POLITICAL observations & opinions

* why did President Obama sign the Levin/McCain detention bill?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 22, 2011



Glenn Greenwald wrote in Salon (12/15/11) …

  • President Obama – after spending months threatening to veto the Levin/McCain detention bill – yesterday announced that he would instead sign it into law 
  • The ACLU said that the bill 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” 
  • while the powers this bill enshrines are indeed radical and dangerous, most of them already exist.
    • That’s because first the Bush administration and now the Obama administration have aggressively argued that the original 2001 AUMF already empowers them to imprison people without charges, use force against even U.S. citizens without due process (Anwar Awlaki), and target not only members of Al Qaeda and the Taliban (as the law states) but also anyone who “substantially supports” those groups and/or “associated forces” (whatever those terms mean).
  • Obama’s objections to this bill had nothing to do with civil liberties, due process or the Constitution.
    • It had everything to do with Executive power. 
    • The White House’s complaint was that Congress had no business tying the hands of the President when deciding who should go into military detention, who should be denied a trial, which agencies should interrogate suspects
  • Totally prior to and independent of anything Congress did, President Obama fully embraced indefinite detention as his own policy.
  • Obama is a proponent — not an opponent — of indefinite detention.

read the entire article at … http://www.salon.com/2011/12/15/obama_to_sign_indefinite_detention_bill_into_law/singleton/



  • I have not seen any rationale from the White House related to the comments above. 
  • If any of you have seen such justifications, please let me know.

2 Responses to “* why did President Obama sign the Levin/McCain detention bill?”

  1. Chris said

    The rationale for signing this bill will never been known. Justification will be a warped rationalization that government knows best and can best protect it citizens from the enemy. Who is the enemy? I am afraid independent thinkers who speak out against government could be the enemy.
    The problem is not what the justification or rationalization is for this bill. The problem is that “The People” have not risen up. Are we so divided in beliefs that we can not see the danger of this and others laws which are designed to strip us of rights which make us uniquely American?

  2. We have upwards of 800 prison camp-like structures seeded throughout the United States; the official word is these are detention camps for illegal aliens… They are all empty, and I see illegal aliens everywhere. I am more surprised that they bothered to pass the law, but so did the Nazi’s; nothing like the colour of law to make you feel good about being a jack-booted thug.

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