Guantanamo North: ‘The Law Currently Does Not Allow For That’

Obama Administration Scheme To Transfer Terrorists From Gitmo To The U.S. Would Be ‘Defying Congress, The Law And The Public’


ATTORNEY GENERAL LYNCH: ‘With Respect To Individuals Being Transferred To The United States, The Law Currently Does Not Allow For That’

REP. JIM SENSENBRENNER (R-WI): “I have a question relative to the issue of the Guantanamo detainees. Congress recently passed and the President is expected to sign into law legislation that explicitly prohibits the use of federal funds to move detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United States [The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016]. Former White House council Gregory Craig recently wrote an op-ed arguing that the law is unconstitutional and that President Obama can legally ignore it. Since you are America’s top lawyer, do you believe President Obama can legally ignore legislation prohibiting the transfer of detainees to American soil?” (U.S House Of Representatives, Committee On Judiciary, 11/17/15, Minute 44:30)

AG LORETTA LYNCH: “At this point in time, I believe the current state of the law is that individuals are not transferred from Guantanamo to U.S. shores.  That position is reiterated by the legislation that you mentioned, and my understanding is, as you indicated, is that I do believe the president has indicated that he would sign that.  Certainly it is the position of the Department of Justice that we would follow the law of the land in regard to that issue.” (U.S House Of Representatives, Committee On Judiciary, 11/17/15, Minute 44:30)


Dems Deeply Troubled By Contemplated ‘Defiance Of Laws Passed By Congress’

“…if Obama goes it alone, he would do so in defiance of laws passed by Congress that explicitly bar him from transferring Guantánamo detainees into the country. …the executive action would violate the letter of the law just like the controversial deal for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, which involved Obama releasing five detainees from Guantánamo. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) later found that Obama broke the law by not informing lawmakers of that transfer 30 days in advance.” (“Obama May Reach The Limit Of His Powers On Guantánamo,” The Hill, 11/13/15)

  • SEN. BEN CARDIN (D-MD): ‘He's going to have to comply with the legal restrictions’ “Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) had more direct advice for the administration, saying that while he supports closing Guantanamo ‘there's some restrictions in the NDAA concerning that. He's going to have to comply with the legal restrictions.’” (“Obama May Reach The Limit Of His Powers On Guantánamo,” The Hill, 11/13/15)


EDITORIALS: ‘Reports The President Could Act Unilaterally’ ‘Alarming,’ ‘This Is Hardly The Time To Be Importing … Terrorists’

THE POST AND COURIER, South Carolina: “Congress sent the president a military policy bill Tuesday with an unequivocal message: Do not transfer any terrorist prisoners from the Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba to the United States. The House vote last week was a veto-proof 370-58. The Senate vote, at 91-3, was even more emphatic.” (Editorial, “Congress’ Gitmo Warning,” The Post And Courier [SC], 11/12/15)

THE BOSTON HERALD: “President Obama decided to sign a bill renewing the prohibition on transferring suspected terrorist prisoners at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the United States or some other countries. The White House said he still wants to close the prison, which generated suspicion among Republicans that he might act on his own. That would be a terrible precedent, whether he got away with it or not. You'd think a president would accept an explicit decision of Congress that leaves no room for ambiguity. … This is hardly the time to be importing or exporting terrorists.” (Editorial, “No Time To Close Gitmo,” Boston Herald, 11/15/15)

DENVER POST: “Congress does have the power of the purse. If it decides… to bar ‘the use of funds provided to any department or agency ... for the transfer or release of individuals’ detained at Guantanamo to or within the U.S., then Obama should abide by the prohibition rather than resort to a clever legal rationale that claims he can act on his own.” (Editorial, “Obama Should Drop Plan To Close Guantanamo,” The Denver Post, 11/11/15)

NEW YORK POST: “…in his final months in office, he no longer cares. Worse is ahead. Next up: defying Congress, the law and the public by clearing the final dozens of terrorists out of Guantanamo Bay and shutting Gitmo down…” (Editorial, “Bam Pipes Down,” The New York Post, 11/7/15)

WALL STREET JOURNAL: “Another day at the office for a progressive President intent on reducing the legislative branch to a nullity. For the record, the National Defense Authorization Act this year contains an explicit congressional ban on transferring detainees to the U.S. through 2016.” (Editorial, “Obama’s Gitmo Workaround,” Wall Street Journal, 11/5/15)

  • “Mr. Obama’s inability to negotiate honestly with the legislature is a hallmark of his Presidency. More damaging is the precedent he is setting by making major policy changes with no more than a wave of his executive hand. Press reports note that Administration lawyers are working on legal justifications for the Gitmo order. Decision first, the law later.” (Editorial, “Obama’s Gitmo Workaround,” Wall Street Journal, 11/5/15)


Gitmo Gambit ‘A Last-Gasp Effort By The Obama Administration’

“…President Obama is preparing to unveil a plan to shutter the facility and move some of the terrorism suspects held there to U.S. soil.” (“Obama To Launch New Effort To Close Guantanamo Bay Prison In Cuba,” Los Angeles Times, 11/4/15)

SUSAN RICE: National Security Adviser: ‘I can tell you we’re going to die trying’ “‘I can’t say with certainty that we’re 100 percent going to get there, but I can tell you we’re going to die trying,’ said Susan Rice, Obama's national security adviser, in an interview.” (“Obama's Counterterrorism Chief Takes Fresh Stab At Closing Guantanamo,” Reuters, 11/4/15)

JOSH EARNEST, White House Press Secretary: ‘At this point, I would not take anything off the table’ “White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, asked about the possibility that President Barack Obama could take unilateral moves to transfer detainees to the United States, said all options remain in play. ‘At this point, I would not take anything off the table in terms of the President doing everything that he can to achieve this critically important national security objective,’ Earnest said.” (“WH: Executive Action Possible On Closing Gitmo,” CNN, 11/4/15)



Related Issues: Guantanamo Detention Facility, War on Terror, Executive Orders, National Security