Obama signs bill containing 'dangerous' provisions
January 7th, 2011
06:30 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama signs bill containing 'dangerous' provisions

Washington (CNN) - President Obama signed a defense spending bill into law Friday, saying he would work to repeal provisions making it harder to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

H.R. 6523, which authorizes the funding for all military activities of the United States for fiscal year 2011, includes a provision that bars the use of funds, authorized by the law, to transfer detainees from the detention facility into the United States. In a written statement after signing the bill into law, Obama called the provision "a dangerous and unprecedented challenge to critical executive branch authority to determine when and where to prosecute Guantanamo detainees, based on the facts and the circumstances of each case and our national security interests."

Obama said the option to try terrorists in federal court was necessary to preserve, and any attempt to take it away "undermines our Nation's counter-terrorism efforts and has the potential to harm our national security."

The president objected to another provision of the bill which bars the use of funds to transfer detainees to the custody or control of foreign countries unless certain conditions were met. He said such a provision hinders the ability of the executive branch to "make important and consequential" national security determinations on when such transfers should occur in a still ongoing armed conflict. Obama went on to say such conditions would "hinder the conduct of delicate negotiations with foreign countries and therefore the effort to conclude detainee transfers in accord with our national security."

After citing his objection to the two provisions, Obama said he signed the bill into law "because of the importance of authorizing appropriations for, among other things, our military activities in 2011." Obama said his administration would work with Congress to repeal the provisions.

Over the course of its existence, a number of detainees from Guantanamo have been transferred to destinations as wide ranging as Palau, Bermuda and Albania. On Thursday, the Defense Department announced an agreement the United States had reached with the government of Algeria to receive another detainee. In announcing the transfer, the Pentagon said 173 detainees remain at the Guantanamo facility.


Filed under: Guantanamo • President Obama
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. GonzoinHouston

    If they are physically brought into the country there is a chance they will come under the authority of the US court system. If that happens, they may get a day in a real American courtroom. If THAT happens, the public will see the real details of US-sanctioned torture, and find out just how flimsy the cases against many of the prisoners are. Even if the cases against the serious terrorists are strong, they will still wind up with a public trial that could be a bigger circus than the OJ trial.

    Once you cross the line into torture, you can never expect the cover of a fair trial. Guantanamo remains one of the strongest recruiting symbols for Al-Quaida.

    January 7, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    He should challenge the constitutionality of that provision or, better yet, thwart it by finding out if private citizens are willing to donate to a fund that will allow him to exercise his executive authority and discretion to protect the integrity of our justice system and, ultimately, our national security, by ending a primary terrorist recruitment tool and proving we're not a bunch of pantywaisted scaredy-cat wusses who make outrageously hollow claims of being the world's shining beacon of justice, freedom, liberty and morality.

    January 7, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  3. Time Grows Short

    He is a treasonous son of a bitch.

    January 7, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  4. MAC

    Keep our enemies at Gitmo. If the liberals want to bring the terrorist to the USA mainland, I suggest we build a new prison on an island, such as Martha's Vineyard, Catalina Island, or Alquatraz. That way if they escape their first target will be the liberals that want them in the USA so the liberal agenda of them being poor mistreated, misunderstood warriors of God! NOT!

    January 7, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  5. Monster Zero

    a dangerous and unprecedented challenge to critical executive branch authority to determine when and where to prosecute Guantanamo detainees
    ______________
    Obama and Holder are the only dangerous challenges that America faces...

    January 7, 2011 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  6. keepstuffingthis

    A signing statement. Didn't this lying, arrogant, hypcrite Bush during his lying campaign for using signing statement? By golly, he did. How much more proof do people need that he is the most corrupt, lying, inept, incompetent president an election was ever stolen for by the corrupt unions.

    January 7, 2011 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    Obama needs to understand that not everyone in this country, is going to tolerate stupidity in actions.

    January 7, 2011 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |