Obama’s Meaningless Signing Statement


President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 into law but he attached a signing statement to it saying that he would not pursue indefinite detention for American citizens without court authorization. His apologists will not doubt claim that this is evidence of his commitment to justice and the rule of law, but the reality is quite different.

First of all, we were all highly critical of the Bush administration for issuing signing statements exactly like this one, where he said that he would refuse to enforce this or that provision in a bill or would interpret it in such a way as to preserve executive authority. If you criticized Bush for issuing such statements and you don’t criticize Obama for it, you’re a hypocrite. And guess what? Obama was one of those people. So were lots of members of Congress.

Obama declares bluntly that his administration will not use indefinite detention of American citizens:

Moreover, I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation. My Administration will interpret section 1021 in a manner that ensures that any detention it authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other applicable law.

That’s certainly a good thing and I applaud the principle. But by using a signing statement rather than a veto, he allows the authorization of the very thing he claims to oppose for future administrations. Signing statements are not binding on future administrations (actually, they aren’t binding on Obama either; he can rescind that policy at will). I know it would be politically inconvenient for him to have to veto the bill, but the fact is that the constitution requires it.

The constitution only gives him the authority to issue a veto of the entire bill. The line-item veto is unconstitutional, as the courts have rightly said. So whether it’s easier for Obama — or Bush — to do it this way, they simply don’t have that authority. To be clear, he does have the authority not to hold anyone indefinitely because the law does not require him to hold them indefinitely, it only gives him the power to do so if he chooses to use it; but he does not have the authority to say, as he does in this signing statement, to say that he will choose not to enforce provisions that are mandatory if he believes they are inconsistent with his executive authority. That is exactly the kind of statement Bush made repeatedly that was criticized by Obama and nearly all Democratic officials.

And then there’s this reality-bending statement:

Over the last several years, my Administration has developed an effective, sustainable framework for the detention, interrogation and trial of suspected terrorists that allows us to maximize both our ability to collect intelligence and to incapacitate dangerous individuals in rapidly developing situations, and the results we have achieved are undeniable. Our success against al-Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents has derived in significant measure from providing our counterterrorism professionals with the clarity and flexibility they need to adapt to changing circumstances and to utilize whichever authorities best protect the American people, and our accomplishments have respected the values that make our country an example for the world.

He can’t seriously expect anyone to believe that, can he? If he has an effective, sustainable framework for detentions and trial of terror suspects, I’d sure love to see it. He and Holder have made lots of principled-sounding statements about the rule of law and the need for civilian trials, but the actions don’t match it. What they have done is establish a ridiculous three-tiered system where some detainees get civilian trials, some get military tribunals and and some get indefinite detention without any trial at all. And the primary distinction between those three groups is their assessment of which of those three options is most likely to result in a conviction. There’s nothing at all principled about that system, it shows concern solely for political results rather than for justice or the rule of law.

One could certainly argue that Obama was forced into such a result by the actions of the Bush administration, whose penchant for torture and indefinite detention has made it impossible to secure convictions against many of the Gitmo detainees without using evidence obtained by torture. But Obama has tried to have it both ways from the start on these matters, and you simply cannot claim to be devoted to the rule of law and the cause of justice while simultaneously claiming the authority to hold forever people who have never been shown in any legitimate tribunal to have done anything wrong. The military tribunals at Gitmo, even with the changes Obama brought to them, have done nothing to secure justice or to distinguish the guilty from the innocent. And they never will.

Comments

  1. says

    Obama declares bluntly that his administration will not use indefinite detention of American citizens:

    Who cares what HE says he will or will not do? A law is a law until it’s repealed. Next year, we could have {shudder} someone like Rick Perry or Newt Gingrich sitting in Obama’s current office, deciding how he’ll enforce the same law. And we kinda know what they would do, don’t we?

  2. leftwingfox says

    Agreed. Nice words, but pushing congress to pass a bill removing those clauses is the necessary action.

  3. dancollins says

    Yeah his statement is meaningless but that isn’t why. The provisions regarding the indefinite detention of US citizen terrorism suspects were removed in conference. Check the latest version of the bill, the version that was actually signed .

  4. Michael Heath says

    Ed,

    I think a good argument against President Obama signing this bill requires the critic to sufficiently consider the best arguments that still objects to this component of the bill while still justifying the president signing it. Then compellingly overcoming those arguments in spite of those justifications. Especially since in the broadest context you’ve repeatedly used similar actions by the president to justify describing him as a, “liar and a fraud” and more importantly describing his entire presidency as “a disaster”. Therefore your readers are led to believe this recent action validates and illustrates his being a “liar and a fraud” and his entire presidency “a disaster”.

    Yet here you avoid the president’s argument in its entirety and more importantly – the context of this president’s difficulty getting spending authorizations passed in this and the past Congress. Avoidance in spite of President Obama’s justification also being in the very first paragraph of his signing statement:

    Today I have signed into law H.R. 1540, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.” I have signed the Act chiefly because it authorizes funding for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad, crucial services for service members and their families, and vital national security programs that must be renewed. In hundreds of separate sections totaling over 500 pages, the Act also contains critical Administration initiatives to control the spiraling health care.

    So what are the perceived implications of this president vetoing this bill in the larger context relative to the national interest? Does it justify signing the entire bill or not? We don’t know from this post. This wouldn’t be so problematic if you weren’t judging the entire president’s record with this exact same type of cherry-picking. But in the past couple of weeks you’ve assessed the president’s character and his presidency based only on these sorts of issues, which I find far beneath you in terms of the insufficiency of your analysis.

    It’s easy to take potshots at all presidents; they certainly deserve a lot of the incoming. However I think its important we consider a sufficient context prior to shooting where I see you consistently failing to consider such context, which I think greatly dilutes the strength of your conclusions.

    Ed writes:

    we were all highly critical of the Bush administration for issuing signing statements exactly like this one, where he said that he would refuse to enforce this or that provision in a bill or would interpret it in such a way as to preserve executive authority. If you criticized Bush for issuing such statements and you don’t criticize Obama for it, you’re a hypocrite.

    There’s a distinct difference between criticizing a president who signs a bill limiting executive power and then ignoring it like we saw President Bush do versus signing a bill extending executive power while promising to ignore it as we see President Obama do here. The existence of either type of action based on signing statements is obviously worthy of criticism, but these two types of actions are on two different moral planes. Also, not considering the context of these actions as you do here also leaves you well short of being able to claim Obama apologists are hypocrites if they criticized President Bush for his constitutional failures.

    For example, I can’t justify President Bush ignoring the law and our treaties and torturing detainees. There were no known upsides to his administration using torture which challenged the known-in-advance downsides. That’s very different than what we find here, where we’ve yet to even assess the downside of President Obama’s not signing this bill prior to conflating his action as equivalent to Bush’s where anyone who disagrees must be a hypocrite.

    President Obama may very well not have sufficient justification to sign this bill, but we don’t know that yet so we’re a long way from having the moral authority to castigate him on this matter relevant to his entire set of responsibilities or call those who conclude we lack sufficient evidence to concede your conclusions, “hypocrites”.

  5. Michael Heath says

    I want to qualify one of my previous points, emphasis which follows is the added qualification:

    There’s a distinct difference between criticizing a president who signs a bill limiting executive power and then ignoring it like we saw President Bush do versus signing a bill extending executive power while promising to ignore it as we see President Obama do here [assuming the federal courts find the bill effectively extending power constitutional].

  6. danielrudolph says

    I was going to say what Michael did. Obama is saying that he doesn’t intend to use certain provisions of the law, which is his prerogative as executive, but doesn’t make the law any better. This is not the same as ignoring provisions of a law that tell you what not to do.

  7. organon says

    There is a long list of things that need to be addressed in comments above, but I will not be able to do this until later. For now, here are some oaths to office, which will be important to have in mind as I begin with some examination of various claims regarding what has taken place. I will begin later.

    President’s oath to office:

    “I, , do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

    Oath to office for Congress:

    Original: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States.”

    Now: “I, (name of Member), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

  8. Makoto says

    Could we share a bit of the blame game here as well? I personally haven’t read through the law, so I (at the moment) must assume that you are reporting accurately about how it may impact me. I know the signing statement has no impact over law at all, at least, so that much is true.

    However, the bill didn’t just magically appear on his desk. It went through both chambers of Congress, which decided to create the bill in its current form and to pass it to the president. He didn’t add the provisions to the bill that I’m reading about here – he said that he doesn’t like them, but felt he had to sign the bill anyway.

    I don’t like signing statements. They’re pointless, other than indicating that the president is doing something he wishes he didn’t have to do. But what would you prefer? A full veto, and then.. what? Both houses of Congress apparently liked the bill in its current form enough to get it to his desk, and that practically takes a “miracle” these days. I could see it coming back again and again with additional poison pills to ensure it goes through at some point, or with stripping out even the good stuff in the bill.

  9. Michael Heath says

    FYI, Sen. Udall, D-NM, presented an amendment to rescind this language from the bigger bill where both of my Democratic Senators along with 14 other Democratic Senators (including “Independent” Sen. Joe Lieberman) opposed Udall’s amendment: http://goo.gl/x85TD .

    Six of these 16 Democrats along with only three Republicans did vote for an alternative amendment to the Udall amendment sponsored by Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-CA. My two Dem MI senators also voted against the Feinstein amendment. Here’s the results: http://goo.gl/hJyIS

  10. organon says

    Sorry for the delay, but I’ve only now been able to get back to this, and in less than four hours I have to get ready for work. I will not be able to examine every statement nor have sufficient time to explode a number of myths.

    “Especially since in the broadest context you’ve repeatedly used similar actions by the president to justify describing him as a, “liar and a fraud” and more importantly describing his entire presidency as “a disaster”. Therefore your readers are led to believe this recent action validates and illustrates his being a “liar and a fraud” and his entire presidency “a disaster”.”

    Having done nothing to undo the Bush Administrations assault on our civil liberties, continuing to monitor citizens phone lines, credit card spending, and any of a number of other fourth amendment violations, continuing the so called war on drugs (with a large number of innocent citizens each year suffering heavily, including even death), having citizens assassinated. I could keep going on and on with the violations, but instead I will list everything that he’s done to restore the constitution from the Bush years, especially given how brilliantly he spoke on these issues before becoming president. That list:. Ok, with that done, yes, signing this piece of legislation qualifies as the final straw. It is important to note that while the Senate was meeting, they originally had language that excluded US citizens on US soil. The President’s administration said he would veto it if that limitation were n there, and as such the language was changed to include US citizens on US soil. Also there was the demand that he have the option to choose whether a particular person were to be held indefinitely by the military or to be processed through the standard legal system. But nothing preventing use of permanent military detainment. When the Senate finished changing the language to meet the administration’s demands, 93 senators voted in favor of it while only seven opposed it. Opposing it were three Democrats, three Republicans, and one Independent. After significant public outcry, including constitutional attorneys, the ACLU, and a tremendous number of other important persons, after the compromise version between the House and Senate, the new version saw the number opposing it increase from 7 to 13. The two parties pretend like they can’t work together, and yet they had no problem working in a bipartisan way to rush this abomination through. Before being forwarded to the president, his administration said he was already satisfied so would not veto it. As public outcry continued, including former generals, such bar associations as the Boston Bar, and on and on, he changed it to that he would sign it but with a signing statement. Various commentators and legal scholars quickly explained how useless this would be and could serve no other purpose than posturing. Legal analyses from multiple legal experts, regarding language changes to the final version of the 2012 NDAA brought no significant change to the deeper concerns. Likewise, many had pointed out that a veto of the legislation would NOT stop funding to the military, and it was explained that any claims to signing it under that pretense would be bogus. In the end, on 12/31/11, the president signed the 2012 into law. As others have pointed out, that will be his legacy.

    “Yet here you avoid the president’s argument in its entirety and more importantly – the context of this president’s difficulty getting spending authorizations passed in this and the past Congress. Avoidance in spite of President Obama’s justification also being in the very first paragraph of his signing statement:”

    If we avoid the facts; the entire history of what had taken place, and trusted the supposed justification on the basis of faith, perhaps we might conclude it correct. However, it dissolves quickly when exposed to reason and facts. There was no problem rushing this thing through congress with overwhelming support by both parties, and they worked together to make the changes requested by the president.

    “So what are the perceived implications of this president vetoing this bill in the larger context relative to the national interest? Does it justify signing the entire bill or not? We don’t know from this post. This wouldn’t be so problematic if you weren’t judging the entire president’s record with this exact same type of cherry-picking. But in the past couple of weeks you’ve assessed the president’s character and his presidency based only on these sorts of issues, which I find far beneath you in terms of the insufficiency of your analysis.”

    Q1, there is an overwhelming amount already written on this, from across the political spectrum, with the facts supporting that the offending sections had no business being in there at all, codified the assault on our Bill of Rights, and gave the president congressional support to carry forward in such acts, and in the end, national interest would have dictated vetoing it. Q2, no, everyone from John Whitehead, to Glenn Greenwald, to former generals, to the ACLU, to Amnesty International, to countless others, had explained that it should be vetoed, and so many were calling on him to do so. From what I understand, calls to the Whitehouse on the importance of vetoing it had the phone lines tied up. S3, countless others have covered these things in depth, and it seems unreasonable that someone have to expand what they wrote just to repeat what countless others had already written. S4, there are so many examples, and the egregiousness of this one drives it home. The record over the past four years is what it is. This one thing gave the president the opportunity to FINALLY make a stand in defense of our constitutional rights, but he chose not to. Cherry-picking? It is only through cherry-picking that one could defend the president. S5, in the past couple of weeks, and even past month, Mr. Brayton was almost silent on this issue. He has commented on countless other issues in the past. Not this one. This one is just one more in a long line of others.

    There is so much more, but I’ve got to take a break. I will continue with this separately in a short while, assuming I don’t fall asleep.

  11. organon says

    “It’s easy to take potshots at all presidents; they certainly deserve a lot of the incoming. However I think its important we consider a sufficient context prior to shooting where I see you consistently failing to consider such context, which I think greatly dilutes the strength of your conclusions.”

    I understood the context to be the history of the entire term in office as it relates to the constitution and issues of civil liberties. It is interesting that paragraph takes a potshot at the author while baselessly claiming the author took potshots at the president.

    “There’s a distinct difference between criticizing a president who signs a bill limiting executive power and then ignoring it like we saw President Bush do versus signing a bill extending executive power while promising to ignore it as we see President Obama do here. The existence of either type of action based on signing statements is obviously worthy of criticism, but these two types of actions are on two different moral planes. Also, not considering the context of these actions as you do here also leaves you well short of being able to claim Obama apologists are hypocrites if they criticized President Bush for his constitutional failures.”

    There is a video of Obama while he was running for president wherein when asked if he promises not to use signing statements says yes, while explaining why they are wrong. Also, the signing statement, within the context of the development of the 2012 NDAA, is almost meaningless. And, as a constitutional scholar, he knows his signing statement is in no way binding on any future president, who can abuse the provisions in the 2012 NDAA at will. And the signing statement does nothing to prevent the current president from abusing it at will. Congress gave him, and any future president, this power with overwhelming support from democrats and republicans alike. Basically, Obama has not only continued down the road of constitutional abuses, but has even expanded on it. He himself was eloquent in his condemnation of the Bush administration for such abuses. And yet, knowing the problem, he continues in it and has done what to turn executive power back and to return our rights, as WAS protected by the constitution? In fact, anyone who understands it was wrong when the Bush administration did such things, but now looks at the same abuses through rose colored lenses, is, in fact, being hypocritical.

    “For example, I can’t justify President Bush ignoring the law and our treaties and torturing detainees. There were no known upsides to his administration using torture which challenged the known-in-advance downsides. That’s very different than what we find here, where we’ve yet to even assess the downside of President Obama’s not signing this bill prior to conflating his action as equivalent to Bush’s where anyone who disagrees must be a hypocrite.”

    The torturing of detainees under both administrations is wrong. Did the downsides of that go away via a change in president? As for the 2012 NDAA, NO KNOWN-IN-ADVANCE DOWNSIDES? The downsides are not only known, but have been articulated by countless experts, scholars, etc. Those provisions had no business being in the NDAA. I sincerely doubt there would be any question whatsoever of that had it happened during the Bush administration. BTW, his actions are in addition to Bush’s. He not only continues in those policies, but he’s now signed this abomination into law. What happened to protecting the Constitution? This directly violates it. To protect the constitution would have meant vetoing this thing. He chose to sign it into law instead.

    “President Obama may very well not have sufficient justification to sign this bill, but we don’t know that yet so we’re a long way from having the moral authority to castigate him on this matter relevant to his entire set of responsibilities or call those who conclude we lack sufficient evidence to concede your conclusions, “hypocrites”.”

    DON’T KNOW? Only if we’ve slept through the overwhelming evidence for over a month now. His primary responsibility, as it is with congress, is to defend the constitution. Signing it was the opposite. For those in congress who voted in favor of it. And for the president himself.

    Got to take another break. Will have to start getting ready for work before long.

  12. organon says

    “There’s a distinct difference between criticizing a president who signs a bill limiting executive power and then ignoring it like we saw President Bush do versus signing a bill extending executive power while promising to ignore it as we see President Obama do here [assuming the federal courts find the bill effectively extending power constitutional].”

    If you’ve been paying attention to anything being said about the necessity of someone having “standing” in order for the courts to even hear a case and to be in any position at all to rule on the law’s constitutionality, then you are aware that there’s a huge problem here that removes the NDAA from the danger that the patriot act faced. There are attorneys trying desperately to find a way to meet “standing” requirements. If someone is prosecuted under the patriot act, there is a court case, and that individual has standing. Thus far they’ve been doing a lot of workarounds, including dismissing cases when the judge gave upfront notice that he would have to rule the patriot act unconstitutional. When one is held in permanent custody by the military, there is no case in the civilian courts for a judge to rule on. And a person under military custody would have no access to the legal system anyway. There’s no requirement for the military to notify your family if you’re taken into custody, nor where you’re being held. They don’t even have to hold you in the US. It could be anywhere else in the world. You simply disappear. Countless others have been writing about the dangers of the 2012 NDAA for weeks now. It feels odd repeating things that have already been said by so many others. Most of us have been watching this thing very closely for over a month now. I believe most readers here are well aware of everything I’ve said and are probably irritated hearing these same points still one more time, after the last hope of seeing it derailed, presidential veto, passed on by. Now the country is stuck with this abomination.

    “I think a good argument against President Obama signing this bill requires the critic to sufficiently consider the best arguments that still objects to this component of the bill while still justifying the president signing it. Then compellingly overcoming those arguments in spite of those justifications.”

    I don’t mean to be short, but, wtf?

    Anyway, had there been criticism that Mr. Brayton spoke out far too little on the NDAA, I could understand and would have nothing to say. And now that he has spoken out (which apparently is a problem), what has he said that others haven’t already explained, in depth? Is the primary criticism that he has brought up things that some would like to pretend don’t exist? If we close our eyes and just believe that these things didn’t happen then they don’t exist? It magically goes away? Reality is what it is. Face it or not.

  13. organon says

    “Could we share a bit of the blame game here as well?”
    The blame *is* being shared. The blame was already with everyone in Congress who voted in favor of it. States that have the ability to recall their senators and reps, such as Montana, are working on recalling anyone who voted in favor of the 2012 NDAA. There’s already campaigning against those who voted in favor of it. Now that the president has signed it into law, he gets to share in the blame.

    “However, the bill didn’t just magically appear on his desk. It went through both chambers of Congress, which decided to create the bill in its current form and to pass it to the president. He didn’t add the provisions to the bill that I’m reading about here – he said that he doesn’t like them, but felt he had to sign the bill anyway.”

    Actually, his office WAS involved in those provisions. Congress had to modify it in its original design to meet the demands of his administration. There has been video of this all over the web. Some tried to give his office the chance to deny this, but they did not. It is part of what so many have been complaining about. Even Jon Stewart. BTW, he seemed to be OK with them, as long as they gave him the flexibility he sought, but with all of the public outcry, he added a signing statement that suddenly took a position of not liking it. Those provisions have absolutely nothing to do with what the NDAA is for. During all of that interaction with Congress, why not tell them to remove it, it has no business being in there, and if you include it I’ll veto the 2012 NDAA. He could have come out a hero. But, look closer at what actually took place.

    “I don’t like signing statements. They’re pointless, other than indicating that the president is doing something he wishes he didn’t have to do. But what would you prefer? A full veto, and then.. what? Both houses of Congress apparently liked the bill in its current form enough to get it to his desk, and that practically takes a “miracle” these days. I could see it coming back again and again with additional poison pills to ensure it goes through at some point, or with stripping out even the good stuff in the bill.”

    In this case, the point seems to have been to sign it into law while trying to remove some of the toxicity from himself. In a very short span of time, with everything that had leaked out and with all of the public outcry, the number of Senators opposing it went from 6 to 13. Almost doubled. Had he vetoed it 1) he would have made a stand in favor of the constitution (as the oath to office dictates), 2) he would have given time to all of those working so hard in opposition to it to try to reach enough members of congress to prevent their having a 2/3 vote, and thus it wouldn’t go into law, 3) there would have been more pressure on them to reconsider including those provisions, and 4) if they still went forward with it and had their 2/3 vote, the president would have made a stand. He would not have been the first to do so. And history looks back favorably on the action of a president vetoing unconstitutional legislation. Here’s an example from the McCarthyism period: “President Harry Truman vetoed the legislation as contrary to he Bill of Rights, and specifically the freedom of expression. Truman argued that the “stifling of the free expression of opinion is a long step toward totalitarianism,” and, moreover, that “the course proposed by this bill would delight the Communists, for it would make a mockery of the Bill of Rights and of our claims to stand for freedom in the world.” Congress overrode Truman’s veto by large margins in both the House and Senate.”
    BTW, stripping out the good stuff would have meant making additional cuts to the military, and all the backlash that would come from it. Fat chance. Any way you slice it, those provisions were anti-constitutional. Now we’re stuck with it. This thing seriously pushes the envelope. BTW, any idea of what corporations lobbied for the 2012 NDAA? Any idea why, when there were an enormous number of experts on the web bringing this stuff to public attention, the mainstream media was almost silent on the issue? Speaking against the NDAA included groups that are so rarely on the same page, but on this one they were…liberal, progressive, conservative, libertarian, and even some from the Tea Party. Also, OWS. They actually protested at the whitehouse, but if I remember right were arrested. There were even religious conservatives. Look closer.

    I’ve got to get ready for work, so I cannot continue any further. Research it. Also, research what “standing” is and what the requirements are. Look closer at some of the attorneys and scholars who are horrified by this thing. There’s a wealth of information out there. Well, I guess until SOPA/PIPA goes into law.

  14. Chris from Europe says

    Organon, you should avoid spamming threads like that. There’s something called Greasemonkey and killfile.

    I understand that Turley discusses the anger, but I don’t see how that ridiculous, unconstitutional recall idea could be taken seriously. I think the idea of a recall is not compatible with the idea of republican government, because it establishes a kind of imperative mandate.

  15. slc1 says

    Re Chris from Europe @ #26

    Although it is not clear that recall of a federal elected official is constitutional, it is certainly constitutional for state and local officials. California Governor Gray Davis was successfully recalled and replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003.

  16. organon says

    It is not unconstitutional. These persons represent their state, and thus it is left to each state to decide. There are a few states that allow for the recall of senators/reps, Montana being one of them. That it is an expert on the constitution who is talking about that one state moving forward on this…it would seem that expet would have mentioned it being unconstitutional if it were. #26 struck me overall as intentional distortion amounting to an overall statement that could be summed up as an informal fallacy. It comes across as –> I dispute everything you say since one particular article mentions something taking place in Montana, and I pronounce that something as unconstitutional and not compatible with republican government (and ridiculous), and since I say it, it must be true, in spite of all facts to the contrary, and since I announce it as true, thus on that basis everything in your entire argument can be dismissed. Given how ridiculous the comment was, I opted not to reply. But I do appreciate your pointing out what you did. For your attempt, I do want to say thanks.

  17. captainchaos says

    Isn’t Obama the guy who had an American citizen assassinated abroad, without a trial? This “signing statement” sounds mighty hypocritical to me, and from his actions so far I would not put much stock in it. If he doesn’t think twice about killing American citizens without a trial surely he won’t have much of a problem with locking them up indefinitely.

Leave a Reply