National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012: Detainee Matters [December 11, 2012]   [open pdf - 515KB]

"The National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012 (2012 NDAA; P.L. [Public Law] 112-81) contains a subtitle addressing issues related to detainees at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and more broadly, the disposition of persons captured in the course of hostilities against Al Qaeda and associated forces. Much of the debate surrounding passage of the act centered on what appears to be an effort to confirm or, as some observers view it, expand the detention authority that Congress implicitly granted the President via the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF; P.L. 107-40) in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The 2012 NDAA authorizes the detention of certain categories of persons and requires the military detention of a subset of them (subject to waiver by the President); regulates status determinations for persons held pursuant to the AUMF, regardless of location; regulates periodic review proceedings concerning the continued detention of Guantanamo detainees; and continues current funding restrictions that relate to Guantanamo detainee transfers to foreign countries. The act continues to bar military funds from being used to transfer detainees from Guantanamo into the United States for trial or other purposes, although it does not directly bar criminal trials for terrorism suspects (similar transfer restrictions are found in appropriations enactments in effect for FY2012)."

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CRS Report for Congress, R42143
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