Congress (Again) Uses the Power of the Purse to Lock in the GTMO Status Quo

By Robert Chesney
Wednesday, December 8, 2010, 11:15 AM

[Update: Josh Gerstein at Politico reports that the White House has now expressed its opposition at least to section 1116, raising a question as to whether this will sail through easily after all.]

Jack notes below that the chances that GTMO will be closed dimmed further with the DNI's release of a new report on detainee recidivism.  In that spirit, it is worth noting that Congress continues to do its level best to insist that GTMO remain open (and that no one else besides Ghailani be brought to the United States for trial).  Witness the following two provisions of the Full-Year Continuing Resolution Appropriations Act, 2011, which as I understand it is likely to become law:

SEC. 1116. None of the funds made available in this or any prior Act may be used to transfer, release, or assist in the transfer or release to or within the United States, its territories, or possessions Khalid Sheikh Mohammed or any other detainee who—

(1) is not a United States citizen or a member of the Armed Forces of the United States; and

(2) is or was held on or after June 24, 2009, at the United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by the Department of Defense.

SEC. 2210. None of the funds provided to the Department of Justice in this or any prior Act shall be available for the acquisition of any facility that is to be used wholly or in part for the incarceration or detention of any individual detained at Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as of June 24, 2009.

Congress is quick to wield the power of the purse to lock in the GTMO status quo, yet it remains seemingly uninterested (with a few individual exceptions) in actually legislating the details of the resulting detention system.