Monday evening, Senate and House armed services committee leaders announced that a compromise has been largely reached with regard to the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. Among those matters included in the bill is the future of Guantanamo. Here is a summary of the provisions in the NDAA that relate with Guantanamo, as described in Senate committee Chair Carl Levin’s press release:
- The Secretary of Defense may transfer Guantanamo (GTMO) detainees to foreign countries, through two authorities:
- Authorizing GTMO transfers to foreign countries if: (a) following a review by a Periodic Review Board, the detainee is determined to no longer be a threat to U.S. security; or (b) the transfer is pursuant to a court order.
- For all other GTMO transfers overseas, the Secretary of Defense must determine that action has been taken or will be taken to mitigate the risk of detainee reengaging in terrorist activity and the transfer is in the national security interests of the United States. While making that determination the Secretary will evaluate and consider a number of factors including: any recommendation of the Periodic Review Board; the security situation in the recipient country; the presence of foreign terrorist groups in the recipient country; whether the recipient country is a state sponsor of terrorism; and the steps taken or to be taken to substantially mitigate the risk of the detainee re-engaging in terrorist activities.
- The provision also expands the information that must be provided to Congress not later than 30 days prior to the transfer.
- Extends through 2014 the current prohibitions on (1) the construction or modifications of facilities in the United States to house GTMO detainees, and (2) the transfer of GTMO detainees into custody in the United States for any purpose, including for trial, detention, or medical emergencies.