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President Obama Signs NDAA

On Saturday, President Obama signed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act into law during his vacation in Hawaii. As we have seen already here on SSD, there has been some controversy over certain provisions concerning detainment of terrorist suspects that were contained in earlier versions of the legislation before it was signed into law.

How an idea becomes a bill and then a law is pretty straight forward on the surface but the more complex the legislation and the more encompassing the issue, such as defense funding, the more amendments are tacked on meaning the bill can evolve and include issues that have nothing to do with the overarching intent. And then, there is that pesky issue of the House and Senate passing differing versions of the same bill. If the differences can’t be rectified via amendments then the bills go into conference committee with representatives from both chambers. While conventional wisdom says that there is gridlock in Washington, Congress sure can work out their differences in conference. The legislation that President Obama signed into law last week was the latest version of the bill, agreed upon by both houses of Congress.

Prior to its passage there were some rather disconcerting items in the proposed law that dealt with the indefinite detention of US citizens accused of being terrorists by the US military. Fortunately, they were removed in the wash. The House Armed Services Committee posted Highlights from the Conference report. Please visit and read: and

The Conferees balance this approach with the conviction that the erosion of citizens’ civil liberties in the pursuit of security constitutes a victory by the enemy. To that end, these provisions do not extend any new authorities to detain U.S. citizens and explicitly exempt U.S. citizens from provisions related to military custody of terrorists.

In addition to these statements from the HASC, President Obama made a signing statement, specifically addressing these issues. A signing statement is made by the President when he signs legislation into law and uses it to show how he intends to enforce the measures.

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.

Unfortunately, there is an internet meme loose on the web that continues to misinform readers that the law now requires the indefinite detention of American citizens by the US military. Furthermore, fearmongers are using this misinformation to captivate and mislead the uninformed.

We urge you to research the actual law and to spread the word. There are a lot of tidbits in the Act that are more likely to impact international affairs and our economic recovery.

47 Responses to “President Obama Signs NDAA”

  1. D Reeder says:

    Nicely explained.

  2. Jake says:

    Section 1022 exempts US citizens from the requirement of military detention but still leaves the option open to the state.

    “The only provision from which U.S. citizens are exempted here is the“requirement” of military detention,” Greenwald writes. “For foreign nationals accused of being members of Al Qaeda, military detention is mandatory; for U.S. citizens, it is optional. This section does not exempt U.S citizens from the presidential power of military detention: only from the requirement of military detention.”

    See the article from Forbes

    And this one from ABC News

    • I see what you mean but... says:

      And this is status quo.

      • Administrator says:

        Explain what you mean.

        • I see what you mean but... says:

          We’ve been indefinitely detaining terrorists for 10 years now. None of this is new. What is new is the amount of opportunism surrounding this issue. The guys who say that the average citizen is a sheep are being led by the nose themselves. FEMA camps? Seriously, you saw how halfassed New Orleans was. And getting the military to round people up wholesale and keep them in camps? For what? The tin hat crowd is out in full force on this one.

        • I see what you mean but... says:

          @John – So you believe it’s going to happen again?

          • Mufasa says:

            Yes, it sure as hell is a possibility.

          • I see what you mean but... says:

            @Mufasa, I’d say that our prisons are already over crowded. Anything is possible. Likelihood is more interesting to me. What is point of locking the population up in camps?

  3. I invite you to consider NDAA 2012 along with H.R. 3166.

    Then tell me it’s all ok.


    • Administrator says:

      And you do realize that HR denotes a bill…not a law. It’s very important to keep an eye on proposed legislation but very little of it ever makes it out of committe. What’s even MORE important is to take a look at WHO proposes legislation and support or oppose those members of the legislative branch accordingly.

      But, I’m kind of curious. What’s your opposition to that particular bill?

  4. Swiat34 says:

    I’m glad they removed that section. However, I’m quite scared of the fact that SOMEONE initially wrote that in there. What it means to me is that sooner or later all the wrong people will be in these seats and another bill will include such violations of our civil liberties and it’ll get passed into law. I don’t encourage violence, especially against the government, but it seems that the day is getting nearer that citizens will have to fight against our own government. That is unless something changes quite drastically and soon.

    • Administrator says:

      Agreed on the concern that is was there in the first place. However, it also tells me that the drafters of the legislation have been made aware of significant domestic terror threats. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, the bill was most likely written with domestic terrorists (of the jihadist variety) in mind and not until cooler heads took a look at the far reaching implications did someone speak up about the potential for abuse.

      And, I want you to know that I find it very disconcerting that an American would put the rifle ahead of the ballot box.

  5. Strike-Hold! says:

    Amen to that last comment Eric.

    This is 2012 people – not 1775.

    • Anonymous says:

      And this is why we are in state of affairs that we are in. We all know that it is NOT 1775. The idea is that our current mindset has strayed so far off course as a nation that we are no longer a patriotic Republic.
      I might agree with some of the above comments in part BUT in general we have lost sight of what it means to be truly patriotic, both as citizens and elected officials. These laws AND bills on the face look perfectly fine, problem is they leave so much open to interpretation. This is what leads to abuses against law abiding citizens. As the definition is changed all the time by Homeland Security, anyone can be a terrorist, maybe not an Al Qaeda terrorist but a domestic terrorist.
      Just because a person does not agree with what elected officials are doing while in office DOES NOT make them a terrorist, even if they peaceably protest and get real vocal about the ills of society. In fact, it is those who ARE doing those things who are being truly patriotic.
      This in no way is to take away the patriotism of those men and women who put their lives on the line each and every day nor from those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. It is because of those individuals that each and everyone of us has the right to protest and contest the decisions which people in our government make which are not standing for the founding traditions and ideals that our great country was founded upon.
      If I read TOO much into your post I do apologize but people DO have reason to question and have concern over the state of affairs here in America. Let us not forget that our founding fathers loved their homeland when they came here. It was only after repeated failures of open dialogue did things change for them. It was also then that their own country men started calling them terrorists. I in no way condone criminal acts. But on the other had we are legislating ourselves into criminality, Just for thinkers, there will be 40,000 NEW laws which will take effect this year of our Lord 2012.
      The last time I checked I thought I still lived in America, a Republic.

      • Administrator says:


        I think you are reading way too much into his comment. We have a ballot box here. This is most certainly NOT 1775 where we we subjects of the crown. If you don’t like what is being done by your elected officials, by all means vote for “change.” Run for office if you think you’ve got a better way of doing it. But don’t run right for the threat of arms when things don’t go your way. THAT is a terrorist.

        • Anonymous says:

          And politely I will say this, now I think you are reading TOO much into my posts. If you read them again, I agreed and basically said what you said just in a different way. Please lets just agree that we agree I am not calling out anyone here. Just wanted to clarify, And I did state that if I was reading too much I apologized in advance.

  6. TripWire says:

    yeah and we are still fighting tyranny 224 years later.

    • Anonymous says:

      And yes we are, comes in all shapes and sizes.

      • I see what you mean but... says:

        Such as?

        • Anonymous says:

          Corrupt politicians spending our hard earned money, lobbying, special interest groups, career politicians who are only there to protect THEIR career and not serve the people, enacting 40,000 laws which basically will legislate us all into criminality. Having ambiguous laws that leave interpretation open to mis-interpretation and the list goes on and on. Basically though this all falls on OUR shoulders, they could not do it IF we did not LET them get into office in the first place.

          • Administrator says:

            I agree there are way too many laws. And, I agree that career politicians have a negative impact on the electorate. But, why are they reelected over and over? That is the question.

    • I see what you mean but... says:


  7. Anonymous says:

    No where in my post did in mention nor insinuate that anyone should run for their firearm. I do agree with you 100%. I assumed that since we are all adults that your information that you posted would be assumed.
    I do get out and vote and am very active in politics, unfortunately things still do not go the way that I feel that they should.
    And my only clarification to your post would be, yeah we are not under the crown anymore but are facing a more serious threat from within if we don’t wake up as a society and take action, to clarify; get out and vote, do the hard work to remove those from office who do not stand for the ideals of this great nation of ours.
    My comment about the turning point of our fore fathers was mentioned so as to spark interest about getting out to do something civic minded instead of texting or facebooking. There will come a time similar if we just sit around and do nothing, LET THIS NOT HAPPEN, get out and vote and be an active part of the political process, it is all our duties and responsibilities.
    My apologies for reading TOO much into it. Thanks.

  8. SKTINF says:

    They didnt remove that section they just reworded it guys. I find it quite obvious what it says but i find it more shocking people dont get it…

    don’t be fooled by Section 1032, Subsection (b) on “Applicability to United States Citizens and Lawful Resident Aliens.”

    Despite what a straight-forward reading of the text would appear to say, that the “requirement to detain a person” does not apply to U.S. Citizens and Lawful Resident Aliens this is just cleverly worded political-speak to deceive the American people. Just because they aren’t “required” doesn’t mean they aren’t allowed.

    further more from what im reading by some people in here, they want to know WHO put the wording in the NDAA and that it scares them well Carl Levin of the senate armed services committee spreads some light on who supports such things you can find is floor speech on youtube easily. He says “it was the Obama administration that demanded the removal of language that would have precluded Americans from being subject to indefinite detention. “The language which precluded the application of Section 1031 to American citizens was in the bill that we originally approved…and the administration asked us to remove the language which says that U.S. citizens and lawful residents would not be subject to this section,
    It was the administration that asked us to remove the very language which we had in the bill which passed the committee…we removed it at the request of the administration,” said Levin, emphasizing, “It was the administration which asked us to remove the very language the absence of which is now objected to.”

    Obama’s signing statement that was added to the passage of the NDAA bill in an effort to dampen concerns over the ‘indefinite detention’ provision of the bill is smoke and mirrors for a number of reasons – prime amongst them the fact that it was the White House itself – not lawmakers – who demanded Section 1031 be expanded to empower the government to detain U.S. citizens without trial. His statement is meaningless for a number of reasons.

    Obama has reversed almost every single promise he made to get elected – his word is no good. Given the right civil emergency, Obama could turn to indefinite detention of citizens without hesitation.

    Crucially, Obama’s promise that he will not use the law to detain Americans without trial is completely hollow – because it was his administration that demanded the power to do so in the first place.

    Note this does nothing to stop future administrations from exercising the power to indefinitely detain American citizens without trial.

    As stated before the bill’s co-sponsor Senator Carl Levin said during a speech on the floor last month, it was the Obama administration that demanded the removal of language that would have precluded Americans from being subject to indefinite detention…

  9. Mike OIF Vet says:

    Constitutional expert Jon Turley writes:

    You do not “support our troops” by denying the principles for which they are fighting. They are not fighting to consolidate authoritarian powers in the president. The “American way of life” is defined by our constitution and specifically the bill of rights. Moreover, the insistence that you do not intend to use authoritarian powers does not alter the fact that you just signed an authoritarian measure. It is not the use but the right to use such powers that defines authoritarian systems.

    The almost complete failure of the mainstream media to cover this issue is shocking.

    On the NDAA, reporters continue to mouth the claim that this law only codifies what is already the law. That is not true. The administration has fought any challenges to indefinite detention to prevent a true court review. Moreover, most experts agree that such indefinite detention of citizens violates the constitution.

    There are also those who continue the longstanding effort to excuse Obama’s horrific record on civil liberties by blaming either others or the times. One successful myth is that there is an exception for citizens. The White House is saying that changes to the law made it unnecessary to veto the legislation. That spin is ridiculous. The changes were the inclusion of some meaningless rhetoric after key amendments protecting citizens were defeated. The provision merely states that nothing in the provisions could be construed to alter Americans’ legal rights. Since the Senate clearly views citizens as not just subject to indefinite detention but even to execution without a trial, the change offers nothing but rhetoric to hide the harsh reality.

    Obama could have refused to sign the bill and the Congress would have rushed to fund the troops. Instead, as confirmed by Senator Levin, the White House conducted a misinformation campaign to secure this power while portraying the president as some type of reluctant absolute ruler, or, as Obama maintains, a reluctant president with dictatorial powers.

    • I see what you mean but... says:

      Think about the opposite end of this. We have already seen US Citizens take up arms against us as well as provide material and intellectual (my words) support to the enemy. By specifically excluding US citizens from any form of capture or internment by military forces you hamper the Nation’s ability to defend itself. This is a real issue that will have to be dealt with. If the enemy sees a weakness they will exploit it. Can you imagine enemy units composed of citizens or lone US persons conducting terrorist activities and the military is unable to intervene due to a law meant to protect law-abiding citizens? Perhaps a way to deal with that would be to require every US military unit to have a sworn law enforcement officer as part of its TO&E? But then what happens if the LEO is incapacitated? Then what? We need flexibility. Although, with that flexibility comes the danger of abuse.

      There are two sides to this issue and either way, there are going to be pros and cons.

    • I see what you mean but... says:

      What is pretty funny in all of this is that there are guys who want to believe this so badly that they are quoting the ACLU and other liberal mouthpieces in order to support their agenda. Take for instance the guy mentioned above, Jon Turley. The average right wing guy wouldn’t pee on this fellow if he were on fire. He has a long history of championing the separation of church and state and opposes efforts to hold terrorists or use special methods of coercion.

      Doesn’t this cause a moral dilemma for you guys?

      • Administrator says:

        To me, this point is pretty laughable. You’re right. Its like in Ghostbusters, “cats and dogs living together.” I wonder if these same guys will support the ACLU on other civil rights issues. My guess? Not!

  10. Alan says:

    All I will say is that the “Vote them out” argument is once in office,they have between 2 and 8 years.

    They can do alot of damage,and imprison alot of innocent people in that time.

    Also, your right,this is not 1776,but now,instead of England being the problem, it is our own Government, because they are all, or 90%,corrupt. Somehow,”Politician” became a “Career Choice” instead of a temporary public service job, to ‘give back’ and serve your community. Once that happened,the bribes and such began.

    The American people have voted,and time and time again,(A):they install the wrong and very dangerous people, and (B):there are nothing but lifetime politicians to vote for,and they are corrupted,dishonest,and untrustworthy.

    I am not saying we need to start shooting in the street,but I am not saying we dont have to either. I dont know what else is left,when we are told what we want to hear just so politician “A” can get elected and then not follow thru on anything he promised,but go in other direction. Not only that, but when in office commits crimes normal citizen would be arrested for. I just dont know what the answer is, but I can see both sides of the argument.

    • Buckaroomedic says:

      Concur 100%. One, six year term for the president. One 10 year term for Senator and one, eight year term for the HoR. That should do it, no more “career” politicians who are only interested in the next election cycle and not about actually doing their job for the people.

      • I see what you mean but... says:

        You do realize that none of those offices have terms that are that long already? I think giving them longer terms only exacerbates the problem. One or two reelections lets them know that if they don’t do what they are supposed to they will not be reelected.

        • Administrator says:

          I concur with that. I’m a vote the bums out kind of a guy. The issue I still see here is the propensity for career politicians. How do you keep a guy from starting as a Congressman, then a Senator and then finally President? You need overall term limits and need to limit their ability to take other jobs for a period after they leave office. Serving as a politician should be a duty, not a career.

          • Anonymous says:

            Totally agree with what is being said. DO NOT length the term limits. Get rid of the career politician, set limits on who can run for office and when, example; if you are elected into any public service office say for instance as a Representative, then you if you could last your normal term doing what we hired them to do, then you would not be re-eligible to re-run for any other office for a period of say 4 years. BUT, we really need to stand together to get rid of those in office who DO NOT do a good job on the job. We are their employers, MOST people do not understand that relationship. When they screw up, lets get them out of office, PERIOD. We all have a country to protect and run here and as you guys are stating it takes some work. People just need to come together to talk about these things and then get others to pick up on the same thread and THEN ACT.
            And Administrator, I totally agree with you on you ending comment: it used to be that public office was a service for one to serve, but as has been so pointedly pointed out here, that has changed into life-time job security. We have to put an end to that. Shorter terms and no avenue for immediate re-election would start the process of fixing things, BUT they are already in there, who is going to pass bills like that now and get them signed into law? BIG question.

  11. jellydonut says:

    The signing statement, however, does nothing for how *future* administrations will use these new, unconstitutional powers.

    New laws should be considered much more carefully than they are at present. Especially taking into account unintended consequences down the line.

    • Administrator says:

      Agreed, but it’s the problem with ALL poorly written legislation, including the 2nd Amendment. Due to it’s peculiar wording, there are many who believe it does not apply to the citizenry but rather to the state.

      • Anonymous says:

        Amen, brother. How true that is. I’ve myself tried to read it like they say it is but just can’t get there. Maybe because I understand the intent of the Constitution….? I don’t know. I read citizen every time.

        • I see what you mean but... says:

          Be careful citing intent. The framers were pretty clear about how they felt about slaves. We find the thought of slavery to be abhorrent now. Be careful how you frame your argument or you will paint yourself into a corner that will make you look like a fool or a racist.

  12. Isworeanoath says:

    To the question of term limits and career politicians; how do we enact those to end the corruption when the people who vote on such things are the ones already in power? No career politician is going to vote himself out of a job, lifetime salary and benefits!

    • Anonymous says:

      And herein lies the difficulty. How do you remove those in office who are in the office for life. Well a good first start is to try to get those in office who could and would vote for terminating re-elections and shorten the term limits. Is that really possible? If the right person was running for office for the right reasons it would be, but then we have to worry about whether that person would be corrupted once in office and seeing all the corruption that they can benefit from. That person would have to be a TRUE PATRIOTIC REPUBLICAN.
      Again when you see the election year come up on us, what do most people talk about, mainly the economy, health care and the like. I in no way think those are not important, BUT we need to address some of these other issues first. And one other thing, we need to get these elected officials to quit spending billions of dollars over-seas. We have a great need here, lets spend the money more wisely, like paying our service men and women a decent wage for putting their lives on the line for us. Let’s buy them truly good gear, not necessarily expensive gear but good quality at reason prices.
      Let’s stop enacting 10’s of thousands of laws each year and start enforcing the one we already have. On the same token, let’s get rid of those laws that restrict our personal freedoms. My opinion is that a free people is a secure nation. Let’s secure our borders, and I know this is a very touchy subject but let’s take care of the illegal immigration problem. I am all for immigration, let’s just get back to doing it the RIGHT way. These are just some of my ramblings. All of them have their own can of worms but we need to start and take care of them, if we do nothing we are in for some serious trouble.

      • I see what you mean but... says:

        Find us that guy. Even the current savior, Mr Paul has served 10 terms. That makes him a career politician by the standards set forth in these arguments. Love him or hate him, his actions in spite of his long tenure in politics will cause you to consider the term limits argument.

        • Administrator says:

          I see someone was busy last night. What’s the matter? Couldn’t sleep? So are you for or against Ron Paul? I can’t really tell from your post.

  13. tinfoilwtf? says:

    When someone starts talking about tinfoil hat wearers are crazy or whatever….I know that they really don’t know much about how the world really works, false flag, the timeless desire by elites to rule the world, central banking ala fractional reserve banking and the rest of it…

    You need to do more reading and less posting…