White House Backs Away from Defense Bill Veto Threat

December 14, 2011

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WASHINGTON – The White House today announced that it will support passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which contains harmful provisions that some legislators have said could authorize the U.S. military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians, including American citizens, anywhere in the world. The final version of the NDAA was agreed to earlier this week by House and Senate conferees.

Though Obama administration had threatened to veto a previous version of the bill based on these provisions, it has reversed its position. The House is expected to pass the bill tonight and Senate will vote soon after.

“The president should more carefully consider the consequences of allowing this bill to become law,” Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “If President Obama signs this bill, it will damage both his legacy and American’s reputation for upholding the rule of law. The last time Congress passed indefinite detention legislation was during the McCarthy era and President Truman had the courage to veto that bill. We hope that the president will consider the long view of history before codifying indefinite detention without charge or trial.”

 

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