Panetta Pushes Back Against Detainee Provisions

By: AP
By: AP

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expressing serious concerns with revised provisions in a sweeping defense bill that would require military custody of terrorist suspects and limit the government's authority to transfer detainees.

In a letter to leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Panetta says the provisions would limit the Obama administration's ability to use all counterterrorism tools that are legally available.

Members of the committee agreed on Tuesday to changes to the provisions to try to address administration objections but came up short. Panetta said he hopes the administration and lawmakers can still work out the differences.

The provision would require military custody for a suspect determined to be a member of al-Qaida or its affiliates and involved in the planning or an attack on the United States.

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