The issue of how to handle captured terrorist suspects has divided Obama's senior national security officials and Congress as well as Democrats and Republicans.
The bill would require that the military take custody of a suspect deemed to be a member of al-Qaida or its affiliates and who is involved in plotting or committing attacks on the United States, with an "exemption for U.S. citizens" which may be waived.
The legislation would deny suspected terrorists, even U.S. citizens seized within the nation's borders, the right to trial and subject them to indefinite detention. The lawmakers made no changes to that language.
"The so-called `changes' to the detainee provisions that came out to conference are cosmetic at best," said Raha Wala of Human Rights First. "They do little to fix the underlying problems with the bill. The president has no choice now but to veto, both for the sake of our national security and the rule of law."
The catch-all phrase "the war on terrorism", in all honesty, has no more meaning than if one wants to wage a war against "criminal gangsterism". Terrorism is a tactic. You can't have a war against a tactic. It's deliberately vague and non-definable in order to justify and permit perpetual war anywhere and under any circumstance. -
Congressman Ron Paul, Republican, 14th district Texas, from a speech given on the house floor, 2007
Every thing secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity.
Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Letter (23 January 1861), published in Lord Acton and his Circle (1906) by Abbot Gasquet, Letter 24
WELCOME TO THE UNITED POLICE STATES OF AMERICA. DO AS YOU ARE TOLD, LEAST YOU BE DEEMED A "TERRORIST."