Yes. There's Indefinite Detention in the Bill.

The National Defense Authorization Act does, in fact, include indefinite detention in there.

And, as we all complained about during the Bush years, the war against terrorism -- "hostilities" -- could ostensibly continue forever because there will always be terrorism and political/religious zealots who want to kill lots of people. Always.

By the way, yes, I horked the above passage from Greenwald's blog -- and he's correct about this section. It's right there in the conference report. As hyperbolic as some of the left-wing reactions have been, there's reason to be upset about this particular aspect of the bill.

The president shouldn't sign this bill into law -- that is unless he adds a signing statement that declares an end to the "war on terrorism."

  • gobrooklyn

    You guys are killing me with this “precedent” talk. The Republicans don’t need precedence. The Bush years proved that.

    This is what happens when people stay home and don’t votes. Lots of high fives from parts of the left when the Blue Dogs got ran out of the House. Now look where we are. Then again when Pres.Obama tried to close GITMO (and still is) uber liberals and Socialists like Feingold and Sanders voted against closing it. Ah well.

  • holyreality

    While President Obama may not be the authoritarian, and the fine print does offer a sunset, do we really trust future office holders not to abuse this slippery slope?

    The Dead Kennedy’s Bleed for me comes to mind;

  • http://profiles.google.com/ibegone Nicholas Gallias

    Glad to see some agreement here that this is a bad bill and should not be signed.
    But again, it won’t be the first bad bill signed by the president.
    Politics rules out all thoughts of correctness.

    • ranger11

      Vote for Romney and then have a good wank.

  • JMAshby

    Nothing in this passage contradicts your previous statement that this merely codifies current policy. And as others have pointed out, this bill clarifies and names specific criteria. There was no clarity or specifics before.

    There is simply nothing veto-worthy here. Not when you consider the vast consequences of vetoing an omnibus defense bill that could temporarily defund the DoD.

    The bill also passed 86 – 13. Veto-proof.

    Greenwald singles out one line from a few thousands, ignores all context, and then focuses like a lazer on that one line as if it proves he’s right about everything.

  • http://dvnix.wordpress.com/ &e-ru

    I’m wont to agree that the wording is concerning, but that the likelihood it would be abused would only be if those who would seek to abuse it were to be in power.

    Agree with @tvhilton – bad precedent, but no probable impact unless a shitton of NeoCon Warhawks get into powe…oh.

    Um, maybe we should work on that GOTV effort.

    • http://phydeauxpseaks.blogspot.com Bob Rutledge

      Only problem is, all the Firebaggers and latent racists (but I repeat myself, to some extent) will use this bill as a reason to not vote for SameAsBushDems. Because they’re TOO GODDAMN STUPID to see how the real world functions, and would rather piss their vote (not to mention the nation and world) away in a vanity vote than to work toward change.

  • missliberties

    Liberals lost credibility reading the fine print. They always jump to conclusions, that are often inaccurate.

    They did with with the Affordable Care Act, and I think it is a mistake to pretend that Obama is an authoritarian PResident who wants to abuse his power.

  • missliberties

    This is meant to deal with the prisoners at Gitmo who are known terrorists yet the legal proof is lacking due to team Bush’s incompetence.

    It would be much worse to let these terrorists go free. So it IS a catch 22. Obama is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

  • http://twitter.com/TVHilton Tom Hilton

    I think Adam Serwer and Steve Benen have had the most reasonable read on this. Short version: it probably has no practical impact, but it’s a really bad precedent, but the really damaging stuff was taken out, so it’s still bad but could have been worse.

    • http://www.twitter.com/bobcesca_go Bob Cesca

      That’s my view as well.

  • D_C_Wilson

    Here’s the thing: It doesn’t say, “until the end of the ‘War on Terror'”. It says, “until the end of hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.”

    So, it’s not that open-ended. Detention lasts until we no longer have troops in Afghanistan. Now, granted, it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting out of Afghanistan any time soon, but it doesn’t mean people can be held until the last terrorist in the world is dead.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1246624710 Patrick Malone

    Try reading the WHOLE bill, Bob. Greenwald is cherry-picking. and leaves out the following:

    (b) COVERED PERSONS.—A covered person under this section is any person as follows:

    (1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks.

    (2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.

    (d) CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this section is intended to limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

    (e) AUTHORITIES.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect 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.


    • http://www.twitter.com/bobcesca_go Bob Cesca

      You obviously missed my initial post about this on Thursday in which I covered all of those things.

  • desertflower1

    Just thought you may want to read this…instead of GG.Too much ODS.Obama Derangement Syndrome.


  • dildenusa

    The keyword here in the language is “may” in Line 21. The question is, who may, affect the disposition of a detainee. I trust President Obama to be discreet about having this power and that he would not use this for political purposes. Of course the same cannot be said for our tea party republic clowns in the current crop of clowns running for the tea party republic nomination. Nor, do I trust anyone in congress not to abuse this power.