Reid Praised for Defense Spending Bill Stance
Washington, DC – Human Rights First is praising Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s leadership to refuse to bring the National Defense Authorization Act for the Fiscal Year of 2012 to the Senate floor if it includes controversial and dangerous provisions on detainee policy. The group notes that the decision is in the best interest of national security and today urged Congress, specifically members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to back the effort to strip the language.
“I applaud Senator Reid’s decision to block the defense spending bill until it is stripped of provisions that would threaten national security. It’s now time for his colleagues to put an end to proposals that would tie the hands of the military and law enforcement and allow this important legislation to progress,” said Rear Admiral John D. Hutson, JAGC, USN (Ret.). Hutson and other retired military leaders recently urged Congress to block the controversial defense authorization provisions.
At issue are two provisions tucked into a few pages of a 666 page defense authorization bill. The two proposals include one to authorize the military to indefinitely detain without charge individuals – including American citizens apprehended on U.S. soil – who are suspected of involvement with terrorism, as well as a provision to force law enforcement officials to transfer a large category of terrorism suspects into military custody. Human Rights First notes that the proposals would not only disrupt ongoing terrorism investigations, but would also undermine U.S. national security by forcing the military to take on counterterrorism roles that it is not prepared for and does not want.