Sunday, 1 January 2012

NDAA signed into law

"December 31, 2011 marks the death of the United States of America. Do not believe or accept any reassurance from Bloody Barack. The Constitution says that "Congress shall pass no law..." Well Congress just did pass a law, and the president just signed it; a law that could not legally be written under the Constitution. Those extra-Constitutional provisions will remain in place for all future presidents... And if we look at the record of Obama's promises we can be pretty sure that this one is as empty as the others.
"I'm sure we'll see the law used before summer solstice and I am grateful for one thing. There is much less uncertainty in my life today". -- MCR

Obama signs NDAA bill from Hawaii
President Obama, after objecting to provisions of a military spending bill that would have forced him to try terrorism suspects in military courts and impose strict sanctions on Iran’s oil exports, signed the bill on Saturday.

31 December, 2011

He said that although he did not support all of it, changes made by Congress after negotiations with the White House had satisfied most of his concerns and had given him enough latitude to manage counterterrorism and foreign policy in keeping with administration principles.

“The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it,” Mr. Obama said in a statement issued in Hawaii, where he is on vacation. “I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists.”

The bill authorizes $662 billion in military spending through 2012. It is a smaller amount than the Pentagon had asked for, but it does not impose the radical cuts that the military faces in coming years.

The White House had said that the legislation could lead to an improper military role in overseeing detention and court proceedings and could infringe on the president’s authority in dealing with terrorism suspects. But it said that Mr. Obama could interpret the statute in a way that would preserve his authority.

The president, for example, said that he would never authorize the indefinite military detention of American citizens, because “doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a nation.” He also said he would reject a “rigid across-the-board requirement” that suspects be tried in military courts rather than civilian courts.

Congress dropped a provision in the House version of the bill that would have banned using civilian courts to prosecute those suspected of having ties to Al Qaeda. It also dropped a new authorization to use military force against Al Qaeda and its allies.

Civil liberties groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, still oppose the law, in part because of its authorization of military detention camps overseas. But Mr. Obama’s signature is likely to settle, at least for now, the battle between the White House and Congress over executive authority in the treatment of detainees.

The White House also wrestled with Congress over requirements that the United States punish foreign financial firms that purchase Iranian oil, including through Iran’s central bank. Such a step would greatly increase the pressure on Iran over its nuclear program.

But the administration feared that if the measures were imposed too hastily, they could disrupt the oil market, driving up prices and alienating countries, including close allies, that the United States is seeking to enlist in its pressure campaign against Iran.

Under the terms of the bill, Mr. Obama can delay sanctions by six months to assess their impact on oil prices. The president can also apply to Congress for a waiver exempting a country’s financial firms from sanctions, if he determines that the country significantly reduced its purchases of Iranian oil in the preceding 180 days. Or he can apply for a waiver exempting a country on national security grounds.

Senate Republicans, who pushed for the tougher sanctions, said it would be difficult for Mr. Obama to invoke a waiver, since it could make him look weak on Iran in an election year. But the administration said it was committed to imposing the sanctions.

“We have to do it in a timely way and phased way to avoid repercussions to the oil market, and make sure the revenues to Iran are reduced,” said an administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “But we believe we can do that.”

and the view from RT..

Obama signs controversial defense bill

US President Barack Obama has put pen to paper on a $662 billion defense bill despite serious reservations from critics over the proposed handling of terror suspects. The bill also brought into effect a new round of strict sanctions against Iran.

Some provisions of the bill raise serious concerns among human rights advocates, who argue that they could allow indefinite detention and interrogation of any American citizen suspected to be linked to terrorism. They say it would deny US citizens legal rights protected by the Constitution.

After the bill was approved by Congress in December, Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch said: “By signing this defense spending bill, President Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law.”

Indeed, President Obama himself has expressed worries about the very legislation he has signed, saying he does not agree with all of it.

“The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it,” he said in Hawaii, where he is spending his vacation. “I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists.”

Initially the White House threatened to veto the legislation but then pulled back after Congress made last-minute revisions.

Supporters of the legislation have said it codifies current arrangements such as the indefinite detention of terror suspects held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Obama also brought into force the latest round of tough sanctions against Iran, targeting its Central Bank in an effort to block Tehran’s ability to fund its nuclear enrichment program.

The new sanctions could make it almost impossible for most refiners to buy crude from Iran, whose economy is mostly dependent on its oil exports.

Author and radio host Stephen Lendman told RT the move may lead to a US war against Iran.

“Obama is imperial. He is going for one county in the Middle East after another. His policy is ravaging the world,” he claimed.

Lendman says that should the war against Iran start, the entire region could be enflamed. “Russia and China have strategic interests in the region. They may get involved to protect them.”

He believes the real targets for the United States are Russia, because of its military strength, and China, because of its growing economic strength

“We are talking about the clash of the Titans. Sooner or later that clash is coming,” he concluded

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