Obama Signs the Defense Authorization Bill

Helen Whalen Cohen

1/1/2012 7:02:00 PM - Helen Whalen Cohen

Last night before ringing in the new year, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Bill-and stated that he will use discretion when applying provisions related to military detention. But stating that he has 'serious reservations' about the bill while signing it wasn't enough to quiet some of his (former?) friends on the left:

Supporters of the legislation have said it codifies current arrangements such as the indefinite detention of terrorism suspects housed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) defended the detainee provisions as being carefully worded in a way that allows the president flexibility and waiver authority.

Human rights advocates, however, described the measure as an expansion and enshrinement of military authority and compared it to the 1950s, when Sen. Joseph McCarthy used demagogic and disputed tactics in an attempt to root out Communist activities.

“By signing this defense spending bill, President Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in U.S. law,” Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said after Congress approved the bill.

In trying to have it both ways, the president only alienated part of his voting bloc.

Update: As noted on InfoWars, the language giving the president the power to detain American citizens that made our president so uncomfortable would not have been in the bill had he not pressured Congress to add it himself.