Tell US the truth, Mr. Obama . . .
Should we be concerned?
“40 members of Congress have sent an urgent letter to House and Senate Armed Services Committee leaders protesting provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act that would legalize indefinite detention of American citizens without trial, as the revised version of the bill heads for a final vote on Thursday.
The Senate-passed version of the NDAA, S. 1867, contains Section 1031, which authorizes indefinite military detention of suspected terrorists without protecting U.S. citizens’ right to trial. We are deeply concerned that this provision could undermine the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth amendment rights of U.S. citizens who might be subjects of detention or prosecution by the military,” states the letter.
Opposition to the bill has been bipartisan. While the letter is signed mostly by Democratic members of Congress, Republican representatives like Justin Amash, Ron Paul, and Rand Paul have also been vocal in their opposition.
After a weekend of secret meetings, the final version of the bill emerged on Tuesday morning and is set to be voted on before the end of the week. Issues the Obama administration had with the bill, which had nothing to do with indefinite detention (indeed it was the White House itself which removed language that would have protected Americans from Section 1031), now appear to have been settled.
Both the ACLU and Human Rights Watch point out that the final version does nothing to protect American citizens against indefinite detention.
Congressman Carl Levin said on TV that you had insisted that the bill be stripped of the provision that US citizens would not be subject to the arrest and detention.
From Wikipedia we learn what we may expect from you as President.
“Article I legislative role
The first power the Constitution confers upon the president is the veto. The Presentment Clause requires any bill passed by Congress to be presented to the president before it can become law. Once the legislation has been presented, the president has three options:
- Sign the legislation; the bill then becomes law.
- Veto the legislation and return it to Congress, expressing any objections; the bill does not become law, unless each house of Congress votes to override the veto by a two-thirds vote.
- Take no action. In this instance, the president neither signs nor vetoes the legislation. After 10 days, not counting Sundays, two possible outcomes emerge:
- If Congress is still convened, the bill becomes law.
- If Congress has adjourned, thus preventing the return of the legislation, the bill does not become law. This latter outcome is known as the pocket veto.
In 1996, Congress attempted to enhance the president’s veto power with the Line Item Veto Act. The legislation empowered the president to sign any spending bill into law while simultaneously striking certain spending items within the bill, particularly any new spending, any amount of discretionary spending, or any new limited tax benefit. Once a president had stricken the item, Congress could pass that particular item again. If the president then vetoed the new legislation, Congress could override the veto by its ordinary means, a two-thirds vote in both houses. In Clinton v. City of New York, 524 U.S. 417 (1998), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled such a legislative alteration of the veto power to be unconstitutional.”
Which of the three options do you, as President, intend to use?
If you choose option Number 1 and sign the bill, voters would know this bill violates the U.S. Constitution and will oppose you in the election next year.
Every person in the entire world would have reason to fear that you, as President, might commit “a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism” and they would realize “it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” as people are advised to do in the second paragraph of The Declaration of Independence.
If you choose option Number 2 and Veto the bill, many U.S. voters might believe you would honor the U.S. Constitution, and many might vote to keep you as president.
Also, some people in other countries of the world might again trust you, despite their recent memory of your criminal military attack on Libya.
If you choose option Number 3 and allow the Pocket Veto to kill the bill, some voters may regain their trust in you, but many would then ask, “Why didn’t you Veto the bill immediately instead of waiting for a Pocket Veto?”
Your Veto of the bill might persuade the people in other countries to trust that you will not be a future tyrant if, some day, you become a leader of the United Nations.
Would your Veto nullify your guilt in starting the unlawful war against Libya without a Congressional Declaration of War? Only God will determine that. May God bless you.
– W J Anthony