U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John McCain (R-AZ) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) today issued the following statement on the agreement reached today on detainee provisions in the Defense Authorization bill, a new version of which passed the Senate Armed Services Committee by a unanimous vote this afternoon:
"Today in a unanimous 26-0 vote, the Senate Armed Services Committee reported out a new National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012. In addition to reducing funding by $20 billion to align with the defense top-line level consistent with the Budget Control Act enacted this summer, the new NDAA includes compromise detainee policy provisions intended to address objections made by the Administration.
"To be clear: These provisions do not apply to U.S. citizens. While this compromise includes many of the recommended changes and clarifications sought by the Administration, it retains critical components such as the requirement for military custody of members of al-Qaeda or its associated forces captured while participating in or planning an attack on the U.S. or its coalition partners. This requirement includes a waiver that can be used by the Secretary of Defense, as well as language ensuring that the military custody provision will not interfere with surveillance or intelligence gathering activities. The revised detainee compromise also retained requirements for the certification of transfer of detainees and prohibitions on the use of funds to construct or modify facilities in the U.S. for Guantanamo detainees.
"We are encouraged by today's unanimous vote, and look forward to debating these vital issues on the floor of the Senate when the NDAA comes up for consideration as early as this week."