Obama signed the NDAA – including a provision allowing the indefinite detention of Americans - on New Year's eve.
Obama issued a "signing statement" with the bill, which – at first blush – appears to say he won't indefinitely detain Americans. Specifically, Obama wrote:
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.
But a closer reading shows that the signing statement is just smoke and mirrors.
Specifically, it was Obama - not Congress – who originally requested that an exception for American citizens be removed from the bill. As such, his professed reluctance is wholly disingenuous.
Moreover, Obama signed a bill which would allow future presidents to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens, and his signing statement in no way limits their power to run roughshod over our rights.
In addition, Obama has claimed the power to assassinate American citizens without any trial or charge. Obama's signing statement doesn't even pretend to limit that power.