For many liberals, the ACLU fulfills a role akin to a canary in a coal mine: it's beyond the capacity of the average citizen to monitor every piece of legislation that might impact civil liberties, but when the organization starts freaking out it's taken as a credible signal that our rights are in peril. As America turned its calendars from 2011 to 2012, we witnessed that kind of moment. "President Obama's action today is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law," said Anthony D. Romero, the ACLU's executive director. "The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield." Warnings are seldom so dire.
Obama Says Bill Breaks With Our Values, Signs It Anyway - Conor Friedersdorf - Politics - The Atlantic