Obama ignores law requiring military trials of al Qaeda

President Barack Obama issued an order Tuesday giving civilian investigators broad power to handle the cases of U.S. terrorism suspects despite a law passed late last year that favors military custody.
The decision is likely to raise hackles of lawmakers who included the provision in the National Defense Authorization Act, and it could provide an election-year issue for Republicans.
Mr. Obama signed the bill under protest Dec. 31 and attached a statement saying he intended to disregard portions interfering with his presidential powers.
The law requires military detention for non-U.S. citizens accused of planning or carrying out an attack for al Qaeda and associated groups. At the White House's insistence, it included discretion for the president to waive the requirement if necessary to avoid disrupting terrorism investigations led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Tuesday's order takes advantage of that discretion to the fullest, preserving for the FBI and other civilian authorities the leading role in handling terrorism arrests in the U.S. Military detention would be an option in limited cases, largely at the discretion of the attorney general and federal investigators.
Mr. Obama's interpretation of the waiver authority is likely to clash with the wishes of the bipartisan group of lawmakers who pushed the military custody provision.
Republican Sen. Charles Grassley earlier called Mr. Obama's signing statement an "unconstitutional power grab" that Mr. Grassley said was part of a pattern, including bypassing the Senate to recess-appoint four nominees who had been blocked by Republicans.
Obama has become quite capricious in observing the rule of law.  He has become a law unto himself who decides what laws he will enforce and what he will ignore.  We have seen this earlier with immigration cases, his "recess" appointments and now on cases involving national security.  Ignoring the will of Congress can have its repercussions.  I think he will also hear about his high handedness on the campaign trail.


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