On Wednesday, President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2013, sparking a firestorm of liberal outrage.
At issue is the bill’s language to keep Guantanamo Bay open, provisions that Mr. Obama previously threatened to veto. The bill also includes language that may permit the indefinite detainment of U.S. citizens suspected of terrorist activities.
“President Obama has utterly failed the first test of his second term, even before inauguration day,” said Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. “His signature means indefinite detention without charge or trial, as well as the illegal military commissions, will be extended. He also has jeopardized his ability to close Guantanamo during his presidency.”
The Center For Constitutional Rights joined the chorus of condemnation: “For the second year in a row, President Obama has caved on his threat to veto this dangerous legislation, which severely restricts his ability to transfer or provide fair trials for the 166 men who remain imprisoned at Guantanamo….Once again, Obama has failed to lead on Guantanamo and surrendered closure issues to his political opponents in Congress. In one fell swoop, he has belied his recent lip-service about a continued commitment to closing Guantanamo.”