White House Drops Veto Threat on NDAA

December 15, 2011 at 9:23 am Leave a comment

Last week we talked to University of Maryland law analyst Anthony Villa about a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act that would give the military power to detain those suspected of supporting Al Qaeda or the Taliban “under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.”

The bill had just passed the U.S. Senate 93 to 7, including yeas from Democratic Maryland Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski. Despite the stunning bipartisanship, President Obama had threatened a veto, and human rights and civil liberties advocates were waving red flags.

After some changes were made in a House/Senate conference committee, President Obama dropped his veto threat, and yesterday the House signed off on the conference report by a tally of 283-136. It awaits a Senate vote and the president’s signature.

Were critics assuaged by the changes in the conference report?

“President Obama,” Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth told reporters, “will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in U.S. law.”

Entry filed under: War.

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