I’m kind of pissed that Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act today. I wish he would have followed through with his veto threat. He issued a signing statement that said he found several provisions “minimally acceptable” and would work to repeal other elements. He asserted his executive authority to ignore part of the bill. I understand that he’s not planning on abusing the power he has been handed, but it would be better if he wasn’t creating a law he thinks needs, in part, to be repealed. After all, what if he is unsuccessful?
Obama initially had threatened to veto the legislation. In a signing statement released by the White House on Saturday, Obama said he still does not agree with everything contained in the legislation. But with military funding due to expire Monday, Obama said he signed the bill after Congress made last-minute revisions at the request of the White House before approving it two weeks ago.
In several cases, the president called those changes “minimally acceptable” and vowed to use discretion when applying the provisions.
“I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists,” Obama said. “I want to clarify that 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.”
The president said his administration would seek to repeal any provisions that are inconsistent with his values and added that he would “reject any approach that would mandate military custody where law enforcement provides the best method of incapacitating a terrorist threat.”
Kind of a crappy New Year’s present, dontcha think?