President Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Into Law
By Amanda Simon / aclu.org

President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) today, allowing indefinite detention to be codified into law. As you know, the White House had threatened to veto an earlier version of the NDAA but reversed course shortly before Congress voted on the final bill. While President Obama issued a signing statement saying he had “serious reservations” about the provisions, the statement only applies to how his administration would use it and would not affect how the law is interpreted by subsequent administrations.

The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield. 

Under the Bush administration, similar claims of worldwide detention authority were used to hold even a U.S. citizen detained on U.S. soil in military custody, and many in Congress now assert that the NDAA should be used in the same way again.  The ACLU believes that any military detention of American citizens or others within the United States is unconstitutional and illegal, including under the NDAA.  In addition, the breadth of the NDAA’s detention authority violates international law because it is not limited to people captured in the context of an actual armed conflict as required by the laws of war.     

We are extremely disappointed that President Obama signed this bill even though his administration is already claiming overly-broad detention authority in court. Any hope that the Obama administration would roll back those claims dimmed today.  Thankfully we have three branches of government, and the final word on the scope of detention authority belongs to the Supreme Court, which has yet to rule on the scope of detention authority. But Congress and the president also have a role to play in cleaning up the mess they have created because no American citizen or anyone else should live in fear of this or any future president misusing the NDAA’s detention authority.

The ACLU will fight worldwide detention authority wherever we can, be it in court, in Congress, or internationally.

Learn more about indefinite detention: Sign up for breaking news alerts, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

0.0 ·
0
What's Next
Trending Today
The Myth of Positivity: Why Your Pain Holds a Mighty Purpose
umair haque · 17,202 views today · Of all the great myths of contemporary life, one of the most toxic is positivity. It says: there are negative and positive emotions, and only the positive ones are worth...
Stunning Summary of US Imperialism and Native Resistance... on MSNBC!
4 min · 10,948 views today · On The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC, Lawrence explains why a protest by Native Americans in North Dakota reminds us of the history American always tries to forget.
Standing Rock Wisdom: How Sacred, Nonviolent Activism Has the Power to Succeed
Charles Eisenstein · 5,745 views today · I am told by Native American friends active at Standing Rock that the elders are counseling the Water Protectors to undertake each action prayerfully and to stay off the...
Seven Must-Have Skills for the 21st Century
Tommy Lehe · 5,378 views today · We live in a world that moves faster than we do. Trying to keep up can be an overwhelming task that at times feels hopeless, like we are falling further and further behind—but...
Have You Heard of The Great Forgetting? It Happened 10,000 Years Ago & Completely Affects Your Life
Daniel Quinn · 4,293 views today · (Excerpted from the book, The Story of B) With every audience and every individual, I have to begin by making them see that the cultural self-awareness we inherit from our...
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · 3,907 views today · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
The Other Way of Knowing
Lilian Na’ia Alessa · 3,673 views today · Western science and Indigenous worldviews are often seen as incompatible, with the Indigenous view usually being far less valued by society at large. But an inside look at...
Veterans at Standing Rock Ask Forgiveness for War Crimes Against Tribal Nations
Jen Hayden · 3,597 views today · Jon Eagle Sr., Tribal Historic Preservation Officer at Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has reported something wholly unexpected happened at the Standing Rock Reservation today. The...
Forget Air Force One, Pentagon Wastes Billions and Billions Every Month
Nadia Prupis · 3,579 views today · President-elect Donald Trump's focus on single Boeing contract ignores enormous waste of bloated Pentagon budget
Why People Cling to Old Beliefs
1 min · 3,362 views today · Cognitive psychologist and neuroscientist at McGill University, Daniel Levitin, explains why people can be so stubborn when it comes to false beliefs. This behavior is...
DREAM: A Spoken Word Meditation For When Life Is Kicking Your Ass
4 min · 3,346 views today · If life is kicking your ass and the general un-coolness of everybody on planet erf is making you want to off yourself, TALK to someone: 800-273-8255 (national suicide...
10 Stunning Images from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year People's Choice Award
Natural History Museum · 2,961 views today · These incredible images are a selection from of the 25 shortlisted by The Natural History Museum for the People's Choice Award from this year's Wildlife Photographer of the...
Solar is Already Producing More Energy Than Oil, Says Major Scientific Review
Nafeez Ahmed · 2,605 views today · And is twice as powerful than previously thought
Dear Activists, Maybe It's Time to Admit That We've Got It All Wrong
Mickey Z. · 2,452 views today · “The first step in the revolution is eye contact.” - Alicen Grey
How a White Supremacist Became a Civil Rights Activist
Araz Hachadourian · 2,285 views today · The story of a KKK leader’s transformation shows us that we need not live forever with the kind of violence we saw in Charleston this month.
13 Crises That We All Must Face
George Monbiot · 2,140 views today · We face (at least) 13 major crises, some of which are immediate. It’s time for some hard thinking about how we confront them.
Sean Carroll - The Meaning of Life
7 min · 1,554 views today · The world keeps happening in accordance with its rules; it's up to us to make sense of it and give it value. Sean Carroll Music: Moby - God Moving Over the Face of the Waters
Andy Goes In - Working Undercover in a Factory Farm
10 min · 1,450 views today · He's a $10/hr farmhand, and his name isn't Andy. Andy Goes In is a compelling 10-minute documentary short about a Mercy For Animals undercover investigator. The vast majority...
Amanda Abbington Introduces iAnimal - 42 Days in the Life of Chickens
4 min · 1,450 views today · Shot undercover in British factory farms and slaughterhouses, this immersive 360° video gives you a birds-eye view of what happens to chicken from farm to plate.
Satish Kumar on "What Is a Sacred Place?"
3 min · 1,447 views today · Satish Kumar brings a Hindu, Buddhist and Jain perspective to the definition of "sacred place." We found his explanation so compelling that we edited a three-minute piece...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
President Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Into Law