Prisoners of Congress: The Constitutional and Political Clash Over Detainees and the Closure of Guantanamo
85 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2012 Last revised: 25 Mar 2013
Date Written: December 11, 2012
This article discusses the series of increasingly stringent legislative restrictions placed on the transfer or release of Guantanamo detainees from 2009 to the present, the politics behind the restrictions, the effect of such restrictions individually and cumulatively on the detainees, and the constitutionality of such restrictions. The article concludes that dozens of innocent, low-risk and cleared detainees have had their releases or transfers delayed or blocked completely by Congressional spending restrictions. The article refers to these detainees as "Prisoners of Congress." The article also analyzes the extent to which Congress, as compared to the President, can be held responsible for the failure of President Obama’s declared intention to close the detention facilities at Guantanamo.
Keywords: Guantanamo, detainees, war powers
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