President Obama took unilateral action this week to create new administrative review procedures for detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, without consulting Congress—a move that fails to comprehensively address America’s terrorist prosecution and detention policies. Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon and members of the committee immediately put forth a more comprehensive legislative solution aimed at dealing with the issue in light of a full spectrum of national security concerns.
Additionally, the President announced that he would restart military commissions in order to ensure certain terrorists are held accountable for their crimes. While the AP speculates that the President bowed to political pressure when he called for the resumption of military trials after a two year delay, the President’s Executive Order does not do enough to deal with the complicated nature of America’s terrorist detention and prosecution policies.
Instead of making piecemeal decisions, the Armed Services Committee is tackling the detainee issue holistically by putting together comprehensive policy solutions.
Yesterday, Chairman McKeon and several Members of the committee, including Rep. Mac Thornberry (Texas), Armed Services Committee Vice Chairman; Rep. Randy Forbes (Va.); Rep. Rob Wittman (Va.); Rep. Tom Rooney (Fla.); Rep. Bobby Schilling (Ill.) and Rep. Tim Griffin (Ark.), held a press conference (video below) to introduce this legislation, which among other things would:
- Affirm the use of
military force against al-Qaeda, the Taliban and affiliated terrorist
-Rep. Mac Thornberry
terrorists to justice for 9/11 victims
-Rep. Randy Forbes
detainees from returning to the battlefield
-Rep. Rob Wittman
that terrorists are effectively detained pursuant to the laws of war by our
-Rep. Tom Rooney
- Permanently block
funding for the creation or renovation of any facility in the continental
United States to house detainees currently held at Guantanamo Bay.
-Rep. Bobby Schilling
intelligence collection over law enforcement
-Rep. Tim Griffin
The Armed Services Committee’s first priority is to protect the United States from external threats. We can ensure that part of that priority is fulfilled through an effective, comprehensive terrorist prosecution and detention policy as outlined by the Armed Services Committee Republicans.