Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found. Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position. Candidates are listed by party and in alphabetical order by last name. Black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria for inclusion.
Is the 2012 NDAA, which authorized arresting and indefinitely detaining suspected terrorists (including US citizens) without charge, good for America?
Virgil Goode, former US Representative (R-VA), stated the following during the Oct. 23, 2012 "Third Party Presidential Debate," in Chicago, IL, hosted by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation, available at www.c-span.org:
“If I were President, I would have vetoed NDAA.” Oct. 23, 2012 Virgil Goode
Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, stated the following during the Oct. 23, 2012 "Third Party Presidential Debate," in Chicago, IL, hosted by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation, available at www.c-span.org:
“I would have never signed the National Defense Authorization Act allowing for you and I as US citizens to be arrested and detained without being charged. That’s the reason we fought wars in this country.” Oct. 23, 2012 Gary Johnson
Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, stated the following in his Dec. 31, 2011 "Statement by the President on HR 1540," available at www.whitehouse.gov:
"Today I have signed into law H.R. 1540, the 'National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.' I have signed the Act chiefly because it authorizes funding for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad, crucial services for service members and their families, and vital national security programs that must be renewed...
The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it. In particular, I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists...
Section 1021 affirms the executive branch's authority to detain persons covered by the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) (Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note). This section breaks no new ground and is unnecessary. The authority it describes was included in the 2001 AUMF, as recognized by the Supreme Court and confirmed through lower court decisions since then. Two critical limitations in section 1021 confirm that it solely codifies established authorities. First, under section 1021(d), the bill does not 'limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.' Second, under section 1021(e), the bill may not be construed to affect any 'existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States."...
...I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation. My Administration will interpret section 1021 in a manner that ensures that any detention it authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other applicable law." Dec. 31, 2012 Barack Obama
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, stated the following during the Jan. 16, 2012 Republican presidential candidate debate in Myrtle Beach, SC, sponsored by Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, and the South Carolina Republican Party, available at foxnewsinsider.com:
"EVANS: Governor Romney, when President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law, he enacted a provision allowing him to indefinitely detain American citizens in U.S. military custody... Governor Romney, as president, would you have signed the National Defense Act as written?
ROMNEY: Yes, I would have. And I do believe that it is appropriate to have in our nation the capacity to detain people who are threats to this country, who are members of al Qaeda.
Look, you have every right in this country to protest and to express your views on a wide range of issues but you don’t have a right to join a group that has killed Americans, and has declared war against America. That’s treason. In this country we have a right to take those people and put them in jail.
And I recognize, I recognize that in a setting where they are enemy combatants and on our own soil, that could possibly be abused. There are a lot of things I think this president does wrong, lots of them, but I don’t think he is going to abuse this power and I that if I were president I would not abuse this power. And I can also tell you that in my view you have to choose people who you believe have sufficient character not to abuse the power of the presidency and to make sure that we do not violate our constitutional principles.
But let me tell you, people who join al Qaeda are not entitled to rights of due process under our normal legal code. They are entitled instead to be treated as enemy combatants." Jan. 16, 2012 Mitt Romney
Jill Stein, MD, former Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, stated the following during the Oct. 23, 2012 "Third Party Presidential Debate," in Chicago, IL, hosted by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation, available at www.c-span.org:
"It is an outrage that 1021 NDAA was ever passed to start with. It's an incredible betrayal of our civil liberties that the President has assumed dictatorial rights to put us in prison at his pleasure without charge or without trial.
This is unallowable and is a basic offense against the very foundation of American liberty and it should be repealed." Oct. 23, 2012 Jill Stein