Salon Reports: This time last year, President Obama said that he had “serious reservations” about certain provisions of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. But he signed it anyway. This year, the same provisions over which he was so reserved remain in the 2013 version of the bill, along with a number of brand-new problematic amendments. The president threatened a veto on the new bill’s prohibitions on closing Guantánamo Bay detention center. But he didn’t veto; he signed the bill again on Thursday.
Once again, Obama expressed his misgivings in a signing statement, but stressed that “the need to renew critical defense authorities and funding was too great” to reject the bill, which approved a $633 billion armed forces budget for the 2013 fiscal year. Also approved in the NDAA are controversial provisions that will likely make closing Guantánamo Bay detention center impossible in Obama’s presidency, and provisions elsewhere in the act that allow for the indefinite military detention of U.S. citizens.