is doing business,
those who protest wars, those who post comments or write articles are all
subject to observation by Fusion Centers. These are the clearing houses for
intel used by police , the CIA and NSA. All depends on how big of a threat
you appear to be.

Ardin Bolt

January 01, 2012 8:13pm

Nice letter Crusader Rabbit!


January 01, 2012 8:02pm

kick them out by voting for ron paul


January 01, 2012 6:27pm

I agree with Ardin Bolt-This action by Obama sets a precedent for the rest of the world- that detention without trial and also giving the military the power to do so is OK. I grew up in Apartheid S Africa and I must say this is dejavu all over again. Disgusting


January 01, 2012 6:33pm

I don't live in Congressman shouldn't either! It is time to bring them home to live with us and work for us. or


January 01, 2012 6:01pm

Where was most of you guys' outrage when they were dragging "Muslims" to GTMO without trials and holding them indefinitely? Where was your outrage when people were being tortured in Abu Gharib? Where was your outrage when Bush took this empire to war against Iraq for no reason whatsover? Where is your outrage now when a coward behind a video game in NM can take our a hundred people to (illegally) assassinate a "suspected" "terrorist"? Where is your outrage over Obama's assassination and/or indefinite detention of non-US-citizens without due process of law? Why all this outrage now? Are US citizens more important? Who is the hypocrite, Obama or you who only speak in outrage now that YOU are in danger yourself?


January 01, 2012 10:17pm

FREESPIRIT, I can understand your fury at narrow self-interest, but please reconsider your targets; I doubt that many people commenting here support the indefinite detention, rendition, or torture of ANYONE. One of the main reasons I voted for Obama was that he campaigned against the war in Iraq. When he let the war criminals off the hook, I realized that he was not the leader he claimed to be. Just add what is happening now to the many excellent reasons to vote him out. I dread who might take his place, but I refuse to endorse this dissembler by voting for him again. Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party appeals to me.

Ardin Bolt

January 01, 2012 7:52pm

I was just as outraged about Gitmo and other problems, I wrote just as strongly against them too. See my comments about George W. Boob and Donald Dumbsfield in the New York Times commentaries. Just because I am disappointed in this president doesn't mean I was not even more disgusted in the previous president and his black hearted administration.


January 01, 2012 6:18pm

I don't live in DC, my Congressman shouldn't either. or

rich bowden

January 01, 2012 5:27pm

The government can legally drag us away any time they want


January 01, 2012 6:29pm

We don't live in DC....our congressmen shouldn't either. to make our Congressman live, work, and vote from home.

American Muse

January 01, 2012 5:07pm

As 'Ciindy' says here, "Obama is a HUGE HYPOCRITE."

Vote Ron Paul for President - he's the only honest one in the mix!


January 01, 2012 8:01pm

righton and i am promoting and voting for RP!


January 01, 2012 6:29pm

We don't live in DC....our congressmen shouldn't either. to make our Congressman live, work, and vote from home.


January 01, 2012 4:56pm

I do not believe a word this man says. I was married to a malignant narcissist...just like Obama.
Every word that comes out of their mouths is either a lie or they project their misfortunes onto others.
I am so fed up with politicians in D.C.! I would like to see them ALL fired and start over with the common man..not rich lawyers in office. The Common man with one or two terms the Founding fathers desired.

President Eisenhower stated, "Beware of the Military Industrial Complex!". All of our so called leaders in D.C. are so involved with the MIC...that there is no way to get our country back...UNLESS we fire all of them and start over!

Where is the line item veto that he can do? is all a ruse!

We are toast people! The People are Toast!


January 01, 2012 8:00pm

fight back by voting ron paul!


January 01, 2012 6:30pm

We don't live in DC....our congressmen shouldn't either. to make our Congressman live, work, and vote from home.

I don't want to sign this, but I'm going to do it anyways. But just be sure everyone knows I was against it so no blame comes my way when we turn into a fascist dictatorship. Asshole.


January 01, 2012 6:30pm

We don't live in DC....our congressmen shouldn't either. to make our Congressman live, work, and vote from home.

Ardin Bolt

January 01, 2012 4:06pm

What our govenment has willingly thrown into the garbage, I would have gladly laid my life down to protect. Giving Obama the benefit of the doubt that he will not indefinitely detain American citizens, "suspected" of being terrorists without a hearing or a trial, but what about subsequent administrations? In recent American history we had McCarthy and his communist witch hunts and the incarceration of Japanese Americans in WWII, haven't we learned anything? When will we win the war on terror, when terror surrenders? If you want to win the war on terror, all you need to do is not be afraid. This is the land of the FREE and home of the BRAVE. As Benjamin Franklin wrote, "those who sacrafice freedom for security, deserve neither." Sure there may be some risk that an American citizen "suspected" of being a terrorist needs to be detained without a hearing or a trial, but that's where the BRAVE part comes in. The real risk is the loss of our freedom. We are going to get what we deserve, either by this adminstration or from those that follow. Why our government voluntarily lets fear reign supreme is beyond me, Americans by their nature of being mostly immigrants are an optimistic people. I am not afraid of any pidly terrorists, but now I am afraid of our own government. May God help us all.


January 03, 2012 10:21am

Obama would not turn down the opportunity to kill a high priority
terrorist suspect, even if that person was born in the US. There are
"kill lists" even though assasinations are supposed to be illegal.


January 01, 2012 8:04pm

promote and vote for ron paul!


January 01, 2012 6:30pm

We don't live in DC....our congressmen shouldn't either. to make our Congressman live, work, and vote from home.

There is a enemy that no one wants to recognize which is time. How long will we allow nothing to get done, because the rich wants keep confusion going to get nothing done to accomplish their goals? How long will we continue to complain and not fight for things that we can change in the short term? Step by step, day by day is the only way to make change., this link will help to resolve the issue for the payroll tax and unemployment issue for the rest of the year. To get people to sign this so the Whitehouse can change policy has been a fight. Can somebody tell me why people are not interested in making positive change and why you feel such comfort in wasn't time in negative energy. God Help you!!! Let's get it together!!! Sign the PETITION. MAKE REAL CHANGE!!!!

Ardin Bolt

January 01, 2012 4:34pm

I signed the petition against this bill weeks ago in addition to writing my congressional representatives while this bill was being debated. I will continue to do my part, which includes commenting and using my voice and vote as effectively as I can.


January 01, 2012 3:21pm

The quotation above says he will not authorize detention of American citizens without a trial. Where does it say he will?