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Support Provisions on Guantanamo in the National Defense Authorization Act


The National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1197) is an annual bill that oversees spending by the Department of Defense. Many different military-related items are included that provide for the safety and security of the nation and the soldiers who defend it, making it a “must-pass” bill.

Similar to past years, related non-spending provisions are often added to the NDAA and this year, sections 1031, 1032 and 1033, pertain to the transfer of detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay:

  • Section 1031 streamlines the process of transferring detainees if they have been deemed no longer a threat to the United States, or if transfer is in the national security interest of the US;
  • Section 1032 allows for temporary transfer of a detainee for medical treatment when that treatment is required to prevent substantial injury or damage or death, and it would be extremely costly to treat the individual at Guantanamo;
  • Section 1033 reinvigorates the right to trial and permits the transfer of a detainee to US soil for trial in a federal court if it is in the national security interest of the United States.

These are important provisions that support our strong belief in the balance between national security and civil liberties, and should remain in the bill as the NDAA moves forward.

It is likely that as debate continues on the NDAA that other non-Guantanamo amendments will be considered. It is in the best interest of the United States and its reputation abroad that any new provisions further human dignity and respect.

Jewish Values

The fundamental Jewish notion of b’tzelem Elohim, that we are all created in the image of God, instructs us to look on all human beings with dignity and respect. In passing the NDAA with provisions reflecting the inherent dignity to which every person is entitled, we will be one step closer to ensuring that our nation lives up to its highest aspirations and values.

Take Action

Urge your Senators to vote in favor of Sections 1031, 1032 and 1033 in the NDAA and ensure the bill reflects the American concern for national security and human rights. For more information, please contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Sarah Greenberg at 202-387-2800.

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