Saturday, January 8, 2011

President Obama Signs Bill Limiting Gitmo Transfers

President Barack Obama speaks to a joint sessi...Image via Wikipedia
House Republicans appear to have won the first battle with the president over Guantanamo. President Obama reluctantly signed a defense appropriations bill into which Republicans had inserted provisions severely limiting his ability to transfer detainees from Guantanamo. After signing the bill late Friday, Obama released a statement saying he intends to "work with the Congress to seek repeal of these restrictions, will seek to mitigate their effects, and will oppose any attempt to extend or expand them in the future." Some Obama advisers had pushed for a repudiation of the provisions as an infringement on the president's rights, but White House lawyers disagreed. But acquiescing to them will make closing Guantanamo harder, and some critics, such as Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institute, would rather Obama just have said nothing: "It not only fails to make a constitutional objection, it does not interpret the provision. All it does is complain."

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