Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Griffin: President Violated the Law with Transfer of Taliban Five

Editor's Note (9/15/2014): Due to an Arkansas storm, Internet access was interrupted for a week. This story posted retroactively to its correct time slot.

 Says, ‘Instead of keeping Congress in the dark… the President should work with us to ensure the safety of all Americans’

WASHINGTON,  D.C.  – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement today after the House passed a resolution condemning and disapproving of the Obama Administration's failure to comply with the lawful statutory requirement to notify Congress before releasing the Taliban Five detainees from Guantanamo Bay (H.Res. 644):

“The release of five Taliban leaders from Guantanamo Bay endangers our soldiers abroad and our citizens at home, and the President’s decision was not only wrong, but also unlawful. The Government Accountability Office (GAO), led by an Obama appointee, published a report in August confirming what we already knew, that the President violated the law in two ways: he violated the requirement to notify Congress before releasing the detainees and he spent money that was not appropriated by Congress, in violation of the Antideficiency Act, to transfer them. Today’s bipartisan resolution makes clear that the President’s go-it-alone approach is unacceptable. Instead of keeping Congress in the dark, especially on high-risk national security issues, the President should work with us to ensure the safety of all Americans.”

Rep. Griffin is a cosponsor of H.Res. 644, which passed the House by a vote of 249-163. The nonpartisan, independent Government Accountability Office (GAO)’s report confirmed that the Obama Administration exceeded its authority when releasing these detainees. According to the House Armed Services Committee

-          GAO concluded the transfer of the Taliban Five was a violation of the law and the Antideficiency Act.
o   From the GAO report, "In our view, the meaning of the (law) is clear and unambiguous" the report reads. "Section 8111 prohibits the use of 'funds appropriated or otherwise made available' in the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014, to transfer any individual detained at Guantanamo Bay to the custody or control of a foreign entity' except in accordance (with the FY2014 NDAA.)"

-          Section 8111 of the FY2014 Defense Appropriations Act was a reinforcement of the FY2014 NDAA
o   The transfer of the Taliban Five was in violation of Section 1035 of the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (FY2014 NDAA) which requires the President to notify Congress not later than 30 days before the transfer or release of any terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay takes place.

Tags: Tim Griffin, U.S. Congressman, Arkansas, 2nd District. President Obama, violated the law, transfer of Taliban Five, trading terrorists, for American defector,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

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