Advancing a Free Society

The Weakness in the Obama Signing Statement

Monday, January 10, 2011

President Obama’s signing statement to the Defense Authorization Bill – which objected to the GTMO transfer provisions on policy but not legal grounds – is unsurprising, for reasons I explained before it was issued.  What is noteworthy about the signing statement is the sharp rhetoric of the policy objections.  The president expresses a “strong objection” to the transfer provisions.  He says that the one that bars transfers to the United States constitutes “a dangerous and unprecedented challenge to critical executive branch authority” that “undermines our Nation’s counterterrorism efforts and has the potential to harm our national security.”  And he says that the one that bars transfer to other countries “interferes with the authority of the executive branch to make important and consequential foreign policy and national security determinations.”

Continue reading Jack Goldsmith at Lawfare