Despite my strong objection to these provisions, which my Administration has consistently opposed, I have signed this Act because of the importance of authorizing appropriations for, among other things, our military activities in 2011.
Nevertheless, my Administration will work with the Congress to seek repeal of these restrictions, will seek to mitigate their effects, and will oppose any attempt to extend or expand them in the future.
In other words, without trekking further into Bush-Cheney style assertions of executive power, there wasn't much Obama could have done. Hence the statement released on Friday afternoon, when nobody is paying attention.
Does anyone think this will be repealed anytime soon? I don't. I guess the best chance is for the ACLU to successfully challenge these provisions in court...