"Guantánamo Forever?" - Congress Passes $662 Billion Defense Bill, Aka The NDAA

Tyler Durden's picture

Congress just passed the National Defense Authorization Act in a 283-to-136 vote. 190 Republicans and 93 Democrats voted for; 43 Republicans and 93 Democrats voted "against." Prepare to be arrested, without charge, simply because someone "up there" believes you engage in "terroristy" stuff. Good luck proving them wrong.

From Reuters:

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a defense bill on Wednesday requiring the military to handle suspected militants linked to al Qaeda, acting not long after President Barack Obama removed a veto threat from the controversial legislation.


The bill is expected to pass the Senate this week and then go to Obama's desk for his signature into law.


Shortly before the House vote, the White House announced the president's advisers would not recommend a veto, although they said they still had concerns about the measure.


The measure also imposes new sanctions against Iran's central bank and pre-emptively freezes some aid to Pakistan.

And CNN:

The White House lifted a veto threat against a giant $662 billion defense authorization bill on Wednesday after legislators made changes in language involving detainees.


In particular, the legislators added language to make clear that nothing in the bill requiring military custody of al Qaeda suspects would interfere with the ability of civilian law enforcement to carry out terrorism investigations and interrogations in the United States.


A statement by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the changes mean that President Obama's advisers will not recommend a veto. The measure is expected to come up for votes in the House and Senate this week.


Democrats to offer changes to payroll tax cut proposal


At issue was the president's authority in deciding whether people detained in terrorism investigations would be held in military or civilian custody.


Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the legislation includes a "national security waiver" that allows the president to transfer a suspect from military to civilian custody if he chooses.

Swell, in other words it won't be a colonel pulling your nails out... it will be some spook in a grey coat.

And now, for an opinion:

Guantánamo Forever? via the NYT

Charles C. Krulak and Joseph P. Hoar are retired four-star Marine generals.

IN his inaugural address, President Obama called on us to “reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.” We agree. Now, to protect both, he must veto the National Defense Authorization Act that Congress is expected to pass this week.

This budget bill — which can be vetoed without cutting financing for our troops — is both misguided and unnecessary: the president already has the power and flexibility to effectively fight terrorism.

One provision would authorize the military to indefinitely detain without charge people suspected of involvement with terrorism, including United States citizens apprehended on American soil. Due process would be a thing of the past. Some claim that this provision would merely codify existing practice. Current law empowers the military to detain people caught on the battlefield, but this provision would expand the battlefield to include the United States — and hand Osama bin Laden an unearned victory long after his well-earned demise.

A second provision would mandate military custody for most terrorism suspects. It would force on the military responsibilities it hasn’t sought. This would violate not only the spirit of the post-Reconstruction act limiting the use of the armed forces for domestic law enforcement but also our trust with service members, who enlist believing that they will never be asked to turn their weapons on fellow Americans. It would sideline the work of the F.B.I. and local law enforcement agencies in domestic counterterrorism. These agencies have collected invaluable intelligence because the criminal justice system — unlike indefinite military detention — gives suspects incentives to cooperate.

Mandatory military custody would reduce, if not eliminate, the role of federal courts in terrorism cases. Since 9/11, the shaky, untested military commissions have convicted only six people on terror-related charges, compared with more than 400 in the civilian courts.

A third provision would further extend a ban on transfers from Guantánamo, ensuring that this morally and financially expensive symbol of detainee abuse will remain open well into the future. Not only would this bolster Al Qaeda’s recruiting efforts, it also would make it nearly impossible to transfer 88 men (of the 171 held there) who have been cleared for release. We should be moving to shut Guantánamo, not extend it.

Having served various administrations, we know that politicians of both parties love this country and want to keep it safe. But right now some in Congress are all too willing to undermine our ideals in the name of fighting terrorism. They should remember that American ideals are assets, not liabilities.

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Rynak's picture

If someone is so pissed, then why doesn't he recognize that:

regardless of what "everyone else does"...

- YOU still have power over your immediate useful possessions (excluding land). I'm NOT talking about PMs and stuff. I'm talking about stuff DIRECTLY useful to you.

- YOU still have power over where you live, given a low wealth buffer, and willingness to compromise.

- YOU still have power over what you consume, given enough time and will to research

- YOU still have power to form your own secret communities, unpenetrable by your enemies, if only you have the time and will to do the sufficient research, and apply reasonable restraint regarding what you let the outside world know.

Bottom line: If your goal is "to change the world", then yes you may be dissatisfied. And not to seem mean, but if you expect anything else, who the hell do you think you are? You for now have the power and given enough effort, the ressources to design your direct personal trusted environent however you like.

Are you capable of using the potential of that? If not, what kind of overkill expectations do you have regarding changing more than that, if you cannot even design your immediate life as you want?

Disclaimer: Contrary to both camps, i demand no power at all regarding me changing the world, beyond the pratical stuff i myself do in my life. Actually, i do not even think that i can "demand" the survival of the human species. All i may demand is, that i and those whom i collaborate with, get a fair chance, just as everyone else who chooses to live beyond the mindset of a sheeple. A real civilization-wide change, CANNOT be done just at the command of a handful of people - not even the elite. The current popular mindset has centuries of cultural history.... even the influential elite can - absent people changing themselves - just direct and shape it. Not even they have a magic wand.

nmewn's picture

"Bottom line: If your goal is "to change the world", then yes you may be dissatisfied. And not to seem mean, but if you expect anything else, who the hell do you think you are? You for now have the power and given enough effort, the ressources to design your direct personal trusted environent however you like."

I believe I have to the extent I can. However, no man is an island. I moved away from the city around twenty years ago. And no, speaking honestly, from the heart is not being "mean" Rynak. Its respected here.

My frustration is the same as Conrad's to a large degree.

If the people around me don't desire to be free, to live free, I can't live with them. I recognized this a long time ago in myself. My idea of freedom was apparently different from those around me.

It didn't involve traffic cameras and Gestapo style traffic check points, lawn sprinkling bans for water I paid for, nosy neighbors spying on each other out of spite or envy, permit applications to ask permission/consent on what color to paint the very house I paid taxes on etc.

It was like revenge of the nerds...lol...the preppy little rich kids became the pencil pushing regulators who passed down the laws to the thick necked jocks who barely managed to pass the psych test to become cops. I can tell you...and you must have observed this as well...its a pretty low standard for both of those jobs in regulation and enforcement...lol.

Point being...all we can hope to do at this point is educate the uninformed about freedom and the consequences of giving it away so freely on so many levels.

Rynak's picture

It was like revenge of the nerds...lol...the preppy little rich kids became the pencil pushing regulators who passed down the laws to the thick necked jocks who barely managed to pass the psych test to become cops. I can tell you...and you must have observed this as well...its a pretty low standard for both of those jobs in regulation and enforcement...lol.

I did. And to be honest, i was faced with the decision of "language barrier" versus "compromising really hard, learning to filter really hard, working to selfsustain one's own life without employers really hard.... so that i may get a fraction of the group of few but trustworthy and "souldbound" friends, plus something like a low- to middleclass lifestyle that i can sustain myself".

The second option was much harder, and at the risk of appearing arrogant, unfair regarding what i'd deserve, but more importantly, way below the potential that i COULD use to further own personal projects (commercial as well as noncommercial).

I personally did opt for the harder option, because the "language barrier" was more important to me, than probably most others - it's not that i'm untalented at languages - actually, i started to learn english as a foreign language at the age of 5, out of own interest without encouragement of my parents. However, "expression" personally to me is something very important - and so i opted for the harder way. Though, at the age where i am now, my language abilities have almost someway equalized (by now, i in chats with close friends arbitrarily switch between german and english, depending on what seems more efficient for a set of sentences) - so maybe i should rethink that decision

But i'm drifting way off with personal matters, that have increasingly less to do with your post.

In the case of the USA, i'd guess even very capable people have it quite hard. I mean, even though germany may be shit (yes, i know, totally opposite to common opinion - but let me just say: the zombie syndrome applies everywhere - just in some countries more than others), despite of this americans in the current age, are in an especially shitty situation.

Please do not take this as a "safe" advice, simply because i know shit about the circumstances and details of your life - BUT: If you current location offers an exceptionally low yield, regarding what you want - not just regarding people, but also regarding atmosphere and "culture" - MOVE to some better place!

I've done it on the "middle scale" (not cross country, but almost). And after just a few years, i never ever wanted to go back again to that "slump" of hopelessnes and absence of any personal chances alltogether. I'm not specifically talking about "career" (fuck, if it were about them, they'll make you move every year anyways). I'm talking about a place where you personally even remotely feel halfway home, and/or have likeminded people. If there are no special circumstances regarding your life, DO IT - just make sure to inform yourself before doing it -at best, getting some "boots on the grounds", before doing it. But don't stay stuck in a location, that is stagnation to your personal life and agenda.

nmewn's picture

On the language barrier. You're right, for whatever reason, here, a barely intelligible Cockney British accent is accepted better than Romanian or German. Hell, we have entire info-mercials here where the huckster tries to sell his wares and is apparently successful using this accent alone. The stuff is junk but people eat it up because of the salesman...lol.

But this is one of the reasons why wealth accumulation and preservation is so important.

It affords one mobility. You can pick up and move. If there are laws restricting your God given right to mobility it allows you to bribe your way through (if necessary). On a deeper level, this is no doubt a reason or at least a useful consequence for hideously high taxation and cost living. It keeps the poor & lower-middle class in one spot and dependant on the state.

A cage with gold colored bars is still a cage ;-)

DaveyJones's picture

like any incestuous, inbred, dyslexic, idiot savant family

nmewn's picture


Its amazing looking back on the arguments made here over the last several years.

People came on here and actually argued for more state empowerment. I'm sure, for many of those people, it had to do with their paycheck. But thats self interest. Isn't that enslavement of the many (by taxation) for the benefit of the few? Now there is still more of it.

It is Us and Them.

It always has been.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with viewing any type of government as a potential adversary. A necessary beast that must be controlled. That duty falls to us if we're going to have it at all.

CH1's picture

It is Us and Them. It always has been.


Cathartes Aura's picture


ready to stop the voting game yet?

CompassionateFascist's picture

NO. Ron Paul can split the Repub vote, throw the election via EC to Obama w <than 45% of the vote. Existential political crisis + economic collapse = civil war. Which we will win.  

Eally Ucked's picture

I know you're pissed off as I am, that's why maybe you don't see the message,  but that was one GIANT sarcasm, in my mind. Sometimes you don't have to do "/sarc" to pass your message.  We are here grown up's and we don't need to explain all those little nuances because if we do it looses the fine taste to it. Maybe I'm mistaken but that's my point 

Seer's picture

Screwed again by those fucking libtard republicans!

darkaeye's picture

If you honestly believe this has anything even remotely to do with Republicans vs Democrats, then you deserve this new law.  You might want to put a fresh dressing on those lobotomy incisions.

Seer's picture

Untwist your panties.  It's sarcasm, as in I finally found an opportunity to lambast the fucking idiots that are constantly running around tossing around "libtard."  This shows what fucking BS it all is- got it? (there's no right-side up [all we get is upside down])

FYI - I don't fucking vote.  I have no affiliation with ANY party.  I am, opposed to ALL govts.  So, you see, Mr. Quick to Jump, I'm no Party Pussy (and I have no lobotomy incisions).

darkaeye's picture

Sorry about that.  Didn't see the sarc flag.

I'm totally with you on your entire response. 

goodrich4bk's picture

The "remote" connection is that while Dems were evenly split, Repubs overwhelmingly supported this law 4 to 1.

So while I agree that the D v R sideshow is solely for our lobotomized entertainment, I think the criticism of the Repub "actors" in this farce is legitimate.  I mean, if their chosen role is that of "freedom lovers", you'd think more of them would find it difficult to line up as they did.

Fascists all of them, but Repubs quite a bit more so.

Rynak's picture

as i understand it - in the land of US of assholes:

R: Full frontal assholery, dressed as introverted egomaniac power

L: Indirect and subtle assholery, dressed as extroverted exomaniac "compassion"

Or in short, pimp-marketing vs. whore-marketing.

DaveyJones's picture

or this family affair


with actors faking sacred relationships and a country that dies too young from more than one overdose 

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

It's not even that complicated.

R: Power hungry psychopaths and the pitcher takes his at-bats.

D: Power hungry psychopaths with a designated hitter.


Seer's picture

So, this just goes to show you the pile of hipcrytes here.  Use "libtard" and "democrat" and you don't get up-arrowed.  Use "libtard" and "republican" and you get blasted!  Losers!

Melin's picture

big baby....I caught the apt reversal of the normal usage and didn't junk you.  I'll go back and +1 you if that'll help.

pods's picture

Don't get all pissy, I usually down arrow anyone who THINKS in terms of politics.

As with you, a couple of my favorite quotes:

"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal."
Emma Goldman

"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards."

Claire Wolfe




papaswamp's picture

there is no difference between the parties except rhetoric.....they have practically merged at this point. The Ruling Oligarchy (TRO).

Former Sheeple's picture

Two headed beast is still only 1 beast, no????

Que the Deer, that's what I saw in the mirror...sad day, it's drawrng near...

earnyermoney's picture

You'll be screwed twice by the Democrats. 1st time comes from the Senate 2nd time comes from O's desk.


I knew I should not be using my real name. Damn!  Times like this I am glad that I have skin that is as white as the snow. 

youLilQuantFuker's picture

Ah. A lone wolf. The new new terrorist.

Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez's picture

Hey, haven't you seen the DHS propaganda videos?!  9 times out of 10 the whitey is the terrorist suspect reported to "authorities" by a minority.

Prediction.  This year's "Times Man of the Year" is "the protestor".  Next year the "Times Man of the Year" will show photo of a white militia member and caption will read  "Domestic Terrorist".  Book it.  I know how these demons think. 

"If you see tyranny, say something!"

blu's picture

It is always darkest just before it goes completely black.

disabledvet's picture

If John Corzine diappears only to reappear in Gitmo i won't complain.

hmmmstrange's picture

What's the phone number to report someone as a terrorist?

FEDbuster's picture

Wouldn't it be interesting, if everyone ripped off by MFG/Corzine called 911 daily to report a theft until the police showed up to take a report?  Think of the thousands of departments investigating Jon Corzine.  I am thinking of calling it in to Silent Witness.

Rahm's picture


WaterWings's picture

"Hey, Romney haz food storage."

In Fed We Trust's picture

Big Sis now hiring Snitches.

In Fed We Trust's picture

Whats the phone number to check?

With all the helicopters in my air space,
I just figured i was .

It would be good to now before i drop coin for a tix.

kinganuthin's picture

I wll, that place is coosh compaired to the pens citizens get.

user2011's picture

Sad.... they spend more money on killing than to save our own people.

I had a dream a couple of nights ago... In my dream, US and Japan were researching an extremely potent virus, capable of wiping out most of the populations. Then some "mishap" happened, the virus got released to the air.

Much of the elderly people were dead and the US budget were saved because of the release of obligations to the social security and medi-care etc....

It was a horrible dream....

tekhneek's picture

Sounds strangely reminiscent of 2012.

King_of_simpletons's picture

It is not a dream. That is the collective consciousness reacting to the shitty events happening around, in you.

Eally Ucked's picture

What's the difference virus or special health care after cutting entitlements?

Melin's picture

long canned goods

MsCreant's picture

Outing yourself as a terrorist eh? Couldn't stand the pressure and you cracked.

Melin's picture

actually, that secret was already out if we're going by our rulers' definition of terrorist...I store a terrorist's amount of flour as well...

saiybat's picture

I hope it's whole grain flour

apu123's picture

Are you going to vote Simms Red or Simms Blue?  A reference to "Moon over Parador"

Seasmoke's picture

shoot 1st, ask questions 2nd