December 21, 2012
Harkin Statement on Senate Passage of the National Defense Conference Report
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate passed the conference report on the National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 81 to 14.
“As a United States Senator, I have no greater responsibility than to work to ensure our nation’s security. Our Armed Forces must have the tools they need to keep our country safe. That is why I support the vast majority of the provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act and why I supported the bill that passed the Senate. Yet I oppose this conference report because I do not believe it adequately reflects our principles. I believe we can do a better job of protecting our national security without compromising important values than what is contained in this legislation.
“This bill fails to make clear that under no circumstance can an American citizen be detained indefinitely without trial. Moreover, the bill would make it much more difficult to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. To overcome terrorism, we must stay true to our highest values and insist on legal safeguards that are the very basis of our system of government and freedom.”