Here's what legal expert Ben Wittes has to say at Lawfare:
Bottom line: The President has–rightly in my view–read this law virtually out of existence. This is not a breach of faith with Congress, which in negotiations with the administration, so watered the provision down that, as signed, it reasonably lends itself to this reading. In fact, the provision–as Bobby has shown in earlier posts–would actually bear a more aggressive reading than President Obama has given it here.Here's the story of how the president ignored the provision.
Sure the Paultards will still be upset and they will have their many conspiracy theories to back up their claims-- at least in their minds that's what will happen. But the fact of the matter is the President of the United States has always had the capability to hold indefinitely anyone he deems an enemy. This NDAA does nothing to codify such power. It also does nothing to advance such power. It does, however, like I've been saying since day one, extend the war on terror infinitely and that is a horrible legal and moral authority to hold.
The problem with the vast powers granted to the president is not indefinite detention. It's the war authority. Unlike past wars, the war on terror will not have a formal surrender signing. It will not have an end date. That's what scary. It's more like the Cold War than any of our other wars. And according to the president's war powers secured all throughout American history, the president's powers are authoritarian.