The U.S. Government Accountability Office released its report Thursday on the question of whether or not the Department of Defense violated section 8111 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act when it transferred five prisoners detained at Guantanamo Bay to Qatar.
The report concluded:
DOD violated section 8111 because it did not notify the relevant congressional committees at least 30 days in advance of the transfer. In addition, because DOD used appropriated funds to carry out the transfer when no money was available for that purpose, DOD violated the Antideficiency Act. . . .
In our view, the meaning of section 8111 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014, is clear and unambiguous. . . .
We do not offer any opinion on the constitutionality of section 1035 of the FY 2014 NDAA or of section 8111 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014. It is not our role or our practice to determine the constitutionality of duly enacted statutes. . . . In our view, where legislation has been passed by Congress and signed by the President, thereby satisfying the bicameralism and presentment requirements in the Constitution, that legislation is entitled to a heavy presumption in favor of constitutionality.