Obama reluctantly signs defense bill

HONOLULU, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama has signed a national defense bill into law while expressing many reservations about some of its provisions.

In a statement issued amid an Obama family vacation in Hawaii, the president said he signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 on the last day of 2011 mostly to authorize $662 billion in funding for the military.


Obama cited a litany of disagreements with various provisions of the bill after stating "The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it."

Many of his criticisms revolve around the detention of foreign and U.S. prisoners and the potential for weakening a president's authority in such situations.

"I want to clarify that my administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens," he said.

Obama also criticized other portions of the 500-page bill, calling one "minimally acceptable" and others that "needlessly interfere" with existing policies.

The bill's scope was large and Obama voiced concern about some of its aspects.

"Other provisions in this bill above could interfere with my constitutional foreign affairs powers," he said, adding his administration "will aggressively seek to mitigate those concerns."


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