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:
Latest in Guantanamo: Legislation
The New York Times reports:
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.
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
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.
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 on a narrower question: What does it mean for the set of issues Lawfare covers? A few years ago, the answer to this question would not have been murky.
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.
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, Cuba to the individual’s country of origin or to any other foreign country.
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 — is highlighting anew the risks of trying terror suspects in American courts.
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.