CAP en Español
Small CAP Banner

Administration’s Detainee Bill Is Dangerous And Deeply Flawed

Statement of the Center for American Progress

    PRINT:
  • print icon
  • SHARE:
  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • Share on Google+
  • Email icon

On September 6, the President announced that 14 accused masterminds of the 9/11 attacks and other acts of terrorism had been transferred from secret CIA prisons to Guantanamo to await trial. He asked Congress to enact legislation to authorize the creation of military commissions to try these individuals and perhaps many others as well.

The Center for American Progress applauds the President’s long-overdue decision to acknowledge the existence of secret CIA facilities and to bring those held there to trial. It should not have taken five years to do so.

Ignoring the advice of military leaders, the President set up a deeply flawed system that failed to prosecute a single terrorist and was ultimately struck down by the Supreme Court.

Unfortunately, he has not learned from his mistakes and seems determined to repeat them. The bill he sent to Congress would once again bypass a military justice system that is one of the fairest and most efficient in the world for a makeshift system that retains many of the same flaws identified by the Supreme Court. The President said he wants to bring “closure” to the families of the victims of 9/11, yet this scheme can only lead to further delays and uncertainty. Even if convictions are won, they will lack credibility in the eyes of the world.

Most dangerous of all are provisions that put our men and women in uniform at risk by seeking to undercut the Geneva Conventions. The bill creates loopholes that permit abusive conduct toward enemy captives and it retroactively grants immunity from prosecution to those who have participated in such misconduct.

We urge the House and Senate not to adopt this reckless legislation and to take the time to get it right.

Read the letter sent today to the Senate, and this letter sent to the House by the Center for American Progress Action Fund to members of the House and Senate expressing concerns about this legislation.

Read also:

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.741.6285 or kpeters@americanprogress.org

Print: Anne Shoup (foreign policy and national security, energy, LGBT issues, health care, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7146 or ashoup@americanprogress.org

Print: Crystal Patterson (immigration)
202.478.6350 or cpatterson@americanprogress.org

Print: Madeline Meth (women's issues, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.741.6277 or mmeth@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Lindsay Hamilton
202.483.2675 or lhamilton@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org