Senate passes outrageous defense bill and sends it to Obama – who said he would sign it.

by on December 15, 2011 · 7 comments

in American Empire, Civil Rights, History, Military, War and Peace

Senators Al Franken, Bernie Sanders, Rand Paul along with 8 others voted against the National Defense Authorization Act

By Felicia Sonmez / Washington Post / Updated: Thursday, December 15, 2:41 PM

A sweeping defense bill that sparked a heated debate over the handling of terrorism suspects passed the Senate on Thursday afternoon and is headed to President Obama’s desk, bringing to an end weeks of wrangling that included a veto threat from the White House.

The $662 billion defense authorization bill was approved by the Senate on an 86 to 13 vote one day after the White House withdrew its threat to veto the measure over several controversial detainee provisions that it said infringed on its executive power. The bill overwhelmingly passed the House on Wednesday night on a 283 to 136 vote.

The bill had been revised by key lawmakers Monday after they held meetings with administration officials to address the White House’s concerns. The revised defense bill grants greater discretion to the White House over the implementation of the law and also grants waiver authority to the president rather than the secretary of defense.

Although Obama has lifted his veto threat, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday that he thinks there remains a lack of clarity on the cooperation between the military and civilian law enforcement when it comes to taking custody of terrorism suspects.

Civil liberties and human rights groups have urged Obama not to sign the measure, arguing that it would allow for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens.

Senators voting no Thursday spanned the ideological spectrum and included Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), James E. Risch (R-Idaho), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).

The measure also would apply sanctions against Iran’s central bank in an effort to pressure Tehran to abandon its nuclear weapons program and would freeze $700 million in U.S. aid to Pakistan. The bill calls for Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta to report to Congress on Pakistan’s progress in combating the use of makeshift bombs.


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Old Hermit Dave December 15, 2011 at 5:58 pm

If all they do is pick up poor and middle class Americans, nothing will upset the average American who lives in stark fear that a small band of Muslim Masterminds can destroy the Western World. Sure when they pick some guy up claiming he is a member of Al-CIAda, Media like the OB-Rag or Raw Story might do a story on it, but the Lovely PRESS BRIDE married to the Military Industrial Complex, will never even mention it. The fact that for over 10 years America has picked up innocent Muslim men or bought them from Afghan war lords, tortured them, held them for several years, let them go having never charged them with a crime, never even got the slightest attention from the average American. Neither will this new miscarriage of justice cause the ignorant masses to WAKE UP.


david December 16, 2011 at 6:02 am

things are going to get way worse. Obama and the dems, the republicans , Ron Paul and the tea party, have no solutions. Doing away with the fed, lowering taxes,waiting for the banks to invest their billions is pie in the sky There isn’t going to be a green revolution that will bring prosperity.
That means that more people will become angry and politically active in movements suchas Occupy WS. There will be an incident, a bombing or something similar, and it will be blamed on domestic terrorists. Then we will see an american president order the the mass detention of people who are rightfully fighting to take back what belongs to them, the wealth of the nation. Just sayin’


OBJon December 16, 2011 at 9:29 am

The department of justice has laws on the books TODAY that state the following:

-You may be considered a terrorist if you have more than 7 days of food in your house.

-You may be considered a terrorist if you are missing fingers on your hands.

-You may be considered a terrorist if you have guns

-You may be considered a terrorrist if you have ammunition that has been weatherproofed


Frank Gormlie December 16, 2011 at 10:26 am

Prove it, OBJon, what are your sources?


OBJon December 16, 2011 at 10:58 am

That’s what Rand Paul tells us when he spoke against the Defense Authorization Act on 11/29. He said these are laws on the books already with the department of justice.

skip to 11:45 on the video.


Jack Hamlin December 16, 2011 at 11:38 am

I do know, however, if you sit down and fire up your bong with cannabis, you are defined as a Terrorist under the Narco-terrorism provisions of the Patriot Act. It is an assignment I give to my Con Law and Contemporary Legal issues students.

So, I guess if you’re a raincoated, gun-toting, three fingered, pot-smoker, stocked up on munchies for a few days…you just might be a terrorist…or just living life in El Cajon.


workingstiff December 16, 2011 at 10:50 am

Oh man I have 3 out of the 4 of those. Better lay low off the grid for a while.


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