Statement by the President on Signing the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017

Statement by the President on Signing the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year

President Barack Obama signs legislation in th...

President Barack Obama signs legislation in the Oval Office, Dec. 22, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2017.  Yes, the following is long and wordy, and yet needs your attention.  The portion that I’ve highlighted in bold is the important part of this missive.  We’ll address the propaganda issues in another post.

Note that the President acknowledges that portions of this bill are unconstitutional and yet he has signed it.  Really?  This signing statement is dated December 23, 2016.

Today, I have signed into law S. 2943, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017.”  This Act authorizes fiscal year 2017 appropriations principally for the Department of Defense and for Department of Energy national security programs, provides vital benefits for military personnel and their families, and includes authorities to facilitate ongoing operations around the globe.  It continues many critical authorizations necessary to ensure that we are able to sustain our momentum in countering the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and to reassure our European allies, as well as many new authorizations that, among other things, provide the Departments of Defense and Energy more flexibility in countering cyber-attacks and our adversaries’ use of unmanned aerial vehicles.

I note that section 923 of the Act requires that the President establish a unified combatant command for cyber operations forces, while section 1642 prohibits the Secretary of Defense from terminating the “dual-hat” arrangement under which the Commander of U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) also serves as the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), unless the Secretary and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff jointly certify that ending this arrangement will not pose risks to the military effectiveness of CYBERCOM that are unacceptable to the national security interests of the United States.  Although I appreciate the Congress’s interest in strengthening our Nation’s cyber capabilities and ensuring that the NSA and CYBERCOM are best positioned to confront the array of cyber threats we face, I do not support these provisions as drafted:  the Congress should leave decisions about the establishment of combatant commands to the executive branch and should not place unnecessary and bureaucratic administrative burdens and conditions on ending the dual-hat arrangement at a time when the speed and nature of cyber threats requires agility in making decisions about how best to organize and manage the Nation’s cyber capabilities.  That said, after directing a comprehensive review of this issue earlier this year, and consistent with the views of the Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence, I strongly support elevating CYBERCOM to a unified combatant command and ending the dual-hat arrangement for NSA and CYBERCOM ?? a position my Administration has communicated to the incoming Administration.  While the dual-hat arrangement was once appropriate in order to enable a fledgling CYBERCOM to leverage NSA’s advanced capabilities and expertise, CYBERCOM has since matured and the current construct should be replaced through a deliberate, conditions-based approach to separating the organizations.  The two organizations should have separate leaders who are able to devote themselves to each organization’s respective mission and responsibilities, but should continue to leverage the shared capabilities and synergies developed under the dual-hat arrangement.  To these ends, the Department of Defense and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence have taken steps to ensure that separation would occur in a phased manner that enables NSA to continue to provide vital operational support to CYBERCOM during a transition period.

Beyond these provisions, I remain deeply concerned about the Congress’s use of the National Defense Authorization Act to impose extensive organizational changes on the Department of Defense, disregarding the advice of the Department’s senior civilian and uniformed leaders.  The extensive changes in the bill are rushed, the consequences poorly understood, and they come at a particularly inappropriate time as we undertake a transition between administrations.  These changes not only impose additional administrative burdens on the Department of Defense and make it less agile, but they also create additional bureaucracies and operational restrictions that generate inefficiencies at a time when we need to be more efficient.

My Administration has similar concerns with the Administrative Leave Act, which would limit the period of time for which an employee of the Federal Government may be put on administrative leave.  The provision substantially limits Federal agencies’ discretion and is administratively burdensome, raising the risk of harm to the safety of Government employees and the risk of loss or damage to Government properties.  Further, for the Intelligence Community, the Act creates unacceptable counterintelligence and security risks.

I am also disappointed that the Congress again failed to enact meaningful reforms to divest unneeded force structure, reduce wasteful overhead, and modernize military healthcare.  Instead, the Congress redirects funding needed to support the warfighter to fund additional end-strength that our military leaders have not requested at a time when our troops are engaged overseas supporting the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and against al-Qa’ida.  This approach hides the long-term costs of the Congress’s authorizations, imposes significant costs in FY 2017 and substantially more over the next 5 years, and exacerbates the budgetary pressures already facing our military.  Increasing force structure without adequate funding support in the base budget is dangerous; it will degrade, not enhance, readiness and modernization, contrary to our senior civilian and military leaders’ priorities.

Once again, the Congress has also failed to take action toward closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  As I have said before, spending hundreds of millions of dollars, year after year, to keep fewer than sixty men in an isolated detention facility in Cuba is not consistent with our interests as a Nation and undermines our standing in the world.  It weakens our national security by draining resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and partners, and emboldening violent extremists.

In February, my Administration submitted a comprehensive plan to safely and responsibly close the detention facility.  Rather than answer that call and work with my Administration to finally bring this chapter of our history to a close, this bill aims to make the facility a permanent feature of our struggle against terrorism.  During my Administration, we have responsibly transferred over 175 detainees from Guantanamo, and the population once held at the facility has now been reduced from 242 to 59.  In the last 2 years, we have transferred 73 detainees, and our efforts to transfer additional detainees will continue until the last day I am in office.  It is long past time for the Congress to lift the restrictions it has imposed, work to responsibly and safely close the facility, and remove this blot on our national honor.  Unless the Congress changes course, it will be judged harshly by history.

As I have said in the past, the restrictions contained in this bill concerning the detention facility at Guantanamo are unwarranted and counterproductive.  In particular, section 1033 renews the bar against using appropriated funds to construct or modify any facility in the United States, its territories, or possessions to house any Guantanamo detainee in the custody or under the control of the Department of Defense unless authorized by the Congress.  Section 1032 also renews the bar against using appropriated funds to transfer Guantanamo detainees into the United States for any purpose.  The bill leaves in place onerous restrictions on the transfer of detainees to foreign countries, and section 1034 imposes additional restrictions on foreign transfers of detainees ?? in some cases purporting to bar such transfers entirely.

As I have said repeatedly, the provisions in this bill concerning detainee transfers would, in certain circumstances, violate constitutional separation of powers principles.  Additionally, section 1034 could in some circumstances interfere with the ability to transfer a detainee who has been granted a writ of habeas corpus.  In the event that the restrictions on the transfer of detainees in sections 1032 and 1034 operate in a manner that violates these constitutional principles, my Administration will implement them in a manner that avoids the constitutional conflict.

My Administration strongly supports the bill’s structural reform of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which streamlines BBG operations and reduces inefficiencies, while retaining the longstanding statutory firewall, protecting against interference with and maintaining the professional independence of the agency’s journalists and broadcasters and thus their credibility as sources of independent news and information.  Section 1288 would elevate the current Chief Executive Officer of the Broadcasting Board of Governors to the head of the agency and reduce the current members of the Board, unless on expired terms, from serving as the collective head of the agency to serving as advisors to the Chief Executive Officer.  While my Administration supports the empowerment of a Chief Executive Officer with the authority to carry out the BBG’s important functions, the manner of transition prescribed by section 1288 raises constitutional concerns related to my appointments and removal authority.  My Administration will devise a plan to treat this provision in a manner that mitigates the constitutional concerns while adhering closely to the Congress’s intent.

Several other provisions in the bill also raise constitutional concerns.

First, section 507 of the bill would authorize certain cabinet officials to “drop from the rolls” military officers without my approval.  The Constitution does not allow Congress to authorize other members of the executive branch to remove presidentially appointed officers, so I will direct my cabinet members to construe the statute as permitting them to remove the commission of a military officer only if the officer accepts their decision or I approve the removal.

Second, section 553 of the bill would establish a commission, composed primarily of members appointed by the Congress, in the executive branch.  Because the commission contains legislative branch appointees, it cannot be located in the executive branch consistent with the separation of powers.  My Administration will therefore treat the commission as an independent entity, separate from the executive branch.

Finally, section 1263(d) purports to require me to determine whether a foreign person has committed a sanctionable human rights violation when I receive a request to do so from certain members of Congress.  Consistent with the constitutional separation of powers, which limit the Congress’s ability to dictate how the executive branch executes the law, I will maintain my discretion to decline to act on such requests when appropriate.

 

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Facebook and its disingenuous attack on Fake News.

The screen shot is from my posting.  If you have at least two working neurons and a complete synapse you are well aware of how deceitful and two-faced Facebook is in their approach to this.

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Never Let the Facts get in the way of a good story.

And a potential Presidential Candidate is as baffled about the story line as the statist press.2016-11-29

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Show me on this doll…

internet-hurt

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Fight Back – Urban America Has The Most To Lose With A Clinton Win

Fight Back – Urban America Has The Most To Lose With A Clinton Win

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Voting for Hillary?

Voting for Hillary?  Are you really?  I’m a horrible judge of character given your inability to make hillary-for-prisonreasonable judgments given the preponderance of facts of her guilt.

Please take a look at the following – IS HILLARY GUILTY?

It takes Bill Whittle 93 seconds to show Hillary Clinton guilty of violating three separate Federal Statutes. It takes another three minutes to explain why she and Obama simply DO NOT CARE.

Ok, I waited for the 4:52 for you to come back.  Bill is short and to the point.  Are you telling me that you’re still voting for Hillary, who has violated the espionage act and other federal statutes?  I thought you were smarter than that.

Now here is a bit longer video, 30 minutes of good facts – The Truth About The Hillary Clinton FBI Investigation and James Comey’s Announcement

Stefan Molyneux lays out with links, documented misdeeds, corruption and of course Hillary lies about just about everything surrounding the current election process.

Over the past month, I’ve seen many interesting posts.  These posts have been from individuals who are well known for their areas of expertise.  These are individuals whose postings I read for their musings and pontifications on a variety of subjects and are known and apparently well respected throughout the internet.

When it comes to their outlook and statements and writings about the current election, it becomes flagrantly obvious that these individuals haven’t a modicum of knowledge about the current political climate.  Now, everyone is entitled to their own opinions on anything.  I don’t necessarily have to agree with said individuals and I won’t.  I also ignore the trolls, not the Icelandic Christmas boys, who are at a complete loss to have a reasoned conversation about the political subject.

I do find it interesting that of the thousands of emails released documenting the multitude of violations and lies and corruption by Hillary and her menagerie, there has been no defense that any what has been brought to light is not true.

Tomorrow we get to go vote and all of the past 16 months of kerfuffle will be behind us.  I can certainly hope!  Let me know what you think, and please comment and contribute.

 

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Warning to Hillary Clinton

Warning to Hillary Clinton, from WikiLeaks, the Podesta emails.

English: John Podesta in 2010.

English: John Podesta in 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Warning to Hillary Clinton

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Seven topics for discussion on a Saturday before the election.

Seven topics for discussion on a Saturday before the election.  Scanning the news this breaking-newsmorning these eight topics caught my eye.  Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves and comment below as you see fit.  And in no particular order lets get started.

Bloody October Pushes Chicago Past 600 Homicides.

 Wait, I thought Chicago was to be the poster city for all that was well and good with gun control?  Here is your real world example of how draconian gun laws impact the Second City and its residents.  And to add insult to injury, no one on the statist left gives a scintilla of acknowledgement to what is transpiring in Chicago.

Susan Sarandon explains why she’s not backing Hillary Clinton: ‘I don’t vote with my vagina’

I’m sure we’re all glad as it would make for a rather messy voting booth.

Democrats Don’t Have A Plan If Donald Trump Is Elected – BuzzFeed News

And we’re surprised about this why?  The statist democrats assume that Hillary Clinton (felon) will be summarily handed the presidency on November 8th and then coronated on the 20th of January 2017.  Now it is obvious that they are entirely consumed with Wikileaks 1-28 and the rest of the overflow of our ability to peek behind the curtain of what goes on and has gone on over the past years.  As I’ve previously written, why only two individuals have suffered any consequences from what we now know is baffling

Why Aren’t There More Gay Baseball Players?.

Given the historic nature of the recent end of the 2016 World Series,  this is the topic on the mind of those who follow baseball?  Ok, so it’s not any of the bizarre and lurid goings on of the soon to be wrapped up Presidential Election.

 Being a Journalism School graduate this is particularly disturbing.  Whatever happened to the 5 W’s and H that were taught when I was in class?  Journalism within the statist media has lost its way.
Pay for play, slush fund while working as a government employee?   There is so much wrong with this revelation that it is hard to know where to begin. Lets start with the fact that the gift was never reported as required.

The Case for and Against Daylight Saving Time.

It is that time of year once again to go through this exercise.  The sun will be up an hour earlier on Sunday and will set sometime in the middle of the afternoon.  I’ll excuse any lateness from anyone.

 

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4 Days until the Election.

4 days until the election and what has historically been a rather professional and stoic affairpolitical-bunting
had devolved into a mudslinging, WWE, grade school yard kerfuffle.

While I don’t pay close and rapt attention to all of the statist media and the superfluity of “Breaking News” that is available these days, I do scan much of it.  Now the election between Clinton and Trump has fallen into the realms of satanic worship and rituals.  As I’ve said previously in several places, are these two candidates the best that a country of 300+ million people can come up with?

I’m continuing to see those Hillary, zombie, mindless lemming, robotic, artificial non-intelligent followers, regurgitating, “the emails mean nothing.  there’s nothing to see here.”  While for likely the first time in the history of politics those statists might just be correct.  Please learn the distinction.  It’s not now nor, has never been about the emails.  It has always been about the content of the emails.  Please learn this and make sure it’s imprinted on your psyche.

Speaking of emails, here’s another item.  I made mention of this previously, about the sheer number of emails reported to be on Anthony Weiner‘s laptop.  650,000 emails, really.  What sort of super duper, high-density capacity hard drive did he have on the laptop?  650,000 emails on one computer.  Then we have the overabundance of WikiLeaks data, and FBI releases and we’d have enough reading material to put the NoDoze company out of business.  Given the glut of information being released and the content therein, I’m puzzled.  I must thank and credit Lionel for bringing this to my attention.  Out of all of this content, we have searchable and at our fingertips, how is it that only Billy Bush and Donna Brazile have been the only ones to suffer any consequences?

This will give you plenty to speak about over your coffee breaks today and while milling about smartly around the watercooler.

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6 Days until the Election.

Six days until the Election of the 45th President of the United States.  Ok, I’m having some

Description=Opinion polling by state for the U...

Description=Opinion polling by state for the United States presidential election for contest – Hillary Clinton vs. John McCain. Data for each state averaged for last three polls according to Statewide opinion polling for the United States presidential election, 2008. District of Columbia is presumed, as it has always been heavily Democratic, and major media outlets have called it Democrat. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

fun here.  In full disclosure, we don’t have over the air or cable or satellite television here in our house.  We have for the past year and for the better part of the past five years made use of streaming via a Roku device as our main source of entertainment we consume.

Many of the snippets of news related pablum we see on youtube.com and the like all have the proverbial countdown to election plastered up on their screen in one corner or another.  For some reason, they need to continually remind us of just how close this impending event is in our lives. I have a breaking news flash for any of the statist media.  Anyone with at least two working brain cells and a working synapse is well aware of the date and time of the upcoming election.

Since the statist media doesn’t/can’t cover Hillary Clinton’s crimes and misdeeds and has run out of ammo against Trump, we get nothing but the neverending  how many days until the election.

For those of you who are being or have been triggered by the new email revelations of Anthony Weiner, I have a question.  Do you realize that the issue isn’t the physical emails, some reportedly 650,000 of them?  Rather it is the content of said emails that is the point of order and interest.  This also relates to the emails that Hillary deleted, the 33,000 from her tenure as Secretary of State.  Once again, for those who are having a challenge making a distinction, it’s not the emails, rather the content of the emails.

Can someone please explain, why and how the big bad Russian Bear has suddenly become the go-to bad guy in this election?  Hillary, who refuses to take a crumb of responsibility for anything she or her campaign staff has criminally done, brings out the Russian card like some election referee. She gleefully waves it about for all to see.  Of course, this card is readily replaced with the woman, race, homophobe, islamophobe, deplorable and plethora of talking point cards she has available.

When did we as a nation of informed voters become so infatuated with political polls?  You do realize that the polls and voting on November 8, 2016, are two distinct actions.  While polls might be interesting news pundit fodder they often have no basis in reality.  Please pay attention here, Polls don’t elect anyone.

And in closing, something not election related.  We live in a small town which can be a blessing and a curse depending on what you are attempting to accomplish.  On Tuesday with Halloween being over, a local retailer was taking down all of their Halloween decorations.  I commented that they were going to be playing catchup with all the other retailers in not having their Christmas decorations up immediately.  They let me know, in no uncertain terms that Christmas decorations were not going up until after Thanksgiving.  BRAVO!

Please comment and share this with your social media contacts and let us know what you think so we can continue to Fight Back.

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