Obama bowing to his far-left base.
President Barack Obama issued an order Tuesday nullifying much of the impact of a measure Congress passed late last year making military custody the default for some foreign-citizen terrorism suspects.
The legislation contained a provision allowing Obama, or any president, to waive the requirement by sending Congress “a certification in writing that such a waiver is in the national security interests of the United States.”
Obama used that waiver language to establish seven categories of suspects where the administration intends to ignore the military custody requirement, including all cases where suspects are first arrested by state or local law enforcement and all cases involving U.S. “green card” holders detained for acts on U.S. soil.
“A rigid, inflexible requirement to place suspected terrorists into military custody would undermine the national security interests of the United States, compromising our ability to collect intelligence and to incapacitate dangerous individuals,” Obama wrote in the order.
Obama’s order also gives the attorney general the authority to waive the military custody requirement in specific cases as well as authority to issue categorical waivers beyond the seven the president issued Tuesday.
The president’s directive does not preclude any individual from being moved into military custody. The instruction simply blocks the law’s automatic military custody rule from taking effect under a variety of conditions.
“In essence, these procedures seek to preserve the framework for the detention, interrogation, and trial of suspected terrorists that this Administration developed, and has executed with great success for more than three years,” White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a blog post on the White House web site.