December 14, 2011, New York – As President Obama said this afternoon that he would not veto the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued the following statement:
President Obama made a choice with chilling consequences today when he announced he would not veto the NDAA despite the lack of change to provisions of the bill that make it even more difficult to shut down the prison at Guantanamo and make indefinite military detention without trial a permanent feature of the U.S. legal system.The NDAA essentially prevents President Obama from bringing men from Guantánamo to the U.S. for trial and severely curtails his ability to resettle them in third countries. More than half of the men currently detained at Guantánamo – 89 of the 171 – have been unanimously cleared by the CIA, FBI, NSC and Defense Department for transfer or release, yet they are stuck in the island prison, victims of politics.Guantanamo, which the president once promised to close in the first year of his administration, is a global symbol of human rights violations, and indefinite detention of citizens and non-citizens alike without charge or trial violates the most fundamental principles of the rule of law.Sadly, today Barak Obama has ensured that these will be the legacy of his presidency.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.