Friday, December 2, 2011
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced today that the Obama Administration continues to object to the detainee provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, S. 1867. "So our position has not changed." He also renewed the veto threat.
The Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill earlier this week, after compromise language was added that said the bill did not alter existing law. It's not clear that the language did much of anything.
The White House objects to the requirement in the bill that the government keep alien detainees in military detention, the prohibition on using funds to transfer detainees, among others. Here's what Carney said today:
By ignoring these nonpartisan recommendations, including the recommendations of the Secretary of Defense, the Director of the FBI, the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General, the Senate has unfortunately engaged in a little political micromanagement at the expense of sensible national security policy. So our position has not changed. Any bill that challenges the President's critical authorities to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists and protect the nation would prompt his senior advisors to recommend a veto.
Senator Patrick Leahy and Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco, head of the National Security Division at DOJ, also voiced objections today, according to the Blog of the Legal Times. Monaco spoke specifically about the military detention requirement, saying that it would undermine the executive's prosecutorial authority and tie the administration's hands in dealing with detainees.