Smith: “With the death of Osama Bin Laden, this President has demonstrated that he knows what he is doing. We should not pass legislation that ties his hands.”
Washington D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Congressman Adam Smith introduced an amendment designed to remove serious flaws with provisions of the FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that pertain to detaining and trying terrorists.
“Our highest priority remains national defense and the safety and security of the American people. In achieving this goal, we must use every tool at our disposal to bring terrorist to justice.
“With the death of Osama Bin Laden, this President has demonstrated that he knows what he is doing. We should not pass legislation that ties his hands.
“This legislation hamstrings the President’s ability to bring terrorist to justice in two major ways. First, it restricts the use of Federal Courts – expressing doubt in a system that has been a model for the world for hundreds of years. Since September 11th, the United States has tried and convicted in Federal Court more than 400 defendants for violations of international terrorism laws. Removing this option would remove one of our strongest tools for bring terrorists to justice. It makes no sense.
“Second, this legislation restricts the President’s ability to transfer detainees. Should he deem it necessary, the President must also have the ability to transfer detainees to foreign countries willing to accept them — the United States does not want to be in the business of warehousing low-level terrorists for an undetermined period of time.
To address these shortfalls, Ranking Member Smith offered two amendments to remove the language that restricts the President’s ability to transfer detainees and utilize the Federal Court System to bring terrorists to justice.