Coalition Urges President to Veto NDAA If It Extends Guantánamo Transfer Restrictions
Human Rights, Religious, and Civil Liberties Groups Ask Obama to Keep His Promise to Close Guantánamo Prison
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WASHINGTON -- A broad coalition of human rights, religious, and civil liberties groups wrote to President Obama today to urge him to veto the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) if it impedes the closing of the Guantanamo prison by extending restrictions on transferring detainees from the facility.
The current transfer restrictions are due to expire on March 27, but the pending NDAA bills in Congress would extend the restrictions for the remainder of the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. The letter explains that, if the restrictions are extended, "the prospects for Guantanamo being closed during your presidency will be severely diminished, if not gone altogether." The letter urges Obama to ”make the successful closing of the Guantanamo prison an important part of your historic legacy."
The Senate will likely consider the NDAA as soon as this week. At the same time, House and Senate negotiators have been meeting informally for several weeks to draft a final bill. Congress is likely to send a final NDAA to Obama during the current lame-duck session.
A pdf version of the letter is available here: http://www.aclu.org/accountability-torture/letter-president-obama-closing-guantanamo.