Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Joe Lieberman (ID-CT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Scott Brown (R-MA) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) introduced the Military Detainee Procedures Improvement Act today, according to a press release.
Their bill consists of “nine major provisions designed to be consistent with, and reaffirm, the Authorization for Use of Military Force enacted overwhelmingly by Congress after the horrific attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.”
The provisions, per the release:
- Reaffirms the President’s authority to detain members of al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and affiliated terrorist groups based on the authority granted by Congress in the Authorization for Use of Military Force.
- Requires members of al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and affiliated terrorist groups be held in military custody when captured, unless the Secretary of Defense certifies civilian custody is a national security interest.
- Permanent restrictions on transferring Guantanamo detainees to foreign countries, requiring greater scrutiny on the security situation and ability of the host country to monitor a detainee.
- Requires the Secretary of Defense to invoke a national security waiver if a detainee is to be transferred to a country where former detainees have returned to the fight.
- The American people and a bipartisan majority of Congress have rejected civilian trials in the United States for those directly responsible for the attacks of September 11, 2001 – as an example, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM).
- Recommendations for transfer of detainees would be made by a panel of experts in military operations, intelligence, and anti-terrorism.
Senator McCain is Ranking Member on the Armed Services Committee. Senator Lieberman chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.