December 21, 2012, New York – The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued the following statement calling on President Obama to veto the controversial National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed today by Congress:
The FY2013 NDAA is now on its way to the Oval Office with the same restrictions that have hindered the closure of Guantánamo prison for the last two years. This may very well be President Obama’s last chance to fulfill his original promise and recently renewed pledge to end this shameful episode in American history. If the President intends to close this prison, he must honor his pledge to veto this bill.
More than half of the men currently held at Guantánamo have been unanimously cleared for transfer or release by the government. Yet not a single one has left the island under transfer restrictions first introduced by Congress in the 2011 NDAA. These statutory restrictions must be allowed to expire so these men can be resettled, repatriated, or provided fair trials in federal civilian courts.
The President can still make the closing of Guantánamo part of his lasting legacy rather than be remembered for expanding indefinite imprisonment without trial. Vetoing the 2013 NDAA is the first step in making that possible.
January 3, 2014