Newt Gingrich is fond of reminding listeners that he was a history professor. As with most things the former Speaker of the House says, there's a bit of truth and a lot of exaggeration in that line of his résumé.
If you're like me, you've been looking for some definitive analysis of exactly what Congress did regarding the detainee policy in the conference report (final bill) on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that was passed by the House 283-136 on December 14 and by the Senate 86-13 on December 15.
On December 15, just hours after the Senate had passed the compromise version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif., left)) introduced a bill, supported by several of her colleagues from across the aisle, to extract at least one of the sharpest teeth from the freedom-devouring monster created by the NDAA.
Despite protests that the legislation will negate centuries old rights guaranteed by the Constitution, the Senate Thursday passed a bill authorizing the arrest and imprisonment without charge or trial of terrorism suspects, including American citizens, anywhere in the world. The bill, called the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) also authorizes $662 billion in military spending. It has been sent to the White House, where President Obama is expected to sign it, perhaps as early as today (Friday). Obama had threatened to veto earlier versions of bill, but on Wednesday the White House announced the President was satisfied by amendments made by a House-Senate conference committee granting the President greater discretion in determining what terror suspects to hold in military confinement.