Missing portion of Obama Hope poster revealed

From Demand Progress

President Obama just signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law despite startling provisions that will allow the military to indefinitely detain American citizens. It's a travesty, defying basic principles of justice and due process in perhaps the most extreme respect our nation has ever seen.

Thankfully, several lawmakers are keeping up the fight. Senator Dianne Feinstein has introduced legislation to undo these provisions of the NDAA, in the form of the Due Process Guarantee Act. We need to urge other Senators to support it.

The Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011 amends the Non-Detention Act of 1971 by providing that a Congressional authorization for the use of military force does not authorize the indefinite detention—without charge or trial—of U.S. citizens who are apprehended domestically.

If there's enough of a public outcry, we have a real chance of making this happen: More than 40 senators voted against the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA -- and that was before the media and general public caught on to what was happening. Please urge your Senators to remedy this terrible wrong.

Is anyone else surprised that Senator Dianne Feinstein is fighting this? I had her pegged as the most anti-civil-liberties democrat ever born. She must be up to something tricky.

Tell Congress To Undo The NDAA, Ban Indefinite Military Detention Of Americans


  1. i’m a little gobsmacked that senator feinstein is working on this – maybe, just maybe, enough of her constituency sent letters in (as I did) that she realized it would be in her best efforts to work to eradicate these provisions?

    1. She’s been active in politics my entire life. Ahem, I’m not goign to say I’m old, but one of my earlier memories was of her in tears after the assassination of Moscone and Milk.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if she were sensing a coming shift to more centrist positions by some Democratic politicians. The wildfire of the Occupy Movement, combined with an almost universal sense of anger and dissatisfaction among the American electorate is a wave of change any savvy politician is going to want to catch at the right time…  in order to stay in office longer.

      Or maybe it’s her age and she wants to add a humanitarian entry to her CV. I practiaclly fell out of my chair when I read her name associated with the opposition to yet another heinous step in the direction of restoring medieval law in this country.

      Ah well, I’m supporting her on this one. No question.

      1. I’m a bit younger than you, but your experience pretty much mirrors my understanding of Feinstein – that is, she’s a skilled politician who has no principles other than self-preservation.  Sorry if I put those last words in your mouth, they were my words.

        I don’t trust her, but I will sign her petitions to kill this thing.  Amazing that she opposing Mr. Obama…..

      2. The Medieval period laid the foundations of British/American legal systems – trial by jury/habeas corpus. Whatever this is, it does not seem Medieval to me. Against the nation state which claims a popular mandate we need much stronger safeguards than against the personal power of the King who merely claimed divine authority. (The problem lies with the nation state not popular mandates.)

  2. From what I’ve been reading it looks like Obama was bullied into this by congress. Unfortunate but hopefully something can happen.

      1.  I never said it wasn’t! I don’t have a lot of knowledge on the subject but America’s congress sound like a bunch of twats who do what’s right for them, not for the population of the country.

    1. Bullied into keeping Gitmo open.
      Bullied into giving up on the public option.
      Bullied into increasing drone strikes.
      Bullied into zero prosecutions of banksters.
      Bullied into hiring Geithner, Emanuel, Summers, Daley, Orszag, Bernanke
      Bullied into signing NDAA.
      Bullied into not standing up for the unions in Wisconsin.
      Bullied into concession after concession.

      At some point the real bully is exposed.

      1. We are a representative democracy and Congress makes the laws. Our system is descended from the English parliamentary system where parliament has deposed kings and replaced them with powerless figureheads.

        The first two of your bullet points are 100% congress. Not that Obama hasn’t been a big letdown but Congress kept Gitmo open and killed the public option. You want to change American politics you need to change more than the executive office you need to change congress. If you’re in Wisconsin with all the recalls keep that in mind. Every senator and rep enabling Walker needs to be recalled just as badly.

        1. Re: Gitmo – He is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. He can simply order every one of the soldiers there to go someplace else. It really is that simple. So that first point is, quite the contrary, 100% on him.

          1. That’s an incredibly gormless analysis. He can be impeached. His vetoes can be overridden. He’s not the emperor-potentate.

          2. You don’t know what you’re talking about.  Obama came into office trying to close Guantanamo and Congress responded by first passing a law that defunded the administrations efforts to transfer some of the prisoners to supermax facilities and purchase a prison for the rest.  And then they subsequently passed a second law that prohibited him outright from closing it or releasing anyone from it.  

            Short of just straight up ignoring the laws congress passed, there’s nothing legally that Obama can do apart from continuing to argue (as he has) that congress was wrong to prohibit this.

          3. To Gideon’s point: One could make a legal argument that Congress has no authority to pass a law mandating the day-to-day operations of the military, as they’re not part of the chain of command. Yes, they can defund things and so prevent other facilities from being used, etc., etc., but (legally speaking) there’s not a lot they could do if he simply said “We’ve opened the cell doors, and we’re leaving, they’re free to go where they please”, since it requires no funding, and the actual orders to do so fall outside of the Legislative branch’s authority.

            Now, whether Congress wants to have the blood on their hands of having dropped a shit-ton of potential terrorists on our Cuban neighbors, and whether the State Department nightmare that would ensue from that is a different, but related, question. But at the end of the day, that IS an option he has available to him as CINC.

          4. Teddy Roosevelt sent troops to the Philippines, after Congress refused authorization for fundng, as commander-in-chief. It is a tried and true method.

        2. It’s crazy how congress forces Obama to surround himself with neoliberal hacks and revolving door bankers.  I was really bummed when they made him make Hilary Clinton Sec. of State too.. I was also sad to see that they were able to force him to not even appear to want to put up a fight for some of these issues.

          Obama was pretty good at just doing what he wanted to do in Libya….

      2. Half the things you listed are the result of congressional acts, and specifically Republican filibusters.  Blaming Obama for that stuff is dumb.  Especially when that’s the explicit goal of the GOP’s efforts.  

        1. So, he is always stopped from doing what I would prefer (and what I voted for) but will always do the next worst thing, which is usually the R alternative/compromise. Swell.

          1. Well… yeah.  You want a president to sign progressive bills, you need a progressive congress.  We don’t have one though, and no amount of screaming at Obama for compromising  with our conservative congress will change that.

          2. @twitter-410326822:disqus  Because things were so much better in the first two years of the Obama administration, when Congress was overwhelmingly dominated by Democrats. Oh wait…

      3. You make some excellent points but I didn’t say he wasn’t ‘bullied’ into any of those points at all.

      4. I agree with GuyInMilwaukee. If Obama can be bullied on so many issues, against his will, then he is so weak and ineffectual that he shouldn’t be president. It isn’t just an issue of who is morally to blame for things, it’s also a practical issue of being able to get things done. If Obama is so ineffective that he can be continually forced to do the opposite of what he truly wants to do, then he isn’t up to the job and should resign or should be voted out of office.

    2. I’m fairly liberal, but I don’t buy that Obama was bullied into this.  If he was, that makes him an even worse President than if he signed NDAA willingly.

    3. According to Sen. Levin (D-MI), Obama specifically asked for the provisions that Mark decries in the OP:

      “The language which precluded the application of Section 1031 to American citizens was in the bill that we originally approved … and the administration asked us to remove the language which says that U.S. citizens and lawful residents would not be subject to this section.”

      So is Sen. Levin lying, or…?

    4. Bullied by Congress? C’mon, you don’t seriously believe that, do you? Obama is President. His party controls the Senate. He could have told Congress “I will veto this bill unless you remove these provisions” and the Democrats in the Senate would probably have fallen into line. Instead, he voiced no opposition to this (except to object to one part of it that he felt infringed on presidential prerogatives) and signed it when it crossed his desk.  Obama totally owns this.

  3. I think it is much more likely she might have figured out that this sets the stage for a military coup in this country.  Its hard for them to vote down your latest funding round if they have been disappeared into a nonexistent site.

  4. As a native Californian, I’ve found that Feinstein is actually a pretty good senator. I’m not surprised. Today I got a letter from our other senator (Boxer) who is actively working to end corporate personhood. Too bad the rest of the country is nuts (that used to be California’s claim to fame).

    1. I think you have this website mixed up with some other place.  I don’t think you’re going to find anyone here defend Obama on this despicable, fascist crap.

      1. I’m fine defending him.  Or at least pointing out that when the GOP congress forces him to sign something that is explicitly designed to hurt his standing with his constituency, that blaming Obama and not them for it thoroughly stupid.  

          1. He had two choices here- piss of a small number of clueless supporters (and they are clueless, or at least, just cluefull enough to be dangerous), or totally defund the US military for the next year.  What would you call that if not force?

          2. Personally, I think that he should have called a press conference, said that this is fascism and refused to sign it. But I still don’t hold him 100% responsible for the turd that Congress shit out for him to approve.

            I didn’t think much of him when he started running for President in 2008 and I still don’t think much of him. He could have pushed harder on many issues. But even if he had done absolutely everything short of setting himself on fire in the House chamber, most of this crap still would have happened.

          3. Pushing harder wouldn’t have mattered with this congress.  And when the press can’t even manage to properly report what the NDAA is, or explain what the law already was on indefinite detentions (this isn’t new), press conferences seem… uh, yeah.  

            At best fighting harder might have mollified a few more progressives than it turned off independents.  At best.  Chances are far better that the Republicans would have just claimed Obama was playing politics with our troops or some such, and it would have blown up in his face.

          4. So, let me get this straight.  Obama could have done the right thing and come out against the NDAA but it probably wouldn’t have been worth the effort anyhow?  Inspiring.

          5. Also, the thought of the US military not having enough funding isn’t exactly keeping me up at night.

        1. didn’t Obama have the line-item veto since it’s a spending bill? or does that only work on the “spending” parts (which would seem to be a rather vexing limitation on this power)? and what happened to these much-maligned signing statements? is there a reason a D can’t use them?

          1. and what happened to these much-maligned signing statements? is there a reason a D can’t use them?

            Not defending Obama, but he did use a signing statement so you know.

            But it’s half-assed and weak.  He should have vetoed it outright.

          2. Obama did attach a signing statement to this bill — and  he used it to say that the bill did not give his administration enough leeway to ignore civil liberties, due process or Congressional and judicial oversight, so his administration is going to “interpret” the sections he didn’t like in a way he does like.

          3. Signing statements, meh. They’re not binding on Obama’s administration, and double-plus not binding on any future administrations. 

        2. Congress can’t force the president to sign anything. And no law can get through Congress today without the support of the Democratic party majority in the Senate.  And if the Democrats are indeed so weak that they can’t stand up the to the Republican House, despite controlling 2/3 of the power centers in Washington, then they don’t deserve to hold those offices.

  5. Is anyone else surprised that Senator Dianne Feinstein is fighting this? I had her pegged as the most anti-civil-liberties democrat ever born. She must be up to something tricky.

    Maybe she wants to get reelected?  Then again, a mostly uneducated populace (as we have in the USA) is nothing to be afraid of, that’s for sure.  So who knows…

  6. Re: Feinstein, I think it’s a very real possibility that as much as she has deluded herself (with the help of massive campaign cash) into the positions she’s taken in the past, the realities of this particular provision really were just too much to handle.

    1. i dig this, but imho a true masterpiece would involve the exact color scheme and recycling motif applied to George W. Bush’s face…

  7. Hum. Let us apologize not only for Obama but also for the 92 Dem and Rep senators who voted for the NDAA.  Face it, voting against the NDAA would be difficult.  Who wants to say to the public, “no more military funding for the year,  let the barbarians in past the gates.”   At least the Senators had the ability to change the NDAA before passing it into law.  Obama does not.  The most he could do is to veto it … with the consequent no military funding.    May the first person reading this who would, honestly, as President be willing to not sign the bill thus letting the military of the USA crumble please speak up.

    1. I’d be willing to veto it, and point to the provision, say to the American people “I’m doing this because your Congress-critters, on both sides of the aisle including my own party, are douchebags who are selling you out”.

      But I’m a known rouser of rabble.

        1. I’d sleep at night knowing I’d done what I could. I’d be able to look at myself in a mirror without disgust. I’d be able to look an American in the eye without shame.

    2. The military would be just fine if he vetoed it.  All Obama had to do was veto it, cite the specific lines that he disapproved of, state his willingness to sign it immediately if those lines were removed, and then get up on the bully pulpit and raise hell about it.  Put it back into the laps of the congress.  Get the people involved.

      Or, he could do what he did and sign it in secret like the puppet that he apparently is.

    3. Sure. Easy: Fellow Americans, I cannot legally sign this bill into law as it offends and contradicts the Constitution I am sworn to uphold.

    4. Actually, Obama specifically requested the provision we are discussing here, even after it was removed in committee. Check it:

    1. Indeed. A line item veto. If we could grantee a President who acts rationally.    However that is not the way politics works in the USA nor, perhaps, the way we would actually want it to work.  As it is, in theory, our direct representatives — the House and the Senate —  argue among themselves in order to get a feel for the best compromise among the many voices that make up America.  Those 300+ different people should, once again in theory, be much more wise collectively than any single person (President aka pseudo-dictator) would be.  Of course there are exceptions.

      1. 300 plus 240: 535 different Senators and Representatives, plus 5 Delegates to the House of Representatives (from American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia).

      2. The line-item veto is, at its very heart, completely unconstitutional, and you won’t see its like rearing its ugly head without an Amendment to back it up.

  8. ‘The Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011 amends the Non-Detention Act of 1971’, these are fictional things right? Because why in the F would we need either of those things given that we already have a Constitution and the Bill of Rights that clearly define these rights in the first place…

    Oh. They’re serious? These aren’t made up?… Damn, that’s, really, f’ed up.

    – and that’s probably what most USians should have thought and said a long time ago. And then of course do something about it so that all of this BS legal chicanery would never have a snowball’s chance in hell of being real. It does take constant vigilance but a whooooole bunch of people over a loooong time have continually dropped the ball about things like this and it’s really getting to be such a steep climb that we may never get this place fixed without seriously remodeling the whole damn house. It’s going to be corrected one way or another sooner or later.

    It’s up to us how this change happens. –

    Seriously, due process guarantee act? That’s just insane as a concept let alone a real piece of legislation. What twisted world have we wrought.

    1. The Non-Detention Act of 1971 amends the Internal Security Act of 1950, which had authorized the detention of communist subversives.

      1. Hmm, indeed. BS begets BS. None of this should ever have been needed. But the congress-fops need busy work so this is what happens. Especially when the people aren’t really paying attention.

        Not really sure which one is more distressing to be honest.

  9. HOPE

    I’m so sorry I voted for this guy. I been took! I been hoodwinked! I been bamboozled! Led astray! This is what he does.

    Pleas oh please, Dems, offer up some viable alternative. I don’t want to reinstate Obama just to cockblock the asylum cornucopia being offered up by the Republicans.

  10. I don’t think it’s a black and white issue. It’s gray, as is everything. From this NYTimes article [http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/01/us/politics/obama-signs-military-spending-bill.html]:

    “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.”

    1. “Mr. Obama could interpret the statute”

      You mean like the special secret interpretation being used by DOJ and other parts of the Government to abuse the Patriot Act for domestic spying and wholesale digging into peoples lives simply because they can?

    2. Oh, so we can just trust him then.  Whew.  I was worried that power was wielded by that guy that bombs civilians, supported the Egyptian regime, shut down Wikileaks without trial, and assassinated American citizens.

      That must be the *other* Obama.

          1. It’s part of how representative democracy breaks. A flawed design; at least you could have bonded recallable delegates. And flawed by design – the constitution was intended to protect banksters and slaveholders from democracy, and while some ruling classes have fallen, others have replaced them, and it continues to protect the powerful from the rest.

    3. What is more, Obama obviously doesn’t believe in indefinite detention for anyone, because he promised he would close Guantanamo. So everyone should be fine here.

      I more people would ignore what politicians say and watch what they do.

        1. Whether Obama abandons his promises or is forced to break them may reflect on him as a person, but it doesn’t change how dependable they are.

    4. Even if you trusted Obama to keep his word this time (and why would you when he’s broken his word so many times before?), the thing that you need to realize is that he won’t be in power forever.  Eventually, this power will fall into the hands of some asshole who will be only too happy to use  it.  And, by then, it will be too late.

      1. You’re definitely right about that. I’m not too worried about it though. I have enough faith that people detained would actually be suspected of intending to kill people.

    5. Signing statements (or any other public declaration of intents) are not legally binding, and certainly won’t be for any other future administration. Obama might be a good guy after all and yadda yadda yadda, but would you trust, say, Michelle Bachmann or Newt Gingrich to do the same ?

      Leftist parties are historically short-sighted in granting powers that can be abused, in the US like in Europe.

    6. This most recent decision demonstrates a troubling pattern on his part. Check out his May 2009 speech for his views on indefinite, preventative detention. Maddow breaks it down:

    1. Yes. Then we might opt to render you to some third party site. You understand, for national security reasons. At this point, even posting this is a risk, and that’s exactly the idea.  It’s terror.

  11. I feel sick every time I see one of these.   The conservatives line up to scream that the world is ending and the liberals line up to scream that the world is ending…  None of you have looked at the full text of the bill.  None of you have considered the untenable  position these folks have created for their opponents.
    Our system is broken.  The first 4 years of a President’s term is impossible because the system will not turn on a dime no matter how much you want it to.  The second term, if there is one, is another exercise in frustration.  We have voted again and again for change only to be stalled, stone-walled, and denied.  Politics has become a process of denial, obstructionism and -my way at all cost-  instead of the compromise and wise governance the  founders intended.
    We are angry and I fear it will get worse before it gets better.  I hope that it doesn’t come to violence but my hope is fading.

    1. To be honest, I completely agree with you.

      I’ve long since come to the realization that this is not going to get better. Each side of the two-party system is tearing us apart at the middle. Both sides are full of power-hungry d-bags, just wearing different color-coded ties.

      I’m really waiting for the offshore betting establishments to start making book on when the first US State formally initiates a secession from the United States. It’s JUST a matter of time now, and it’s the only logical outcome. Well, that or an outright revolution, but a Second Civil War seems more likely.

      1. Not to be the partisan dick here, but one party is pulling the full asshole, the other party, not so much. Democrats compromise…the Republicans filibuster. Blah blah blah I could go on forever, but seriously, can you even think of one Democrat politician who suggested that Bush was the antichrist, or a secret muslim, or that he was siding with the enemy, or that he wanted America to fail, or any of the other hateful things that are the bread and butter of the Republican party today?

        1. Hah – too late. You failed at not being a partisan. 
          The fact that Obama can authorize a blatant abuse of power like this and then get a pass from partisan apologists like yourself is strong proof of that failure. When this perk gets abused by the next GOP hack in office, then the same people justifying it now will be able to wail and wring their hands about the “GOP police state”. 

          Gross violations of civil rights like this should be wrong no matter what party affiliation the offender is. Invading Libya today w/o a single vote from the other branches quickly turns into invading Iran tomorrow with the same illegal justifications.   

          1. I wasn’t commenting about Obama, I didn’t mention him at all. I wanted him to give congress the finger and veto this disgusting bill. I wish he’d fight harder on so many different fronts. Yeah, this is another disappointment. But it’s still 1000x better than the apocalyptic horror of the Republicans.

    2. I hear you. I see stuff like this and get the whole “punch someone in the face” feeling, but not for the politicians…  I get it towards the sensationalists that perpetrate misinformation and half-truths, thinking they are clever at subverting a political poster.

      You want to say the text of the bill is vague and could be misread? Fine. You want to shop a poster like this that implies Obama supports detention of US citizens? I know it is satire, but there is a fine line between satire and libel.

      I swear, with G.I.F.T. in full force and causing real-world effects, people getting doxed and harassed on a regular basis, someone is going to go too far one day and there will be genuine acts of domestic terrorism. Buildings will be blown up and innocent people killed by some group calling themselves “Anonymous”. That’s when you’ll see the so-called “war on terror” turn inward and guess what? All your paranoid fantasies will come true. Some US Citizens will be detained as terrorists because they ARE terrorists. You will see bipartisan and popular support for warrantless domestic surveillance, and there will be witch hunts. The government will have a reason to seriously consider a police state.

      If there is ever a full-on civil war in the US, it will be started by the people, for the people, against the people, because “someone was wrong on the Internet”

  12. I’m still being told I should hold my nose and vote for Obama this year, because the republican candidate would be worse.  That I shouldn’t ‘throw away’ my vote on a third party candidate. But when it’s this bad, I can’t take that idea seriously any more.

    1. That I shouldn’t ‘throw away’ my vote on a third party candidate. But when it’s this bad, I can’t take that idea seriously any more.

      Then say hello to President Santorum. Will that make you feel better about your third party vote?

      1. Under a reactionary Republican President, would the Democrats find their spines? I think it’s much easier to oppose things than be in charge. Both parties like being in the minority. The R’s use it a lot more effectively than the D’s.

        Remember how great the Dems sounded, just before they won the majority in the Congress in 2006? And after, crickets.

        1. Under a reactionary Republican President, would the Democrats find their spines?

          They went along with Bush’s Iraq war, so apparently not. I’m not sure that most of them have spines.

        2. The elected Democratic politicians sure as hell didn’t find their spines in 2002. Or in 2003. Millions of people who opposed the Iraq War. A large percentage of those people marched in the streets week after week loudly shouting their disapproval. But, with 2 exceptions, it didn’t make a damn bit of difference on the votes of their representatives, did it?

          Bush stole that election with the help of a complicit supreme court, but the memory of that epic 8-year travesty shouldn’t fade so quickly. What lessons have we learned from that bit of history that may be too recent for accurate interpretation?

      2. President Romney might not be as bad as Santorum, if he can keep the crazies at bay.
        Regardless, Democrats have proven year after year that they can’t get the job done. They couldn’t do it when popular opinion was in their favour, they couldn’t do it when congressional numbers were in their favour, they couldn’t do it when congressional numbers AND the presidential office were in their favour… I mean, what else do they need before they get the job done, a majority of American Idol  judges ?

        1. Regardless, Democrats have proven year after year that they can’t get the job done.

          What, exactly, would ‘the job’ be?

          1. Re-establishing sanity after 8 years of imperial rule by GWB and (god forbid!) maybe even advancing a strong progressive agenda to reduce inequalities and help the lower middle classes.

            I know, I know, one can dream.

          2. Re-establishing sanity after 8 years of imperial rule by GWB…

            Since that implies that government in general and the White House in particular would have to give back some of the powers that they’ve seized, I’m pretty sure that not doing that is a bipartisan goal.

            …advancing a strong progressive agenda to reduce inequalities and help the lower middle classes.

            One of the major parties, which shall remain nameless, seems to have based its platform on the idea that ‘reducing inequalities’ will lead to the death and dismemberment of the lower middle classes and all other right-thinking, God-fearing, patriotic Americans. That leaves the one party that still refuses to give up power and still jumps when its corporate masters whistle, but at least doesn’t say that gay marriage causes tornadoes.

          3. Why, a pony for everyone, of course!

            In a saner era, Obama’s brand of ‘realpolitik’ would be an asset.  But look at this fucking Congress, just look at it!  And then there’s the cancerous 24-hour media carrousel.

            With a reactionary, batshit crazy (Bachmann) and/or quasi-treasonous cynical (Bohner & Cantor, the ambiguously gay duo) opposition, ‘realpolitik’ often looks like the wrong strategy.  He wins some and he loses some, but the compromises and concessions look like giant backward steps.

            Firmer progressive (or moderate) leadership is needed, but if Obama isn’t doing it now, I don’t buy the arguments of him changing any paradigms beyond 2012.

          4. From what you say, an “imperial” view of the US Presidency is basically unavoidable then, no matter who gets elected. It’s a pretty sad state of things.

            Besides, this shows Obama as weak: the Bush/Cheney administration grabbed arbitrary powers wherever they could, invaded two countries, created Homeland Security, gutted environmental legislation, slashed taxes for the uber rich… Obama couldn’t even institute a decent national health service or restore taxation to sane levels. I guess constitutional scholars are too respectful of laws to actually try to impose new ones.

            The two-but-really-just-one-on-some-topics-party system is certainly broken at a fundamental level, but that doesn’t make weak politicians like BO any better in comparison.

      3. I’d rather we all deal with multiple Santorum terms than continue this good cop / bad cop nonsense forever. I can only speak for myself, of course. What’s the alternative? Inequality, income disparity, class domination, a housing crisis, unemployment? War?

        What is the continuation of this farce of a ballroom dance between two sects of authoritarians going to accomplish? Apparently not wake us the fuck up from this fugue state.

        What if we don’t warily cast our progressive votes for the Democrats?

        Maybe the Republicans will try to censor the internet and support perpetual war. Maybe the Republicans will create some sci-fi dystopia where they can indefinitely detain us on a whim?

        1. I’d rather we all deal with multiple Santorum terms than continue this good cop / bad cop nonsense forever.

          I’d rather not deal with someone who wants to put sodomy laws in force, annul all gay marriages and make abortion illegal. When you stand on principle and other people have to take the consequences, that doesn’t make you a principled person; it just means that you’re skating on privilege.

          1. I do understand that, and I understood it while I was commenting, and I appreciate it.

            We’re talking about voting for people who have few (if any) qualms about supporting our wars of aggression that have resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths. Can we talk about your privilege in not being one of the millions of displaced peoples in the countries we’ve occupied?

            I can be worried about your right to marry at the same time that I worry about it being perfectly legal to send you to jail by fiat. And you don’t just get to pick one of those things. The question is which one you want first.

            Who was it that said a while ago how today’s Democrats are more right-wing than Richard Nixon? Do you think that trend is just going to stop because we vote for them?

            Edit: For the sake of clarity, I do not want any Republicans winning. I’d rather have a Democrat than a Republican, but I’m more interested in all of us who aren’t far-right using something other than fear of the alternative to decide our vote. Nudging those goal posts back is going to help the powerful, not us.

            As for Santorum in particular? I’m white, straight and male. Those privileges wouldn’t count for much once we get to everything else I believe, do, and have done.

    2. Any vote – ANY VOTE – for a candidate that you do not support is a wasted vote.  Voting for a guy just so you can say you voted for the winner is a wasted vote.

    3. People like you blessed us with eight years of George Bush.  Ya know, because he was just exactly the same as Al Gore.  Or at least, that’s what the far left cynically argued in the lead up to the 2000 election.

      1. I voted against George Bush eight times.  Four times against the father, four times against the son.

        1. For people with short memories: Gore picked Lieberman for VP. 
          He had not fully completed his metamorphosis into his current “more-Republican-than-Republicans” crazy-wingnut self, but he was already pretty hawkish on foreign policy.

      2. Nonsense. 200,000 registered Democrats in Florida voted for Bush in 2000, roughly 12% of all registered Dems in the state. If even 1% of those voters chose the candidate of their own party, Gore would have won the presidency.

        Gore and the Democrats were responsible for their own loss and should accept some f-n responsibility for it for once.

        1. There is also the issue of people registering as the OPPOSITE party than they support, in order to be able to vote in the primaries and select a weaker candidate.

  13. Shouldn’t it be no indefinite detention for any citizen of the Earth not just the USA? Is that how low we’ve set the bar now that we have a “Democrat” in the White House.

    There’s no way this Act passes, no matter what kind’ve outcry there is. And if it does pass, at this point I could see Obama vetoing it.

    In no time, I see the powers that be spinning protests such as the Occupy movement as domestic terrorism and then whoops, guess who gets detained indefinitely?

    1. The NDAA completely and totally funds the US Defense Department for the entire year, and has for the last half century.  It’s an ongoing bill that funds everything the military does from R&D to troop salaries and healthcare, toner for the pentagon, and the ongoing war in Afganistan.  

      There’s zero chance that it won’t be passed.  

      This bit of crazyness was inserted into it to try and force Obama to choose between either completely defunding our military, or pissing off the part of his base who is just dimly aware of politics enough to be outraged about “indefinite detentions”, but not politically astute enough to understand what’s going in congress.  

      1. As opposed to Obama ‘true believers’ who can’t even name an Obama staffer, let alone understand the kind of role a Rahm Emanuel played in painting Obama into the congressional, nightmare corner he’s in today.

  14. I really don’t understand anymore ,about politics or anything else, people are crying foul, other people are saying is right, because in all of this religions you have to share the same view in politics(thats what people are saying)
    all of this religion crusade(jewish,catholic,muslim, mormon) etc., is making me crazy I don’t know where to move anymore, if I give the reason to my parents(catholic), then my sisters(mormon) tells me i’m wrong, if i give the reason to my sisters  my step sister(jewish) tells me I’m wrong, if I go to a party and say something bad about obama my friends tell me I should not talk bad about obama because he has not said or done anything wrong,and  if I don’t share the same political feeling or views at my work then I don’t share the company’s values. I can only wish somebody can do or say something about all of this because families are being tear apart and regular folks are getting poor by the minute, have we become  a number and politicians know how to move us so they can get richer and we get poorer and follow them wherever they want?.
    is the herd really become really stupid to not understand all of this bills that are passing  or are they in the same delusion?
    this bill will suck no matter how its written it will suck as much as the patriot act.

  15. annnnnd sent:
    I understand this is condescending, but it sounds like some of y’all need a refresher:[copypasted 6th, 7th, and 8th amendments here]If you have already voted against the NDAA, thank you for your service.  If you voted for it, I must ask you:  why do you hate America?  Please try harder.  The NDAA is UNACCEPTABLE.-yours, NDG—————————————————–The indefinite detention of American citizens as made legal by the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act is a travesty of justice and an extraordinary violation of important civil rights enshrined in our constitution.  I urge you to remedy this by supporting and cosponsoring Senator Dianne Feinstein’s Due Process Guarantee Act.

  16. Feinstein is up for reelection in a very blue state. This gives her a way to shore up her left flank for 2012, while taking little risk.

  17. Well , Military Police have always had the power to detain any one considered a military threat for 48 hours regardless of position, minus Dip Immunity.

    If the Military is rolling detaining domestic persons, then its cause for worry.

  18. Oh, that’s the extra text that’s revealed when the Haunted Mansion pictures start stretching.

  19. I find all this chatter quite funny.  This is in the man’s DNA.  He is Commander in Chief and this allows him to detain anyone.  His whole goal is to expand the role of the Executive Branch so he doesn’t have to go to Congress to enact his policies.  In fact, his supporters want him to do as much as he can, under Executive privilege, so he can advance his idea of justice in America.

    1)  We all know Gitmo is still open
    2)  Drone attacks, under his ability to direct the military, have increased
    3)  The Patriot Act was EXPANDED rather than discontinued
    4)  He “undone” more Clinton era policies than Bush Era policies

    Control over the populace is a Liberal Ideal.  You get what you voted for.

    1. Gitmo is Congress’ fault
      More drones may = fewer boots
      Not necessarily Bad

      You do get what you vote for. And immediately thereafter they morph into something completely different.

      1. So, wait… 
        More drones in the air (now including US skies) is a GOOD thing?You should tell that to the people in those foreign countries being blown to hell by those drones. The expansion of the drone warfare – and it’s being waged and covered up with Obama’s full complicity – is a convenient way for the government to just go after more “bad” guys without any of the hassles of “getting permission” or “declaring war”. 

    2. You were doing great until you veered off into crazyland at the end.

      “Liberal Ideal” is the latest Ann Coulter meme I take it?

    3. Religious fundamentalists care about controling your personal life, not ‘liberals’. You might look the word up sometime, it doesn’t mean what Rush and Faux tell you it means.
      Also, confusing the letter behind a politicians name for thier supposed beliefs and alledged principles is a gross mistake in judgement.  Money pays for their electioneering and money is what they are loyal to.  Everything else is bread and circuses.

  20. The Senate voted, if I recall correctly, 98-to-nothing to prevent Obama from closing Gitmo. The Senate had 92 votes for the NDAA, including these abhorrent detention laws that Obama said he didn’t want, and has since said he won’t use and thinks aren’t Constitutional. But of course all the dramatic people here are eager to denounce Obama rather than to notice that the Senate is overcoming his intention to do what they want with majorities exceeding veto-proof by 25 senators.

    If you want to criticize Obama, it’s not even slightly difficult to find terrible things that are his fault. 90-seat Senate majorities imposing things he opposes aren’t among them.

    1. Like that’s gonna happen.  There’s a reason off-year elections have such abysmal turnout.  It’s just a lot easier to pay attention to the guy at the top, than the several hundred people making the actual calls on things.

    2. That’s even MORE reason to be pissed at Obama then.  “Let’s see…even though I think this law is utter bullshit, unconstitutional, and a violation of the rights of every living citizen, I guess I gotta sign it cuz if I don’t they’ll just override my veto.”  Holy crap, grow a pair and veto the damn thing. Unless he secretly wants that power? Nah, couldn’t be…..

      1. It may have escaped your notice that this bill contained elements other than the detention part that were rather important to have enacted, so his choice was to sign it including those provisions, or to uselessly veto it and not have any funding for the military until his veto was inevitably overridden.

        But I’m guessing just about everything gives you even MORE reason to be pissed at Obama.

        1. I’m fine with the military going unfunded (which wouldn’t happen anyway), especially as our grotesquely bloated military-industrial complex is a huge part of the problem.

          In my mind, nothing is as important in this case as taking a clear stand against a law that violates core provisions of the Constitution.

        2. 1) There’s no way the military would be allowed to go completely unfunded. It’s a scare tactic, and a political game.
          2) In the off-chance that actually happened, you should probably be concerned about the barbarians running this place, not the pretend ones at the gates.
          3) If the right thing probably won’t work, do the wrong thing so that you don’t look silly. Check.
          4) Well, I don’t want more indefinite, arbitrary detention… but I do want to continue blowing people up! I don’t know what to do, this sucks. :(

  21. Our lame Senate Democrats have the game of rotating who gets to play bad cop/ villain of the week down pat. It’s just DiFi’s week to play “Good Cop.”That’s all.

  22. The sooner everyone realizes there really is NO difference between D and R, other than a few pet issues they bicker about but never do much (abortion, guns, etc), the sooner maybe we can get some 3rd party people in. The D and R are only interesting in promoting their party’s power and passing laws that help them, sometimes throwing a bone to their constituents.

  23. there are quiet some ignorant comments on this thread… I can’t believe anyone still backs Obama at this point. He is not a savior – he is just a man, that can’t get the job done. Claim its because of “bullying” and I call bulls***. Plenty of past presidents would have said “no screw off I will veto this bill and you can’t do shit to stop me”. You mean he doesn’t have the balls to do it? 

    Was it someone else’s fault he didn’t veto NDAA? Was it someone else’s fault that page 1001 of Obamacare requires RFID microchips inside every american by March of 2013 and it wasn’t veto’d? Was it someone else was in charge of the military and directed them to go elsewhere instead of coming home as he promised? If he was  bullied, all the more reason to get him out of office. 

    Also for the record we don’t live in a democracy and never have. We were not founded on democratic principles at all. No where in the bill of rights, constitution or declaration of Independence does the word “democracy” ever come in to play. When Benjamin Franklin was asked “what have you given us” he never replied “a democracy”. 

    By definition America was not and is not a democracy. Its exactly what Franklin said it was “A republic if you can keep it”. America is a republic. Because we elect officials to represent ideologies rather than have a majority rules vote, we are a republic.

    1. Was it someone else’s fault that page 1001 of Obamacare requires RFID microchips inside every american by March of 2013 

      I honestly can’t tell anymore when people are kidding or genuinely insane.

    2. Whoa, whoa, whoa… Free RFID chips? No one told me that! I’m all for it, now. Project Mr. Roboto is underway!

  24. Dianne Feinstein is not to be counted on to always vote in her constituents best interests, but to call her the most anti-civil rights Democrat ever born is simply hyperbole.

    1. Now, Strom Thurmond, there was a real anti-civil rights Democrat (re:Dixiecrat now referred to as a Blue Dog Democrat).

      1. Um, you do remember that Strom wound up a Republican, don’t you? That the Republican Southern Strategy means the GOP has inherited the mantle of the Dixiecrats? I’ve got little use for the Blue Dogs, but you can hardly tar them with Strom Thurmond, or even with the Dixiecrats. The Blue Dogs are socially regressive servants to corporate power – not racists.

  25. does the bill of rights no longer have meaning? there is no way that any court composed of members possessing even the most basic reading comprehension skills could possibly find this thing constitutional.

      1. While I’m pretty sure I don’t think that $$$ == free speech (as the SCOTUS has ruled), violation of the EXPLICIT rights in the Bill of Rights if far worse in my book.  The SCOTUS ruling you reference only highlights the larger problem that is cronyism and corporotism.

  26. Feinstein is no friend of civil rights, but that just shows you how much worse all the others are.

    Also, the bill says that an authorization for the use of force doesn’t authorize the military detention of citizens arrested in the United States, UNLESS an Act of Congress authorizes that. So this still is a cop-out, implying that Congress could constitutionally authorize this if it wants to, it will just have to say so specifically. It’s better than what we have now, which implies it’s already authorized. But it still shows no respect for the Constitution.

    1. Err…..Congress CANNOT constitutionally authorize it.  The Constitution trumps all the power hungry megalomaniacal laws passed by Congress.  An act of Congress cannot (legally) go against the constitution.  Congress can “authorize” something all they want and the Supreme Court can even uphold it, but that does not make it constitutional.  It just means that they have developed the excuse whereby their jack-booted thugs will come and kick your door in when you disobey.

      1. So, if the Congress passes a law and the President signs it into law and the Supreme Court upholds the law as, in their opinion, not being unconstitutional, then what makes the law unconstitutional?  Your opinion of it?  

        1. If it plainly contradicts the words written in the constitution, it is unconstitutional, even if you get all 544 men and women in congress, the white house, and the SC to say it isn’t.  The question is what do you do about it.

        2. So, if the Congress passes a law and the President signs it into law and the Supreme Court upholds the law as, in their opinion, not being unconstitutional, then what makes the law unconstitutional?

           It is frankly shocking how far authority worship can go.  

          Your opinion of it?

          Yes.  There is a reason the document begins with the words “We the People of the United States.”   The Constitution belongs to us, not the Supreme Court.

          It is a document that clearly spells out who we are and what we want, and if we decide it isn’t clear enough, we are the only authority in this country with the power to clarify it through our State Legislatures.

          So yeah, if the People of the several States say its unconstitutional, that’s where the buck really stops.

          Instead of telling us all how important they are, Congress needs to convene the Article V hearings they are Constitutionally obligated to call since by now all FIFTY states have called for a convention to propose amendments.

          Then for openers, the repeal of the 17th amendment should be immediately proposed and ratified.

  27. Mark – thank you for posting this and for opining about the anti-civil liberties stance Feinstein has held all these years.  That said, I will support her in this effort, but she’s got a hell of a lot of work to do if she’s ever going to win my vote for her (being a CA native who wants to improve my state, as well as a CA native who see’s the corruption of the Democratic Party in CA).

    In my opinion – Mr. Obama just lost his re-election bid.

    **I can’t say anything good about him, not after this, and neither can any AMERICAN who values freedom**.  All those who value freedom – you are hypocrites if you vote for Mr. Obama come 2012.

  28. To restate the Acton’s famous statement about the corruption caused by absolute power:

    A given level of power asymmetry will morally bankrupt all individuals who have it to a similar degree.

    It does not matter how that power is derived – it does not matter if you are a CEO, a banker, a politician, an entertainer or a priest – nor does your initial morality make a huge difference. All that matters is how many times the median amount of power is at your command.

    The solution, then, is not to try to put good people into positions of power, the solution is to put strong limits on the amount of power any one person can have. If such limits are not put in place, powerful people will simply use their power to grab even more power with their only opposition, if any, coming from other powerful people.

  29. Your president signed a law that implies that you as an American citizen can be disappeared and found back in a mass grave in another forty years without your family ever knowing where you went. Well, at least you can be quite sure that nobody will hate you for your freedom.
    Keep that in the back of your head when you vote for the lesser of two evils in November.

  30. Christ America, if your presidents aren’t fucking the interns they are fucking the constitution instead. I feel good that I live in Australia and our leader isn’t forcing something unwanted upon ….oh wait >.<

  31. You know, sometimes when I look at the Soviet Union with the Gangster Putin running it and back at America I wonder who really won the Cold War.

    The American State has gone from the Civil Rights Movement to imprisoning most young black men (for involvement in drugs – the current war on which is killing more innocent civilians in gang warfare than most hot wars), From landing a man on the moon to being owned by the bank of China, from liberating Europe from the Nazis to waging a grudge war against a dictator of an oil state using outright ‘weapons of mass destruction’ lies to justify the action, from loudly exclaiming “land of the free” to locking up people and throwing away the key with no justification or legal process whatsoever. 

    If Putins Russia is a failure then I have bad news for you, from the UK the United States of America is looking worse.

  32. I think it’s safe to say that by now the president’s purpose is not to wield power, but to draw attention away from it.

  33. Good Grief.

    I suppose the idea that Obama was bullied into signing SOPA into law needs to start now.

  34. Given that we have a Congress and supreme court that has read and understands and upholds the Bill of Rights, we don’t need to tell Congress to undo the NDAA. Ooops. It’s not as given as I thought it was.

    “Amendment VI.
    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”

  35. Right on Mark.  This is just a side-ways method of asserting that the NDAA is constitutional.  She should be pushing to completely over-turn it as illegal.  Not trying to patch it up so it look legitimate but flawed.

  36. There continue to be REAMS of misinformation flowing around NDAA; sadly a lot of it in progressive circles that really ought to know better.

    I strongly urge people who care about this debate to read the detailed and thorough analyses of the _actual_ bill that are posted at the Lawfare blog:

    tl;dr version: the bill that Obama signed was significantly better than the original House version he threatened to veto. The bill creates no new powers though it does codify in law the in-fact practices that Bush began and Obama continues.

    If you want a good history of how we got into this mess, read yesterday’s column at Counterpunch: http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/01/03/the-road-to-the-ndaa/

    To sum up: the problem is not NDAA – it’s the past, existing, and continuing practices of the government that are the problem.

    1. “The Government is doing a bad thing! Vote me and I’ll fix it! […] Actually, now that I am in power, I’d quite like these practices to continue, although I know they’re bad. […] I know, I’ll LEGALIZE them! That will fix it for good.”

  37. “How’s that hopey changey thing workin’ out for ya?”
    Still the best line in four years, even though we know she didn’t think it up.

    1. And I love how every time I see that line anywhere, it has a picture of Bush with it.

      It really appeals to me because it offers an absurd, pessimistic view of doing what you believe (at a point in time) to be the right thing to do. That just speaks to me, you know?

  38. If I was POTUS (goddess forbid) here is what I would do. Have the nay-sayers in congress detained until the Due Process Act is passed. Perhaps this would give them time to reflect upon what Ben Franklin said of those who would give up liberty for the sake of security.

    1. Members of the House and Senate are privileged from arrest traveling to and from legislative sessions and while Congress is in session.

      Article I, Section 6

      1. Ah, but this isn’t arrest under any normal reading of the law. This is indefinite detention without charges based on a vague argument that it’s necessary to defend the country — and gods know, it *IS* necessary to defend the country from this constitutionally obscene act.

        Two wrongs don’t make a right. But sometimes they make the point.

  39. FINALLY!!!

    Hope I can believe in!

    I give up, I must admit I dont give a flying fart anymore.  Screw em all, let GOD sort you out…

  40. Talk about burying the lead. No one, anywhere should be detained indefinitely without trail. Even the Nazi’s got a day in court. The idea that our government can detain someone without trail goes against the foundations of our legal system. Only the worst criminal countries treat people this way (which pretty much puts the US on the list of terrorist countries – snatching people off the street only to disappear them is about as low as you can get.)
    Yet, this The Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011 speaks only to US citizens on US soil. So, do we then accept that we can do this to citizens in other countries? What about tourists to the US? Our government can just snatch them up a la Kim J Ill?
    The Fifth amendment bears repeating here
    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
    Notice it does not specify citizenship or location? No person… That is our law. These amendments exist to limit the power of our government. Clearly, our government is ignoring the law.

  41. I think we are rapidly approaching a time when people will become so fed up with words not meaning what they mean, and of words being used to confuse and make ideas and intentions less clear instead of more clear, and of words being used as weapons to beat down and to diminish and enslave one another instead of helping us to make things better and to improve our interactions with each other, that all these fine words and speeches and laws we’ve endured for so long will be thrown onto the fire, and DEEDS will become the lingua franca of the day.

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