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
Jane Sanders: Why Bernie Voters Shouldn't Get Over It
Tessa Stuart · 65,578 views today · Bernie's wife discusses her proudest and most difficult campaign moments, the DNC email leak and the future of his revolution
Don't Let Bernie Endorsing Hillary Distract You From What Matters
Tim Hjersted · 38,998 views today · There's been quite a lot of anger, disappointment and attention on Bernie's decision to endorse Clinton the last couple weeks. But I've started to believe this attention on...
Donald and Hobbes Is Genius
Various · 20,699 views today · Some clever folk have been replacing precocious 6-year-old Calvin, from the Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, with Donald Trump and the results are, well, take a look...
2016 Presidential Election Reality Check
2 min · 13,530 views today · We're awake now. We're not going back to sleep.
Law Professor's Epic Response to Black Lives Matter Shirt Complaint
Social Design Notes · 12,105 views today · A first year law school student wrote a complaint about her professor having worn a Black Lives Matter T-shirt during class. The professor’s response is priceless. Scans of...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 9,775 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Watch How Europeans Carved Up African Land They Never Owned
5 min · 8,764 views today · Watch how Europeans gave away African land they never owned, then expressed anger when Africans resisted.
She's With Them - But We've Got Us: a Movement Bigger Than Sanders
Jon Queally · 7,505 views today · The DNC and the Clinton campaign joined forces against the 'political revolution' for one simple reason: they knew it could win. And it still can.
The Real Reason White People Say 'All Lives Matter'
John Halstead · 7,060 views today · Why “Black” Makes Us Uncomfortable Dear fellow white people, let’s have an honest talk about why we say “All Lives Matter.” First of all, notice that no one was saying “All...
Who Should Bernie Voters Support Now? Robert Reich Vs. Chris Hedges on Tackling the Neoliberal Order
37 min · 5,981 views today · The day after Senator Bernie Sanders spoke at the Democratic National Convention and urged his supporters to work to ensure his former rival wins the presidential race, we host...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 5,881 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Scorching Global Temps Astound Climate Scientists
Nika Knight · 5,844 views today · As wildfire rages in California, flooding affects millions in India and China, and eggs are fried on sidewalks in Iraq, scientists say global climate catastrophe is surpassing...
13 Graphs Perfectly Demonstrate What Depression Feels Like
Sherrie · 4,743 views today · Sometimes, words just aren’t enough, but there are other ways to get ideas across. These images will help you understand what depression feels like.
This Video Dispels Every "Nature VS Nurture" Myth You've Ever Heard. The Implications are Profound.
31 min · 4,474 views today · If everyone watched this it could radically transform the world. This is a segment from Moving Forward (2011). Watch the full documentary online here.
History Tells Us What May Happen Next With Brexit and Trump
Tobias Stone · 4,101 views today · It seems we’re entering another of those stupid seasons humans impose on themselves at fairly regular intervals. I am sketching out here opinions based on information, they may...
Depression-Busting Exercise Tips for People Too Depressed to Exercise
Sarah Kurchak · 3,957 views today · If you’ve struggled with depression at any point in your life, you’ve probably heard some well-meaning soul say “just try to get some exercise, it’s good for your mood!”...
How Political Mind Control Works
Joe Brewer · 3,711 views today · The illusion of power IS a kind of real power. There is a lesson in this for the majority of humanity.
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · 3,708 views today · The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to...
The Need for Common Ground, and the Need to Do What You Do
Michael J. Dumas · 3,666 views today · Both Trump and Clinton are scary bad news. There's plenty of time to make a decision. You don't have to answer to anyone when you make it. Whichever decision you make, make it...
The Social Construction of Reality
3 min · 2,749 views today · This is deep. "Whose story is defining the context of your reality?"
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
President Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Into Law