Senate rejects easing detainee policy

Nov. 29, 2011 at 6:34 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- The U.S. Senate Tuesday rejected a defense spending bill amendment that would have eased the policy on detainees captured as terror suspects on the battlefield.

The Senate voted 61-37 to reject the amendment, which would have removed a section of the defense spending bill that authorizes the president to use "all necessary and appropriate force" and would have created a timeline for judicial hearings, The Hill reported.

The amendment's author, Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., said law enforcement and military officials should have more say in the policy over detainees.

"We are ignoring the advice and the input of the director of the FBI, the director of the intelligence community, the attorney general of the United States, the secretary of defense and the White House," Udall said.

"My amendment would take out these provisions, and give us in the Congress an opportunity to take a hard look at the needs of our counterterrorism professionals, and respond in a measured way that reflects the input of those who are actually fighting our enemies. The secretary of defense is warning us that we may be making mistakes that will hurt our capacity to fight terrorism at home and abroad," Udall said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaking against the amendment, said, "The idea that an American citizen helping al-Qaida doesn't get due process is just a lie."

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