Conservatives and many moderates are upset with President Barack Obama’s attempt to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention center for suspected terrorists and to allow the suspects to enjoy civilian trials. Now Congress has clearly heard that public outcry. Both chambers voted Wednesday to create strict new limits on transferring Guantanamo prisoners, The New York Times reports
Those limits are part of a major defense authorization bill, passed by the House and Senate on the last day of Congress’ lame-duck session. Obama almost certainly will sign the bill because it also authorizes billions in spending for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
“A Democratic Congress has done its level best to prevent prosecutions in civilian court,” Robert M. Chesney, a University of Texas law professor who specializes in national security matters, tells The Times. “It strengthens the relative position of military commissions, and it separately strengthens the likelihood of continuing to rely on military detention” without trial.
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