detention of terrorism suspects in U.S.
WASHINGTON.—The recently signed
National Defense Authorization Act for the 2012
fiscal year (NDAA) has generated fierce criticism
among political analysts, given that one of its
paragraphs permits the indefinite detention of
December 31, 2011, President Barack Obama signed the
bill which allocates $662 billion to the defense
sector, while he did express disagreement with some
aspects, such as the clause modifying the
interrogation regime of imprisoned foreign suspects.
The White House differences did not
exactly arise for ethical reasons related to the
treatment of detainees, but because the Obama
administration realized that the new regulations
weaken presidential authority in certain cases.
However, the bill consolidates two
central controversies in the so-called war on
terror: the indefinite detention of terrorism
suspects without charges being brought and the
imprisonment without trial of U.S. citizens,
according to the All Gov.com website.
The NDAA bill also allows terrorism
related cases to be moved from the jurisdiction of
the FBI and the civil justice system, to fall into
the hands of the military, it added.
Civil rights defense groups have
attacked the decision, given their mistrust of the
President’s communiqué shortly after signing the law
in which he assured that the his administration
would not permit the military to hold U.S. citizens
Obama’s action constitutes a stain
on his legacy, as he will always be known as the
president who signed for the indefinite detention of
individuals without charges or trial, said Anthony
Romero, executive director of the American Civil
Liberties Union (ACLU).
Romero lamented that any hope that
the current government would revert the
constitutional excesses of George W. Bush in his
alleged global war on terrorism has now been
The Bush administration sent
terrorism suspects belonging to Al Qaeda, insurgent
Taliban and other individuals to the prison the U.S.
maintains on its illegal Guantánamo Naval Base in
Countless denunciations have
verified that prisoners were tortured there and that
their human rights were violated by placing them in
solitary confinement. According to UN reports,
Washington has the highest global rate of detainees
treated this way, with more than 20,000 cases. (PL)