The media have portrayed these directives as a move by President Obama proving the strength and sincerity of his resolve to never deploy the military to detain American citizens without a trial. A closer look reveals that the media blowing of the President’s trumpet is mostly sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Nearly two months have passed since the President signed the NDAA into law. On December 31, 2011, with the portentous affixing of his signature to that law passed overwhelming by the Congress, the writ of habeas corpus — a civil right so fundamental to Anglo-American common law history that it predates the Magna Carta — became voidable upon the command of the President of the United States. The Sixth Amendment right to counsel — also revocable at his will.
Don’t worry, though. The President adamantly denies that he will ever “authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens.” That guarantee is all that stands between American citizens and life in prison on arbitrary charges of conspiring to commit or committing acts belligerent to the homeland.
The President continued by explaining that to indefinitely detain American citizens without a trial on the charges laid against them “would break with our most important traditions and values as a nation.”
These promises were made in the signing statement attached by the president to the NDAA. Of course, the NDAA is an expression of power granted by the Constitution to neither the legislative nor the executive branch. The irony is that the document ostensibly guaranteeing the law-abiding use of that authority is itself unconstitutional. …………….