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(59,494 posts)
14. I think that is why both of these things can simultaneously be true
Tue Dec 27, 2011, 10:50 AM
Dec 2011

That statement says the current bill did NOT change the existing provisions of the AUMF in either direction.

However, the inclusion of the language did reaffirm the provisions that had been vague enough to have been challenged. The Udall amendment sought to remove that that language. If that language did nothing why would most of the Democrats have voted for the Udall amendment that changed a bill sponsored by the Democratic chair of the committee and why was the Obama administration seen as interested in the outcome of that amendment.

Some proof that the final bill did - at minimum - shore up unwanted provisions of the AUMF - is that it was perceived that removing that language - which is what the Udall amendment did - was considered to be different than leaving it in. If the removal of the language is seen as a change, then it seems hard to see how its inclusion changed nothing.

Feinstein wrote the amendment that passed AND was one of the people working hardest to remove or amend the language that Levin included in the bill, so she clearly did not believe the disputed language did nothing in and of itself. Trying to put all this together, I think the problem is that the language specifically reaffirms provisions that previously were vague - and the provisions are ones many Democrats did not want to reaffirm - when, in fact, they need to be changed. The Feinstein amendment was (IMO) a last ditch effort that put in writing what Levin and all were saying - that this bill does not change the existing law. The point being to make it clearer that the intent of the Senate was not to expand the provisions.

It is also clear that there is not enough support to actively change the existing law. (This can be seen by the fact that the Udall amendment, which I think just removed the language added and started a process where the President and others would need to explicitly tell appropriate Congressional committees what their position on detainees was, was roundly defeated, with 38 for it and 60 against it. That would mean the majority not only supported the existing law, but wanted it reaffirmed and certainly not examined.)

The real mystery to me is why Levin accepted it into the bill in the first place. Had it NOT been added in committee, it would have taken 60 votes to add it if those against it filibustered. From the Udall amendment vote, they might have had the Senators needed. It is impossible to argue that it was done to avoid a worse amendment passing because Levin (and people like Reed and Whitehouse) are included in that 60.

Levin KNEW this was a must pass bill. The liberal Democrats failed (via the Udall amendment) to remove it. It is not clear that there was any path to getting a defense bill passed without that language at that point. Even if every Democrat who voted for the Udall bill voted to filibuster the final bill, it would either have gained cloture and passed anyway.

See? Al Franken, the ACLU and the other Chicken Little crowd MannyGoldstein Dec 2011 #1
Maybe they should have considered both sides, or all of the sides, before treestar Dec 2011 #19
Of course our honorable colleague nadinbrzezinski Dec 2011 #2
This message was self-deleted by its author SunsetDreams Dec 2011 #3
That signing statement you posted is NOT for the NDAA bill Tx4obama Dec 2011 #6
The link in your OP is for the Senate bill, NOT the final House bill Tx4obama Dec 2011 #4
thanks SunsetDreams Dec 2011 #7
my understanding after researching the issue was that senator Nelson is wrong. nt limpyhobbler Dec 2011 #5
what research have you done that would prove Senator Nelson wrong? SunsetDreams Dec 2011 #8
Probably I looked at all the same materials you did but just came to a different conclusion. limpyhobbler Dec 2011 #9
The clause added due to the Feinstein amendment reads ... Tx4obama Dec 2011 #10
That's not what they mean by "existing law" Major Nikon Dec 2011 #13
I think that is why both of these things can simultaneously be true karynnj Dec 2011 #14
Except it did change the provisions of the AUMF Major Nikon Dec 2011 #17
I didn't see that in the language - though I am not disputing it karynnj Dec 2011 #24
You can read it here... Major Nikon Dec 2011 #25
Isn't the Patriot Act "existing law"? Bandit Dec 2011 #26
At least you've considered another side of the question treestar Dec 2011 #20
see all the other posts in this thread and watch this video limpyhobbler Dec 2011 #30
Thats the same crap he sent me newfie11 Dec 2011 #11
Ben Nelson is the most conservative Democrat in the Senate Major Nikon Dec 2011 #12
On this matter (and several others) he and the President seem to agree. nt Romulox Dec 2011 #15
I don't see the President putting this kind of spin on the bill Major Nikon Dec 2011 #16
So, that fact that the President and Ben Nelson agree on this matter is irrelevant? Romulox Dec 2011 #18
I never agreed with your "fact" in the first place Major Nikon Dec 2011 #28
Those are reasons (perhaps "excuses") for his agreement. Signing the bill signals the President's Romulox Dec 2011 #29
What spin? treestar Dec 2011 #21
That's a big "If" Major Nikon Dec 2011 #27
If it's already in place why again legislate it, and why then resist our demand to remove it? Fire Walk With Me Dec 2011 #22
Is there, like, a school in or near DC where they teach politicians how to speak fluent Weasel? Zorra Dec 2011 #23
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