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Category Archives: Guantanamo: Legislation

Five More Transfers From GTMO

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Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 9:09 AM

The five detainees are Yemeni; four went to Oman, and one to Estonia, apparently. Here’s Helene Cooper, of the New York Times:  WASHINGTON — The United States transferred five more detainees — all of them Yemenis — from the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, on Wednesday, the Defense Department announced. Their release intensified the dispute . . .
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A New Bid to Restrict GTMO Transfers

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 12:58 PM

The  proposal, put forth today by Senator Kelly Ayotte and others, comes as no real surprise. The Hill reports: Republican senators unveiled a new bill Tuesday to stop President Obama from releasing more detainees from Guantanamo Bay. “Now is not the time to be emptying Guantanamo,” said Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), who introduced the bill. The president is . . .
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Cliff Sloan on Closing Guantanamo

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 12:12 PM

Worth flagging: yesterday’s New York Times opinion piece, which was published in the wake of Sloan’s departure from the State Department last month.  The op-ed begins: WASHINGTON — WHEN I began as the State Department’s envoy for closing the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, many people advised me that progress was impossible. They were wrong. In the . . .
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Cliff Sloan Stepping Down as State Department GTMO Envoy

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Monday, December 22, 2014 at 9:58 PM

The New York Times reports: WASHINGTON — The State Department envoy who negotiates detainee transfers from the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, is resigning, dealing another blow to President Obama’s efforts to close a facility that top administration officials say is a blight on the country’s international standing. The resignation of Cliff Sloan, a close confidant . . .
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There Is a Recent Silver Lining for Gitmo Policy – But It’s Not What People Have Been Talking About

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Monday, December 8, 2014 at 7:06 AM

The new National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is likely to extend the ban on any transfers of Guantanamo detainees into the United States but ease restrictions on transfers to other countries. Some commentators are hailing this as a decent compromise, containing some silver lining for the White House’s proclaimed policy of closing Guantanamo (see here . . .
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U.S. Delegation Asserts Article 16 of Convention Against Torture Applies Outside U.S. Territority in Certain Circumstances, but Law of Armed Conflict “Takes Precedence” In Situations of Armed Conflict

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 2:10 PM

As previewed by Charlie Savage in the New York Times this morning, the U.S. delegation appeared before the Committee Against Torture in Geneva today and announced a modest but important change in the U.S. Government position regarding extraterritorial application of Article 16 of the Convention Against Torture (which prohibits cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment in . . .
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So What Does the New Republican Majority Mean for National Security Issues In Congress?

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 4:17 PM

The result is no surprise: Republicans now control both houses of Congress—or, at least, they will come January. I’ll leave it to others to dissect how we should understand last night’s electoral results in political terms, what it means for President Obama, the 2016 election, or the future of American politics. Here I want to focus . . .
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Signing Statements, the Commander in Chief Power, and Guantanamo Closure

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Friday, October 10, 2014 at 4:00 PM

According to the Wall Street Journal,  the President’s people are “drafting options” to bring about Guantanamo’s closure, an objective that would require the White House to get around a statutory restriction on transferring GTMO detainees to the United States.  Or not: Vice’s Jason Leopold reports that NSC Spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden today said the Administration does not know what “‘new press . . .
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Unilateral Executive Action to Close Guantanamo? Bah!

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Friday, October 10, 2014 at 10:32 AM

The estimable Carol E. Lee and Jess Bravin, over at the Wall Street Journal, are reporting this morning that: The White House is drafting options that would allow President Barack Obama to close the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by overriding a congressional ban on bringing detainees to the U.S., senior administration officials said. Such a . . .
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The Obviously Unconstitutional Cotton Amendment

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Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Among the proposed amendments to the DOD appropriations bill currently under consideration in the House of Representatives is this doozy, courtesy of Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton: None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to transfer or release any individual detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, . . .
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Josh Gerstein on Piracy and Terrorism Trials

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Monday, February 10, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Over at Politico, Josh Gerstein has an interesting piece on the Ali piracy case, and its potential implications for terrorism cases.  The article—which quotes Jen Daskal and Cully Stimson, among others—opens: The failed prosecution of an alleged Somali pirate — and the fact that that failure could leave him living freely, and permanently, inside U.S. borders — . . .
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President Obama Signs 2014 NDAA, Releases Statement on GTMO Provisions

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Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 5:18 PM

The president’s statement today upon signing the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act focuses almost exclusively on the provisions related to the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. He acknowledges the more flexible transfer provisions, but concludes that they may violate separation of powers principles. Here’s the full text of the statement: Statement by the President on . . .
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This Year’s NDAA: A Big Win for the Administration on Guantanamo

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 10:26 PM

I have only had a chance to look briefly at the Guantanamo-related provisions of the House-Senate compromise NDAA, but the text looks to me like a big win for the Obama administration—and for common sense. The administration will cast this as a step forward for closing Guantanamo. I don’t care a fig about whether Guantanamo . . .
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Guantanamo Provisions in Compromise 2014 NDAA

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 8:31 AM

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 . . .
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Relaunch of the GTMO Periodic Review Boards

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Just as the great post-2008 wave of GTMO habeas litigation winds down, it appears to be time, at last, to revive the Periodic Review Board system at GTMO. DOD breaks the news here (text reprinted below the fold).  Of course, I wrote something similar back in June, which tells you something about how slow this . . .
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That “Secret” White House Plan to Close Guantanamo

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Friday, August 23, 2013 at 7:47 PM

A few weeks ago, Daniel Klaidman noted in the Daily Beast the existence of a White House memo outlining its proposal to close Guantanamo. The two-page document was circulated to members of Congress in advance of a July 24th Senate Judiciary hearing on the matter. The document was not made available publicly, but the Press Freedom Association has . . .
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Sens. Durbin and Feinstein Don’t Address the Toughest Guantanamo Questions

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Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Like David Remes, but with different assumptions and for different reasons, I was disappointed with Senators Durbin and Feinstein’s op-ed purporting to offer a plan for closing Guantanamo.  As I’ve argued here recently, proposals of this sort – transferring many detainees to foreign countries and moving the rest into the United States for trial or . . .
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David Remes Responds to the Feinstein/Durbin Op-ed on Closing GTMO

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 6:30 PM

David Remes, the longtime GTMO defense lawyer, wrote in with comments on Senators Feinstein and Durbin’s op-ed in today’s L.A. Times entitled, “How to close Gitmo”: The oped is quite disappointing. In brief, the Senators argue that even though GTMO detainees are monsters, it’s safe to bring them to the US or transfer them to other . . .
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Better Late than Never: Periodic Review Boards Finally (Re)Starting at GTMO

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Sunday, July 21, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Well, it is not exactly being launched with fanfare, but it appears that the long-awaited Periodic Review Board (PRB) process is about to be relaunched at GTMO.  So reports Carol Rosenberg, here. Let me say first that this is a very welcome development, albeit one that was too slow in coming (here is Ben asking . . .
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CA2 Decides Hedges, Concludes that Plaintiffs Lack Standing

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 11:36 AM

The opinion, which I’ve only now begun to skim, is here.  From the decision’s opening paragraphs:  On December 31, 2011, President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. Section 1021 of that statute, which fits on a single page, is Congress’ first—and, to date, only—foray into providing further clarity on that . . .
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