CCR Condemns Obama for Failure to Veto Dangerous Legislation That Strips Right to Trial

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President Caves on NDAA

press@ccrjustice.org

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.
 
CCR has led the legal battle over Guantanamo for the last 10 years – representing clients in two Supreme Court cases and organizing and coordinating hundreds of pro bono lawyers across the country to represent the men at Guantanamo, ensuring that nearly all have the option of legal representation. Among other Guantánamo cases, the Center represents the families of men who died at Guantánamo, and men who have been released and are seeking justice in international courts. In addition, CCR has been working through diplomatic channels to resettle men who remain at Guantánamo because they cannot return to their country of origin for fear of persecution and torture. 

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.