Advancing a Free Society

Veto Threat Whiplash

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I confess that I’m a bit bewildered by the aggressiveness of the Statement of Administration Policy on the NDAA–about which Bobby just posted. As Bobby notes, the administration seems to be threatening a veto not only over the transfer restrictions, a matter on which I am entirely sympathetic but about which the administration has not been willing to veto legislation in the past. It is also threatening a veto over parts of Rep. Buck McKeon’s bill that are essentially salutary in concept–though needing work in practice. Specifically, the administration is objecting to McKeon’s AUMF language, as Bobby discussed, and it is also objecting to his efforts to codify a Guantanamo review process:

Section 1036 undermines the system of periodic review established by the President’s March 7, 2011, Executive Order by substituting a rigid system of review that could limit the advice and expertise of critical intelligence and law enforcement professionals, undermining the Executive branch’s ability to ensure that these decisions are informed by all available information and protect the full spectrum of our national security interests. It also unnecessarily interferes with DoD’s ability to manage detention operations.

The problems with McKeon’s AUMF language is a matter of tweaks.

Continue reading Benjamin Wittes at Lawfare