The Huffington Post:
President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 on Wednesday, despite his own threat to veto it over prohibitions on closing the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.
Civil liberties advocates had roundly criticized the bill over
Guantanamo and a separate section that could allow the military to
indefinitely detain American citizens on suspicions of supporting
terrorism. Just as he did with last year's version of the bill,
however, Obama decided that the need to pass the NDAA, which also sets
the armed forces' $633 billion budget for the 2013 fiscal year, was
simply "too great to ignore," according to a presidential signing statement released in the early morning hours Thursday.
Members of the human rights coalition that had urged Obama to follow through on his veto threat blasted his decision as a cave to congressional Republicans.
"President Obama has utterly failed the first test of his second
term, even before inauguration day,” American Civil Liberties Union
Executive Director Anthony Romero said in a statement. “His signature
means indefinite detention without charge or trial, as well as the
illegal military commissions, will be extended.”
"It's the second time that the president has promised to veto a piece
of a very controversial national security legislation only to sign it,"
said Shahid Buttar, executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense
Committee. "He has a habit of promising resistance to national security
initiatives that he ultimately ends up supporting and enabling."
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