Action: Ask President Obama to Veto NDAA Over Guantanamo Restrictions

[Update January 1: This bill is no longer active, so action is no longer needed. Thank you to all those who took action!] 

CAIR Action Alert #686:

Action: Ask President Obama to Veto NDAA Over Guantanamo Restrictions

Updated December 26, 2012

large 12-19-2012-1(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/10/12) — CAIR is asking all Americans who value civil liberties to urge President Obama to veto the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA), which restricts his authority to transfer or prosecute detainees held at Guantanamo or to close the facility.

Last week congress passed the NDAA. The bill now sits on president’s desk to be signed into law or vetoed.

SEE: NDAA Indefinite Detention Bill Passes Senate After Rand Paul Calls It an ‘Abomination’

While this annual $641 billion defense authorization act provides valuable funding for the armed forces, it also includes several unnecessary restrictions that limit the executive branch’s authority to transfer detainees or prosecution them in federal criminal court.

Despite strong opposition from the nation’s leading civil rights organizations, including CAIR, the bill also does nothing to address the controversial threat of indefinite military detention of persons on U.S. soil as authorized by the previous year’s NDAA that was signed into law.

The bill restricts all transfers of prisoners to the U.S. or repatriation or resettlement to another country or prosecution in federal criminal courts for one full fiscal year.

While more than 80 prisoners have already been cleared for release to their home countries or another relocation site, past restrictions imposed by Congress prevent the president from doing so. These restrictions on transferring prisoners expire on March 27, 2013.

On November 29, in a statement of administration policy to the Senate, the White House expressed “serious concerns” over the Senate’s transfer restrictions “limiting key authorities of the Executive” and in their current form threatened that the president’s “advisers would recommend that veto the bill.”

CAIR believes Congress has repeatedly maneuvered to prevent the president from closing Guantanamo as he promised to do in his first year in office. CAIR urges you to not let Congress tie the hands of the president once again.

Urge President Obama to close the prison at Guantanamo in his second term of office and to veto the NDAA, which restricts his authority to do so.

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED: Urge the President to Veto the NDAA if It Prevents Him from Closing Guantanamo