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Obama sidesteps NDAA provision requiring military custody for terror suspects

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WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama announced measures Tuesday allowing civilian investigators to handle cases of terror suspects, effectively sidestepping a 2011 law requiring they be brought before military courts.

The directive provides more flexibility to the president in deciding whether to use military tribunals to try foreign terror suspects, and is likely to upset lawmakers who included the rule in last year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

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“The executive branch must utilize all elements of national power — including military, intelligence, law enforcement, diplomatic, and economic tools — to effectively confront the threat posed by Al-Qaeda and its associated forces,” Obama wrote in a presidential directive.

The White House, he added, “must retain the flexibility to determine how to apply those tools to the unique facts and circumstances we face in confronting this diverse and evolving threat.

“A rigid, inflexible requirement to place suspected terrorists into military custody would undermine the national security interests of the United States, compromising our ability to collect intelligence and to incapacitate dangerous individuals,” he added.

Obama signed the NDAA under protest on December 31 which required that foreign terror suspects affiliated with Al-Qaeda and plotting or conducting attacks on US soil be brought before military courts.

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He attached a statement to the bill, saying he signed it “despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists.”

The December law revived debate over the complicated legal thicket surrounding the treatment of terror suspects and over rules hurriedly drawn up by the previous Bush administration after the September 11 attacks in 2001.

Obama has sought to preserve the option of trying some terror suspects in federal courts, or for those accused of plotting new attacks against the United States to be processed through the civilian legal system, and his move Tuesday appeared to solidify that option.

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The directive is aimed in part at preventing a disruption of terror investigations conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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2020 Election

Mass rallies, crazy decisions, grandiose posturing: This is what living in a dictatorship feels like

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Another week of shaking our heads and wondering how much longer we can survive him. Yet again, Donald Trump overwhelmed practically everything with the force of his obscene personality, running his mouth and his thumbs even while he was failing to run the country in any sort of conventional sense. He doesn’t actually do anything, but he dominates everything. Living in America today is like being trapped in a room with him — no doors, no windows, no exits, only Trump and the sound of Trump and the hideous image of Trump, all day, every day, for day after day after day.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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Trump officials furious with NRA over ‘dick move’ leak of LaPierre phone call: report

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President Donald Trump originally appeared interested in strengthening federal background check laws in the wake of deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Then, after a phone conversation with National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre on Tuesday, Trump reportedly assured him that background checks were "off the table" and pivoted to discussing anything but guns.

It was a depressingly familiar moment for Trump, who also previously headfaked toward some minor gun control reforms after the Parkland school shooting and quickly walked them back.

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Former Dem Senator hilariously nails perfect impression of ‘pouting’ Trump at G7 because nobody ‘likes him’ there

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During the "Overtime" segment of HBO's Real Time, former North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) made fun of Donald Trump before he arrived at the G7 summit in France,m saying he will pout his way through the weekend because the other world leaders loathe him.

With host Bill Maher asking how the Trump will conduct himself, Heitkamp immediately went into a very recognizable arms-crossed pout, which caused the audience to burst into laughter.

After the two posed as Trump and Geerman leader Angela Merkel from the last get together, Heitkamp had a few things to say about the president.

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