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Biden signs $768B defense bill, complains it won’t let him close Gitmo

Anonymous 12/27/21 (Mon) 18:21:10 2feff5 (11) No.15264544

Biden signs $768B defense bill, complains it won’t let him close Gitmo President Biden on Monday signed a $768 billion defense spending bill that includes funds for a 2.7 percent pay raise for the troops — but lamented that it did not provide money to remove terror detainees from Guantánamo Bay. Top Democrats have long advocated for the closure of the military prison at the US Navy base in Cuba, a drive that has been met with sharp pushback from Republicans. In a statement, Biden argued that two sections of the bill barring the use of federal funds to transfer detainees to certain foreign nations or the US unless specific conditions are met “unduly impair the ability of the executive branch to determine when and where to prosecute Guantánamo Bay detainees and where to send them upon release. “In some circumstances these provisions could make it difficult to comply with the final judgment of a court that has directed the release of a detainee on a writ of habeas corpus,” added the president, who urged Congress to “eliminate these restrictions as soon as possible.” The president also took issue with provisions in the bill requiring reports on the amount of US military equipment destroyed during the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, as well as the threat posed by Iran-backed militias in the Middle East. Biden complained that such reports “will, in the ordinary course, include highly sensitive classified information, including information that could reveal critical intelligence sources or military operational plans.” However, he promised to provide the information “with due regard for the protection from unauthorized disclosure of classified information relating to sensitive intelligence sources and methods or other exceptionally sensitive matters. I believe the Congress shares this understanding.” The sprawling plan, which includes $25 billion more than the White House had requested for defense spending​, passed the Senate by ​a vote of 89-10 on Dec. 15. A week earlier, it had passed the House by 363-70. The bulk of the funds — 96 percent — are allocated to Department of Defense programs with another $27.8 billion allocated for Department of Energy national security programs and the remaining $378 million for additional defense-related matters. T​he legislation also provides $300 million to the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative to assist

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