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Agency France-Presse reports: "The White House on Friday reaffirmed its threat to veto the Pentagon budget after the Senate passed a funding bill that requires military detention for terrorism suspects and indefinite detention without trial in some cases."

A detainee runs inside an exercise area at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base, Cuba. (photo: Michelle Shephard/AFP)
A detainee runs inside an exercise area at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base, Cuba. (photo: Michelle Shephard/AFP)

Obama Stands Firm: No Homeland Battlefield

By Agency France-Presse

04 December 11


The language being used by the White House here appears politically driven, when they say the so-called 'Homeland Battlefield' provisions in the pending defense bill are unacceptable because they 'would restrict US flexibility in the fight against Al-Qaeda.' The pro-active security-driven logic is a political safe harbor for the administration. In essence, what the administration is saying is, if the provisions remain in the bill the president will veto it. The broader and far more important issue, that the proposed provisions would stand in contradiction to one of the constitution's most fundamental civil liberties mechanisms, Habeas Corpus, is left unaddressed by the White House or Congress. -- MA/RSN


he White House on Friday reaffirmed its threat to veto the Pentagon budget after the Senate passed a funding bill that requires military detention for terrorism suspects and indefinite detention without trial in some cases.

White House spokesman Jay Carney accused the Senate of engaging in "political micromanagement" by including provisions that he said would restrict US flexibility in the fight against Al-Qaeda.

"Any bill that challenges or constrains the president's critical authority to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists and protect the nation will prompt his senior advisors to recommend a veto," Carney said.

The provisions were in a $660 billion 2012 defense bill that passed the Senate on Thursday in a 93-7 vote.

It would require that terrorism suspects be held by the military, and either be tried by US military commissions or in some cases be held indefinitely.

The White House sees the provisions as a constraint on the administration's ability to transfer prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to the United States, try them in civilian court, or even transfer them to foreign countries.

"Counterterrorism officials from the Republican and Democratic administrations as you know have said that the language in this bill would jeopardize the national security by restricting flexibility in our fight against Al-Qaeda," Carney said.

"By ignoring these non-partisan recommendations, including the recommendations of the secretary of defense, the director of the FBI, the director of national intelligence and the attorney general, the Senate has unfortunately engaged in a little political micromanagement at the expense of sensible national security policy," he added. your social media marketing partner


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+127 # BobbyLip 2011-12-04 11:56
Well, disappointed as I am in Obama's (in)actions so far on the civil liberties front, I am pleased he will veto this bill, whatever the ostensible reasons. I would not like to have to depend on the present Supreme Court to rule correctly on whether the bill is consonant with Constitutional protections and Habeas Corpus.
+34 # John Locke 2011-12-04 14:26
Well would anyone like to take a bet on whether he will actually veto it or just talk a good talk like he has so far... when hasn't this fool given in to the other side? and if the military industrila complex and the banks want this, which I bet they do, he will sign it into law
0 # Rita Walpole Ague 2011-12-06 12:52
Sorry, BobbyLip and Abigail (read below comment). De facto reality: rule of law has gone bye bye. And, as disappointing as this is, we had better not hold our breath for anything coming from OhBombAh other than a continuation of the bushwhacked years and military/indust rial/terrorist m.o., with the 1% evil villainiare rulers and their Kochsucking minions in total control of any and all.

Re. hope and change, OhBombAh's kicked us more than twice, so shame on him.
+139 # Abigail 2011-12-04 12:07
Any national security policy that negates the Constitution is NOT a security policy. What are we making secure? Certainly not the United States of America, which has a Constitution that protects us from loss of fundemental rights.
+19 # Erdajean 2011-12-04 13:11
Precisely. Why can't this man stand up and oppose this travesty because it's WRONG for AMERICA? Why does he need to tiptoe around and come up with some idiot excuse that he THINKS won't make the bullies hit him?
If he does veto it, my guess is that he is pretty sure his veto will be voted down and it will go on the books as Law -- to threaten us all until God himself takes this horrid Congress down. Where IS conscience in everything he has done in the past three years? And if he is indeed threatened, or in fear for his family -- not at all surprising -- then why does he not just say so and step down? Must he take America with him?
+5 # 2011-12-04 19:14
Erdajean, You said it and said it right on the mark.
+2 # andreyo 2011-12-05 17:21
I am gratified to hear the response of folks here. By now it should be crystal clear: Obama is a smooth-talking stooge of the same corporate-banks ter Elite that enabled idiot-George W. in his day. In some ways, Obama is worse, cause he soothes our concerns while he amplifies the gangstastate policies.
IMO, there's not a sincere bone in his body. Either he says he won't sign it but will, or will oppose it for the wrong reasons, (to make it worse) or to make himself look good (to the hopelessly naive) for awhile, so they can go back to sleep.
Don't buy any of this. Its a psy-opps, a distraction. The state wants these powers and its going to get it unless we give them something else to think about, (and no, not elections... sigh).
Thank you all for willingness to care to see through the garbage. With people like you amongst us, there's still hope.
+5 # John Locke 2011-12-04 14:27
Had, Not has!
+79 # Barbara K 2011-12-04 12:31
Hang tough, Mr. President. Time to stop letting the bullies bully you. Veto any of their crap that makes it to your desk if it is not in the interest of the citizens of this country. Thank you!

+8 # John Locke 2011-12-04 14:28
It would be nice Barbara, but i think by now we know the milktoast in the white house, he has no fight for us, only for his handlers
+4 # sukumar 2011-12-04 16:14
This bill was sent to him by the Democrats.
+23 # Barbara K 2011-12-04 17:12
It was sent to him by the Senate. All the Republicans voted for it, some Dems did. I watch the Senate and watched the debates and the votes on this one too.

-2 # nice2blucky 2011-12-05 04:48
You are mistaken on this... too.

This is a craven ploy, plain and simple.

Read Glenn Greenwald at

According to Greenwald, Obama's objections have nothing to do with Constitutional issues over the rights of U.S. citizens.

Obama's argument is, essentially, that: it is not the role of Congress to legislate the President's authority to designate non-U.S.-citize ns AND/OR U.S. Citizens as terrorists or enemy combatants, to be detained indefinitely and without due-process by the military apparatus, because the President, without Congressional legislation, already has that authority.

His issue against this legislation, just as it would be for GW Bush/Cheney, is because of the idea that the President's existing executive power precludes -- or renders superfluous -- statutory authority, so he is making this threat as negotiating leverage for that concession.

Obama takes his blind, ignorant, apologist, fool supporters for granted.

He (and rightfully so) gives them no credit for intellectual capacity to realize the irrelevance of their opinions by standing by him and/or supporting (or not supporting) his decisions.

They are all mindless numskulls with nothing to say, nor do they stand for anything.
-2 # SoCalStar 2011-12-07 21:12
BEST COMMENT ON THE PAGE! Thanks for your insights. I knew it had nothing to do with protecting American citizens rights. Thanks to Ron and Rand Paul for voting NO. They always vote by the Constitution.
-2 # nice2blucky 2011-12-08 02:04
CTPatriot, just below says it well, without my level of contempt or acrimony.

CTPatriot also uses a word that I have been meaning to use, but I keep forgetting -- to describe the Obama apologist's reaction to anything that triggers their Republican-fear ing (and I would say, lack of) sensibilities; the word is reflexive.
-2 # nice2blucky 2011-12-05 04:48
As usual, clickers of nay have nothing to say.
+20 # Hexalpa 2011-12-04 17:54
Quoting sukumar:
This bill was sent to him by the Democrats.
With 97 out of 100 Senators signing on, this bill was sent to him by BOTH Parties (it would be interesting to know the party affiliation of the three "no votes"). This bill is the work of POLITICIANS in a pre-election cycle. No "principles" get in their way.
0 # futhark 2011-12-07 13:43
I think the dreaded Rand Paul, son of Ron Paul, both Republicans, voted no.

So even a Republican can occasionally do something correctly.
+2 # CTPatriot 2011-12-04 23:43
Barbara, do you understand that Obama is only vetoing this bill, assuming he follows through, because he doesn't want the Senate taking the power of unilateral detention away from the White House? Do you realize he is making the same unitary executive arguments that Bush did?

Or do you just so reflexively support him that you could care less about the actual meaning or outcome of his actions? If Obama does it, it must be good, right? How are you different from what we once called "Loyal Bushies"?
+37 # RMDC 2011-12-04 12:34
I'll believe it when I see it. Obama caves in pretty easily.
0 # John Locke 2011-12-04 14:29
RMDC, you are spot on
+82 # Henry 2011-12-04 12:36
Marc Ash is exactly right. This statement from the White House is careful and crafty. Why not come out and take a STAND for the Constitution? This is another disappointment. I don't want a chess player, I want a champion of our rights!
+39 # eric_frodsham 2011-12-04 13:30
Make sure if you're senator voted for this, then next time around vote for someone who isn't bought and paid for. (If there is a candidate available.)
+14 # John Locke 2011-12-04 14:30
good luck on that, but yes get these jackasses out of office
+9 # 2011-12-04 15:57
You said it, Henry! "This statementfrom the WH is careful and crafty" and no more than political manuevering. We need "a champion of our rights!" We need POTUS who says what he means and means what he says because he is authentic and has real concern for the people.
+15 # mjc 2011-12-04 13:08
Although it SEEMS to take American civilians off the hook got arrest by forces, it still also gives the person who is president the ability to go over, around, under the military as well in getting whatever information is sought. Agree with Henry that it would have been nice if had mentioned the Constitution and/or the Bill of Rights as a good example of protection of habeas corpus. Keep an eye on this because it isn't that certain a veto either.
+26 # giraffee2012 2011-12-04 13:09
as long as you critics of president dont vote republican/tp -- criticize away.

Not only do the GOP/TP want President Obama out of the W.H. BECAUSE he's a Democrat -- but there is no doubt in my mind that the GOP has racism in their agenda. Newt came right out and said he wanted to put the children in "those" districts (the working poor) to work as janitors helpers bc they have no role model! Other examples are clear.

When the African Americans fought for equal rights - they did not come in under "equal right protection" - but under something called "equal social right protection" - and you're smart enough to figure out the difference!

The war on drugs is designed to punish the black/Hispanic districts because I know white districts where the users/dealers are not told to empty pockets and even the drugs targeted by police are different (White = cocain) (Black=crack cocain)

Although we know the minorities have suffered more than other groups (e.g. jobs & houses especially) - they will not be the only groups to lose under GOP leadership - all of the 99erswill lose. That is 100% for sure because the GOP candidates have told us so. You just have to listen to them.

The GOP priority is not jobs

2012 - register early + mail-in ballots VOTE DEM VOTE OBAMA (BarbaraK)
+10 # ABen 2011-12-04 21:53
Well said Giraffee. So many Liberals/Progre ssives comment as though Obama was elected King rather than president, and seem to ignore the all-out efforts to obstruct everything he proposes in the way of protecting and/or advancing the public good. I certainly don't agree with everything he has done, but I understand how government works well enough to realize what he is up against. We all hated the Shrub because he acted like he was elected King, let's not go after Obama because he doesn't. Politics is first, last, and always the art of the possible. VOTE DEMOCRATIC, until you can find a sane and rational Republican.
+4 # CTPatriot 2011-12-04 23:50
You Democratic Party loyalists and faux "pragmatists" (more aptly described as surrender monkeys) are the reason that the only solution left for us is #OccupyWallStre et. We all know that the Democratic Party is less evil than the Republicans. And what has that gotten us? Two wings of the corporate party, the insane one and the reasonable one. In either case, the wealthy and the corporations win and the 99% loses. We just lose a little less under the Democrats.

Neither one of these corrupt parties is going to change that dynamic. The day you recognize that is the day you will stop spouting bullshit about "the art of the possible".
+5 # ABen 2011-12-05 16:00
CTPatriot; perhaps your considerable anger would be better directed at the way we run national elections--a system that forces candidates of both (or any) party to court Big Money from wherever they can in order to fund Very expensive campaigns. However, if you don't think that politics is the art of the possible, I suggest you take another look at the definition of the term.
+12 # NanFan 2011-12-04 13:13
As MA of RSN points out, the salient parts of this news report are:

"It would require that terrorism suspects be held by the military, and either be tried by US military commissions or in some cases be held indefinitely.

The White House sees the provisions as a constraint on the administration' s ability to transfer prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to the United States, try them in civilian court, or even transfer them to foreign countries."

So they're blowing smoke, really. No veto for detention, just veto "if you don't play ball ABOUT HOW to detain" my way.

This passive-aggress ive stuff is what we have been used to getting from Obama. I saw the movie "Blow" last night for the first time, and it reminded me about how people in power play both ends against the middle, gerrymander their propaganda to look like they're gonna do something FOR the people, but...NAH...not happening.

Article a day or so again on RSN said it all: Obama' just not into us...for real.

+8 # jimyoung 2011-12-04 14:31
For a little relief from the craziness of this I'd suggest reading Torsten Krol's "Callisto" (to me a Huck Finn, Keystone Cops look at Homeland Security). As I was reading it, I caught more deliberate absurdity revealing unexpected views watching the "Contrary Warrior" on Adam Fortunate Eagle's "discovery" of Italy (like Columbus "discovering" the Americas), discovering Sweden, and greeting the Pope, returning the favor by offering to let him kiss his turquoise ring, or offering to buy Alcatraz for $24 in cloth and beads. Absurd as it seemed, it is based on true events, unlike "Callisto." Then Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National, came on. The absurdity index pegged for me. I gave up on being a Republican back when Elizabeth Warren did (though I became a fierce independent), after generations of family Republicans dating back to the founding of the national party. I guess I should have watched those who asked that we "fight dirtier than Democrats" (the reason I left) as they built their corrupt machine. I don't know if Priebus was part of the Wisconsin State party apparatus that decided all donations would only go to the most conservative candidates, no matter how many moderates like me wouldn't support them, but it seems he would have. God help us from such unbelievable incompetence and skullduggery. I hope some of these help you laugh a little.
0 # Carolyn 2011-12-04 13:17
Perhaps Obama wants that authority to be his, not the Senate. He has taken some extraordinary measures against the Constitution and without the Senate.
+17 # Michael Rivero 2011-12-04 13:29
In other words, this was all a staged public relations stunt to make Obama look good as we head into the 2012 election season.
-2 # larrypayne 2011-12-06 13:13
Yeah, staged . . . like the Bin Laden hit.

But the herd will buy anything if the $multibillion-p rofit news media says its so.
+31 # jay84 2011-12-04 13:42
While, I am happy it is getting vetoed, I'm disturbed by the reasoning. He's not vetoing it because it is wholly unconstitutiona l; he is vetoing it because he wants that power for himself.
+1 # CTPatriot 2011-12-04 23:52
Exactly. And sadly, the cognitive dissonance of Obama's loyal supporters blinds them to just how dangerous this is.
+33 # christianadvocate 2011-12-04 13:46
What is even more distressing than the Administration' s failure to defend the Constitution as a reason for veto, is the overwhelming number of Senators who supported the Bill. It is truly frightening that this many of our leaders would shun their responsibilitie s to support the Constitution. The fear they show is exactly what the terrorists want.
+32 # reiverpacific 2011-12-04 13:49
It's still a move in the right (sorry left) direction.
However this all represents hills and valleys of degree in the advance of the Police State -or Corporate ditto- it's all the same.
Ob's real test if he survives to be president with a decent majority, will be how he conducts his second term (Gawd forbid any of the current crop of chowder-heads on the right even comes close to being elected -but never underestimate the "Idiotocracy" quotient of the American once-every-four -years electorate!
+6 # jcdav 2011-12-05 08:45
Also never underestimate the power of manipulated digital ballots....
+23 # Richard Raznikov 2011-12-04 14:01
A veto is important enough here that I don't really care why he does it, but when we look at the videos of candidate Obama and his repeated promises in the area of civil liberties, rights of workers, regulating banks, and ending wars, and contrast those statements with his behavior, it is extremely depressing.

Those who end their comments with 'Never Vote Republican' do not address the real problem. The real problem is and has been the uselessness and cowardice of the Democrats in Congress who are apparently just as corrupt as their G.O.P. counterparts. Only THREE Democratic Senators voted against the final bill here. The rest, including my own state's Boxer and Feinstein, voted with those who would throw away my constitutional rights.

I'm not voting for any Republican I can see at this point, but I am also never again voting for Democrats who betray our trust, and there are a lot of them.
+6 # 2011-12-04 16:12
You said it RICHARD. I'm with you! The Obama apologists who continue to make excuses for him are doing nothing to address the real problem we face which is our governmental system is broken and corrupt on both sides. We the people need either a third party with strong grassroots support or a new system.
+9 # John Locke 2011-12-04 14:35
Obama will do as he is told with any legislation, and the Supreme court has been stacked against us, whats left if the constitution is trashed and habeas corpus with it, anyone who speaks out will be locked up and the key thrown away and without a trial this is like all third world countried, we have really sunk that far now,
+14 # Labrys3 2011-12-04 15:59
Only seven senators voted against this terrible piece of legislation. 3 Dems, 3 Republicans, and one Independent. If Obama vetoes it which I expect, it looks like they could easily overturn that veto. I have put both my liberal senators from Minnesota on notice. Vote to overturn or lose my vote. The Constitution is neither liberal or conservative, and they need to learn it costs to go in opposition to that most sacred document.
+2 # Henry 2011-12-04 21:33
Who were they? I'd like to know. Kucinich, Doggett ...
0 # Phyllis Dreis 2011-12-05 02:57
I know because I have the full list. I printed it out ..I posted a comment about this..To get the full list go to War Is A
0 # Phyllis Dreis 2011-12-05 03:02
A yea vote meant they voted for the offensive part of the bill to be taken out. Two republicans voted yea against their party Kirk and Paul . that's their last names..Al Franken was a yea he's my senator so Ichecked this list out right away and printed this list so Ican remember all the dems that voted nay , meaning they were for keeping that part of the bill we don't like
+1 # Phyllis Dreis 2011-12-05 03:04
Larry, go to War Is A to get the list of how the senators voted on this
-1 # 2011-12-04 16:06
NanFan: This "blowing smoke"..."passi ve-aggressive stuff we have been getting used to getting from Obama" is called
"Sophistry" which Socrates used in his famous dialogues(writt en by Plato) to demonstrate the antithesis of Greek Ethics which is based on Universal Truth.
-7 # thelili 2011-12-04 16:23
LOL this was an act. He used it to terrify us into paying attention.

He's doing the daddy act. He's telling the country he can either make your life h*ll or he can give you paradise-and you'd BETTER choose the right side or he will punish you.

Obama is a slave that thinks he's the slavemaster.

Twenty dollars says there will suddenly be (Israel placed) an "uprising" here in America that makes obama reconsider.

Then he will drag this act back out, tell us we were naughty, and punish us.
+1 # 2011-12-04 19:33
Good, thoughtful comment. The slave master who enslaves the slave(s) is in actuality the slave of the slave, due to being an unequal relatonship which will always be co-dependent.
+12 # MainStreetMentor 2011-12-04 16:53
If our President vetos this bill, I will stand behind, and support, his decision as is within my abilities to do so. It appears with this decisive announcement that someone has used "spray starch" on his backbone - all we need do now to stiffen it up is apply a little heat from the public's "iron".
+5 # Magars 2011-12-04 19:29
Today more than ever,he should remember what Theodore Roosevelt said "...that we have to stand by the President right or wrong,is not only unpatriotic and servil,but is morally treasonable to the American Public.Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else.But it is even more important to tell the truth,pleasant or unpleasant ,about him than about any one else."
Roosevelt,Kansa s City Star, May 7,1918
+14 # Apple-Pi 2011-12-04 19:29
I spent a few hours reading this BILL, it is permeated with loopholes to enable and expand corruption of military power to hide and give away money to non-governmenta l agencies, receive secret gifts,and punish anybody who gets in their way. Stitch another star on the flag for Blackwater. you can download the BILL here--
+6 # Billy Bob 2011-12-04 21:03
Mr. President,

Remember who elected you and why.

We don't care if you're sincere or agree with us. We just want you to do the job you were hired to do. The repug party didn't hire you. We did. Do you want us to show up at the polls next year?

Stand OUR ground. This is bigger than you.
+2 # Apple-Pi 2011-12-04 21:07
The 7 sane senators who voted "nay" were 2 republicans, 2 democrats, and 1 independent. Here is a link for all the names and where they come from. Please note that some Senators such as Al Franken who made pretty speeches against the BILL still ended up voting for it.
0 # Henry 2011-12-04 21:45
Where are the offending language & loopholes in this Bill?
0 # Henry 2011-12-04 21:53
Thanks, Apple.
+8 # Activista 2011-12-04 22:09
Nay OK Coburn, Thomas [R]
Nay IA Harkin, Thomas [D]
Nay UT Lee, Mike [R]
Nay OR Merkley, Jeff [D]
Nay KY Paul, Rand [R]
Nay VT Sanders, Bernard
Nay OR Wyden, Ron [D]
0 # Phyllis Dreis 2011-12-05 02:46
Here's how your senators voted...The Udall Amendment to Strip Out War and Imprisonment Power Grabs...It is worded in such a way that Yea means a vote to strip the offensive part of that bill....`Senato r Sanders..Ind--- -Senator paul R- KY...Senator Kirk,Ill....... .Those are the 3 senators someone on here was wanting to know.. If you want the whole list of all the votes it's at...War Is
0 # Phyllis Dreis 2011-12-05 02:53
To Apple pi and to activista...I am afraid you are wrong about the votes on this bill..Go toWar Is A crime.organd you will see what I mean
-1 # Shipton 2011-12-05 11:26
3 words here: bin Laden won.
+1 # Anarchist 23 2011-12-05 15:56
Shipton: Bin Laden won only if you believe that he was the 'real' threat. Jet-grade kerosene cannot melt steel.The smoke from the WTO was black, indicating a badly burning oxygen-starved cool fire. The man in the cave is a theory so ridiculous as to defy belief and yet...if the myth is true, we are in real trouble because Bin Laden has magic that can contravene the laws of physics. However, Dumbledore's Army is still recruiting. Seriously. And yes, our civil liberties have been trashed. I saw just that plot on 'V for Vendetta'!
+5 # lpod 2011-12-05 13:29
I am proud of you President Obama. More and more you are standing tall.
When there is a clause, as was in this defense bill, that Americans can be held without charge or trial threatened one of our basic fundamental rights promised in our Constitution.
0 # Fight the Reich 2011-12-06 01:09
Quote: "It would require that terrorism suspects be held by the military, and either be tried by US military commissions or in some cases be held indefinitely."

But should read: It would require that terrorism suspects be held by the military, and either be tried by US military commissions or in most cases be held indefinitely if desired by the captors, all without the (supposedly) Contstitutional guarantees of Due Process of Law.
+3 # Bodiotoo 2011-12-06 13:11
Why have the Dems in the Senate supported this bill? What are they thinking? Did Reid expect a presidential veto...? Is this another case of voting one way now with plans to vote against it once vetoed? P O L I T I C S????

Never Vote Republican.
Mr. President Veto this Bill.
+3 # rabbitty 2011-12-06 21:27
I am upset that there are so many putting Obama down. He has been up against so much obstruction that he hasn't been able to get anything done. Not that he didn't try!
If you don't want a complete police state then get over your anger at Obama.
Him staying in office and voting out the republicans in house and senate is our only hope.
Give the guy some credit for trying. He is our only hope.
You don't think one of those bozo candidates would be better do you?
+1 # Nell H 2011-12-07 12:42
Homeland Security wrote contracts with Halliburton to build private prisons. Now, the military has a plan to fill those prisons with detainees -- American citizens, who will not be given a trial. I'm not usually a conspiracy theorist, but this combination is really bad for democracy.

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