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Pres. Barack Obama Signs H.R. 3304, #NDAA for 2014 + Ratner: Gitmo: 12 Years of US War Crimes

obama_sellout_pstr

Image by sandy_sanders via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

Propaganda Alert!

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
December 26, 2013

Statement by the President on H.R. 3304

Today I have signed into law H.R. 3304, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014.” I have signed this annual defense authorization legislation because it will provide pay and bonuses for our service members, enhance counterterrorism initiatives abroad, build the security capacity of key partners, and expand efforts to prevent sexual assault and strengthen protections for victims.

Since taking office, I have repeatedly called upon the Congress to work with my Administration to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The continued operation of the facility weakens our national security by draining resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and partners, and emboldening violent extremists.

For the past several years, the Congress has enacted unwarranted and burdensome restrictions that have impeded my ability to transfer detainees from Guantanamo. Earlier this year I again called upon the Congress to lift these restrictions and, in this bill, the Congress has taken a positive step in that direction. Section 1035 of this Act gives the Administration additional flexibility to transfer detainees abroad by easing rigid restrictions that have hindered negotiations with foreign countries and interfered with executive branch determinations about how and where to transfer detainees. Section 1035 does not, however, eliminate all of the unwarranted limitations on foreign transfers and, in certain circumstances, would violate constitutional separation of powers principles. The executive branch must have the flexibility, among other things, to act swiftly in conducting negotiations with foreign countries regarding the circumstances of detainee transfers. Of course, even in the absence of any statutory restrictions, my Administration would transfer a detainee only if the threat the detainee may pose can be sufficiently mitigated and only when consistent with our humane treatment policy. Section 1035 nevertheless represents an improvement over current law and is a welcome step toward closing the facility.

In contrast, sections 1033 and 1034 continue unwise funding restrictions that curtail options available to the executive branch. Section 1033 renews the bar against using appropriated funds to construct or modify any facility in the United States, its territories, or possessions to house any Guantanamo detainee in the custody or under the control of the Department of Defense unless authorized by the Congress. Section 1034 renews the bar against using appropriated funds to transfer Guantanamo detainees into the United States for any purpose. I oppose these provisions, as I have in years past, and will continue to work with the Congress to remove these restrictions. The executive branch must have the authority to determine when and where to prosecute Guantanamo detainees, based on the facts and circumstances of each case and our national security interests. For decades, Republican and Democratic administrations have successfully prosecuted hundreds of terrorists in Federal court. Those prosecutions are a legitimate, effective, and powerful tool in our efforts to protect the Nation. Removing that tool from the executive branch does not serve our national security interests. Moreover, section 1034 would, under certain circumstances, violate constitutional separation of powers principles.

The detention facility at Guantanamo continues to impose significant costs on the American people. I am encouraged that this Act provides the Executive greater flexibility to transfer Guantanamo detainees abroad, and look forward to working with the Congress to take the additional steps needed to close the facility. In the event that the restrictions on the transfer of Guantanamo detainees in sections 1034 and 1035 operate in a manner that violates constitutional separation of powers principles, my Administration will implement them in a manner that avoids the constitutional conflict.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,

December 26, 2013.

***

[DS added the video commentary.]

Bigger, Badder NDAA 2014 Quietly Passed

Pinksapphiret2 on Dec 21, 2013

The 2014 National Defense Authorization Act was fast tracked through the Senate with no discussion or amendments….

Website: thedailysheeple.com

Author credit: Daisy Luther, Dailysheeple

Article link: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/bigger…

***

Guantanamo: Twelve Years of US War Crimes

TheRealNews on Dec 26, 2013

Michael Ratner: Guantanamo camp continues to violate international laws and norms, including fake trials, media blackout on ongoing hunger strikes, and banning public disclosure of torture faced by detainees

***

Transcript

see

Barack Obama’s Message to the Congress — Report Consistent with War Powers Resolution + Statement by the President on South Sudan

Barack Obama’s Message to the Congress — Report Consistent with War Powers Resolution

Chris Hedges, Kade Crockford and Michael Ratner: National Security Overload (#NDAA)

Watch the Shocking New Animated Film About the Guantánamo Hunger Strike by Andy Worthington

Chris Hedges: Obama Has Carried Out A More Egregious Assault On Civil Liberties Than Bush But Also Expanded War (#NDAA)

from the archives:

Barack Obama signs H.R. 1540, NDAA into law (12.31.2011)

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5 Responses

  1. […] Pres. Barack Obama Signs H.R. 3304, #NDAA for 2014 + Ratner: Gitmo: 12 Years of US War Crimes […]

  2. […] Pres. Barack Obama Signs H.R. 3304, #NDAA for 2014 + Ratner: Gitmo: 12 Years of US War Crimes […]

  3. No. I don’t want “enhanced counter-terrorism initiatives.” The USA is doing everything it can get away with to manufacture terrorism and then use it as an excuse to keep a bloated, pathetic, tyrannical military-intelligence-complex afloat and growing. The USA needs to look at itself in the mirror and see the Frankenstein it has turned into as a result of non-stop bogus wars and the influence of the Israel Lobby on US foreign policy – which is toxic to morality and the spirit of the founders of the US in even the smallest doses. See George Washington’s farewell address.

      • Very well said, Fred.

        I admire Michael Ratner enormously. Great work….incredibly important testimony/discourse.

        Seems to me plain as day, this security-terrorism scam is nothing but the institutionally bank-rolled dictatorship of a “compact” or complicit junta/cartel of exceptionalist billionnaire tycoons/oligarchs playing at flat-earth “king-of-the-castle” politics, it’s medieval… so what happens next?

        Yet more “limited” eco/genocidal war across their biophobic gaming board, or systemic failure?

        When something is so unfit fit for purpose, isn’t it time to rethink ~ revise, redesign, retool, redeploy…& recycle? The floundering world at large has a stark moral choice, either buy (into) the US power-elitism b-s mill or (detect,) disabuse, disconnect and deter.

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