The Senate passed the annual NDAA today. (National Defense Authorization Act.) It prohibits the transfer Guantanamo detainees to the U.S. The vote in the Senate was 91 to 3. Obama is expected to sign the bill, notwithstanding his objection to the Gitmo provision.
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Here is President Obama's signing statement objecting to portions of the NDAA. His statement on restricting the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo:
This provision hinders the Executive's ability to carry out its military, national security, and foreign relations activities and would, under certain circumstances, violate constitutional separation of powers principles. The executive branch must have the flexibility to act swiftly in conducting negotiations with foreign countries regarding the circumstances of detainee transfers. The Congress designed these sections, and has here renewed them once more, in order to foreclose my ability to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. [More...]
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Feinstein's Amendment to bar military detention of American citizens was agreed to on November 29, but so was Sen. Kelly Ayotte's Amendment, which permanently bars the use of funds to transfer Guantanamo detainees. [More...]
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The Senate last night approved Sen. Diane Feinstein's Amendment to the NDAA banning military detention of U.S. citizens and green card holders arrested on U.S. soil. It passed 67 to 29. 20 Republicans joined the 46 Democrats in approving the Amendment. The Amendment states:
"An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States apprehended in the United States, unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention."
Unfortunately, the Senate also passed the Ayotte Amendment preventing the use of funds to transfer or release detainees from Guantanamo to the U.S. The vote was 51 to 44 in favor of the ban.
The ACLU says Feinstein's Amendment doesn't go far enough. Here's why: [More...]
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Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) today introduced an Amendment to the NDAA that would ban indefinite detention of U.S. citizens.
The language of the amendment assures that no authorization to use military force, war declaration or any similar authority would allow an American apprehended in the United States to be held without charge or trial.
Co-sponsors include Senators Paul (R-Ky.), Coons (D-Del.), Collins (R-Maine), Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kirk (D-Ill.), Tester (D-Mont.), Johnson (D-S.D.), Sanders (I-Vt.), Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Baucus (D-Mont.) and Heller (R-Nev.)
The 668 page NDAA bill for 2013 is S. 3254, available here.
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Last week I wrote about Manhattan federal court Judge Katherine Forrest's granting of a permanent injunction against the indefinite detention provision of the National Defense Authorization Act. Her 112 page opinion is here.
The feds sought a stay pending appeal from Judge Forrest but she denied it.
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President Obama today issued a Presidential Policy Directive setting out the procedures for determining whether terror detainees will face military or FBI custody. The rules implement Section 1022 of the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.)
Obama says Section 1022 does not apply to U.S. citizens, and the he has decided to waive its application to lawful permanent residents arrested in the United States: [More...]
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Here is the final conference report of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012, with slight changes to the detainee provisions, which were made in response to objections by the Obama Administration. A version with just Subtitle D, entitled “Counterterrorism,” is here. The section continues to page 685. The explanation for the changes is here.
Shorter version: Indefinite detention is here to stay and Guantanamo is not closing anytime soon.
Sen. Carl Levin puts his spin on the changes here.
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There's still time to contact your Senator and ask to vote for the Mark Udall Amendment to the Defense Authorization Act. (Background here.)
After passing two of the many Amendments (Menendez amend #1414 and Leahy Leahy amend #1072 )and confirming Christopher Droney as a judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the Senate recessed until tomorrow.
Sen. Mark Udall will make a floor statement tomorrow on the Amendment. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has scheduled a procedural vote on the Defense Bill for sometime Wednesday.
Today, FBI Director Robert Mueller sent a letter to the Senate objecting to the detainee provisions in the bill.
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