They're Baaack. . . .
Kinder, Gentler Military Tribunals? You Betcha. . . .
Fifty-one House Democrats voted against President Obama's request for additional money to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The supplemental spending measure, H.R. 2346, allocates $81.3 billion for war-related expenditures and $15.4 billion for various other projects, including military construction and flu preparedness. Despite opposition among Democrats, the measure passed by a vote of 368-60. Nine Republicans also voted against the spending bill.
Many members of Congress have expressed concern that Obama's supplemental spending requests could fund the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States. According to recent news reports, the Obama administration is considering transferring certain Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States for detention.
In late April, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated that between 50 and 100 detainees were too dangerous to release and too risky to prosecute (due to lack of admissible evidence). Rather than releasing the detainees or risking an acquittal (which would lead to a release), the government could possibly detain the individuals indefinitely, a move that would likely cause more tension between Obama and his liberal base.
In light of political opposition to the transfer of suspected terrorists to the United States,the House measure contains an amendment that precludes the use of the allocated funds to facilitate the relocation of inmates from Guantanamo Bay to points in the United States unless the President first submits a report to Congress detailing the national security impact of locating the transferees in the United States. The measure also requires the President to submit a general report on the disposition of each detainee later this year.
The Democratic "nays" include: John Conyers, Barney Frank (7 out of the 10 Massachusetts House Democrats voted against the measure), Luis Gutierrez, Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Lee, John Lewis, Zoe Lofgren, and Maxine Waters.