The Obama administration thinks many in the liberal blogosphere are mistaken in their belief that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) signed by the president on New Year’s Eve authorizes the indefinite detention of citizens captured on U.S. soil.In other words (paraphrasing) — "We already do it in practice; the NDAA doesn't ban it; the NDAA is vague (because we made sure that amendments banning the practice were defeated); therefore indefinite detention isn't fully allowed (since we haven't completed the process of making it fully legal via judicial confirmation)."
Many progressive and libertarians have argued that the NDAA codifies the president’s ability to detain a U.S. citizen captured on American soil until the war on terrorism is declared over. The administration believes that the NDAA doesn’t specifically allow for the indefinite detention of American citizens, but concedes that it doesn’t specifically ban the practice either.
A senior administration official maintained in an interview with TPM that the NDAA “changes nothing” about the legal question of whether the government could allow for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens captured in the United States. ... “Whether you can pick up a U.S. citizen inside the United States and place them in military detention — which was done in the Padilla case but was never resolved up to the Supreme Court — we would argue still sort of an open legal question[.] ... The administration official said their interpretation was that the NDAA “wouldn’t allow you to detain anybody you couldn’t have detained before the bill passed.”
All you need to know:
▪ Nothing about this announcement responds to the "liberal criticism" summarized here.
▪ The administration is arguing that Padilla was a case of "indefinite detention" in the past and "nothing has changed."
▪ Remember: Dems and Repubs both accumulate executive power; but only Repubs take full advantage of it (though Obama I is going toe-to-toe with the Bush II legacy in the international sphere).
▪ Vagueness isn't a defense of the current law; it's one of its features, allowing the courts to put the final stamp on it with nobody's fingerprints fully on it. (Again, read this summary, and click through for the full detail.)
In other words, this is a denial that answers nothing and confirms all.
As I've said before:
Obama is systematically crossing Dem lines of conscience, Dem after Dem after Dem.He must be feeling bullet-proof, ballot-wise. For a whole lot of people, this is really beyond the pale.
At some point, there simply won't be enough Dems who can, in conscience, vote for him, no matter what drek the other side spits up.