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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Cuba: Issues for the 109th Congress

Cuba: Issues for the 109th Congress

Date: August 31, 2006
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P
Description: This report, which will be updated regularly, examines issues in U.S.-Cuban relations and tracks legislative initiatives on Cuba in the 109th Congress. The 109th Congress will likely continue an active interest in Cuba concerning human rights, debate over economic sanctions (especially on travel), food and agricultural exports to Cuba, terrorism issues, Radio and TV Marti, bilateral anti-drug cooperation, and migration issues.
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Cuba After Fidel Castro: U.S. Policy Implications and Approaches

Cuba After Fidel Castro: U.S. Policy Implications and Approaches

Date: September 1, 2006
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P
Description: In the new context of Fidel’s transfer of power, there are two broad policy approaches to contend with political change in Cuba: a stay-the-course or status-quo approach that would maintain the U.S. dual-track policy of isolating the Cuban government while providing support to the Cuban people; and an approach aimed at influencing the Cuban government and Cuban society through increased contact and engagement.
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Bangladesh: Background and U.S. Relations

Bangladesh: Background and U.S. Relations

Date: September 7, 2006
Creator: Vaughn, Bruce
Description: This report discusses the key issues regarding U.S.-Bangladesh Relations. U.S. policy toward Bangladesh emphasizes support for political stability and democracy; social and economic development; and improvement of human rights. The United States has long-standing supportive relations with Bangladesh and has viewed Bangladesh as a moderate voice in the Islamic world.
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Undisclosed U.S. Detention Sites Overseas: Background and Legal Issues

Undisclosed U.S. Detention Sites Overseas: Background and Legal Issues

Date: September 12, 2006
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K & Kim, Julie
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Gun Legislation in the 109th Congress

Gun Legislation in the 109th Congress

Date: September 15, 2006
Creator: Krouse, William J
Description: This report discusses the ongoing debate over the efficacy and constitutionality of federal regulation of firearms and ammunition. The report provides background information and analysis over the pros and cons of the debate and gun related statistics. It is a contentious debate, with strong advocates for and against the further federal regulation of firearms.
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Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment

Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment

Date: September 20, 2006
Creator: Garcia, Michael J.
Description: Controversy has arisen regarding U.S. treatment of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, and whether such treatment complies with U.S. statutes and treaties such as the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) and the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Congress approved additional guidelines concerning the treatment of detainees via the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), which was enacted pursuant to both the Department of Defense, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and Pandemic Influenza Act, 2006 (P.L. 109-148), and the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2006 (P.L. 109-163). Among other things, the DTA contains provisions that (1) require Department of Defense (DOD) personnel to employ United States Army Field Manual guidelines while interrogating detainees, and (2) prohibit the “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment of persons under the detention, custody, or control of the United States Government.” These provisions of the DTA, which were first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the “McCain amendment.” This report discusses the McCain amendment, as modified and subsequently enacted into law.
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Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment

Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment

Date: September 20, 2006
Creator: Garcia, Michael J.
Description: This report discusses the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), which contains provisions that (1) require Department of Defense (DOD) personnel to employ United States Army Field Manual guidelines while interrogating detainees, and (2) prohibit the “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment of persons under the detention, custody, or control of the United States Government.” These provisions of the DTA, which were first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the “McCain amendment.” This report discusses the McCain amendment, as modified and subsequently enacted into law. This report also discusses the application of the McCain amendment by the DOD in the updated 2006 version of the Army Field Manual, particularly in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.
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Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Amendments: 109th Congress

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Amendments: 109th Congress

Date: September 22, 2006
Creator: Relyea, Harold C.
Description: Enacted in 1966, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was designed to enable any person -- individual or corporate, regardless of citizenship -- to request, without explanation or justification, presumptive access to existing, identifiable, unpublished, executive branch agency records on any topic. The statute specified nine categories of information that may be permissibly exempted from the rule of disclosure. Disputes over the accessibility of requested records could be ultimately settled in court. The statute has become a somewhat popular tool of inquiry and information gathering for various quarters of American society. This report details the history of the Act, as well as relevant legislation and incidences and the efforts to amend the Act.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment

Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment

Date: September 25, 2006
Creator: Garcia, Michael John
Description: Controversy has arisen regarding U.S. treatment of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, and whether such treatment complies with related U.S. statutes and treaties. Certain provisions of the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the "McCain Amendment." This report discusses the McCain amendment and also discusses the application of the McCain Amendment by the DOD in the updated 2006 version of the Army Field Manual.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment

Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment

Date: September 25, 2006
Creator: Garcia, Michael John
Description: Controversy has arisen regarding U.S. treatment of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, and whether such treatment complies with U.S. statutes and treaties such as the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) and the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Congress approved additional guidelines concerning the treatment of detainees via the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), which was enacted pursuant to both the Department of Defense, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and Pandemic Influenza Act, 2006 (P.L. 109-148), and the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2006 (P.L. 109-163). Among other things, the DTA contains provisions that (1) require Department of Defense (DOD) personnel to employ United States Army Field Manual guidelines while interrogating detainees, and (2) prohibit the “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment of persons under the detention, custody, or control of the United States Government.” These provisions of the DTA, which were first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the “McCain Amendment.” This report discusses the McCain Amendment, as modified and subsequently enacted into law.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment

Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment

Date: September 25, 2006
Creator: Garcia, Michael John
Description: Controversy has arisen regarding U.S. treatment of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, and whether such treatment complies with U.S. statutes and treaties such as the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) and the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Congress approved additional guidelines concerning the treatment of detainees via the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), which was enacted pursuant to both the Department of Defense, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and Pandemic Influenza Act, 2006 (P.L. 109-148), and the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2006 (P.L. 109-163). Among other things, the DTA contains provisions that (1) require Department of Defense (DOD) personnel to employ United States Army Field Manual guidelines while interrogating detainees, and (2) prohibit the “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment of persons under the detention, custody, or control of the United States Government.” These provisions of the DTA, which were first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the “McCain Amendment.” This report discusses the McCain Amendment, as modified and subsequently enacted into law.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The War Crimes Act: Current Issues

The War Crimes Act: Current Issues

Date: September 25, 2006
Creator: Garcia, Michael John
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Enemy Combatant Detainees:

Enemy Combatant Detainees:

Date: September 26, 2006
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K & Thomas, Kenneth R
Description: In Rasul v. Bush, a divided Supreme Court declared that “a state of war is not a blank check for the president” and ruled that persons deemed “enemy combatants” have the right to challenge their detention before a judge or other “neutral decision-maker.” This report provides an overview of the CSRT procedures, summarizes court cases related to the detentions and the use of military commissions, and summarizes the Detainee Treatment Act, analyzing how it might affect detainee-related litigation in federal court.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court

Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court

Date: September 26, 2006
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K. & Thomas, Kenneth
Description: There have been inconsistent opinions in the District Court for the District of Columbia as to whether detainees who are suspected of connections to terrorist actions have any enforceable rights to challenge their treatment and detention. This report describes issues surrounding the writ of habeas corpus as it relates to detaining and imprisonment in matters of counterterrorism. This report also includes several legal cases and pieces of legislation in regards to this issue.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Data Security Breaches: Context and Incident Summaries

Data Security Breaches: Context and Incident Summaries

Date: September 28, 2006
Creator: Tehan, Rita
Description: Personal data security breaches are being reported with increasing regularity. Within the last few years, numerous examples of data such as Social Security numbers, bank account, credit card, driver’s license numbers, and medical and student records have been compromised. A major reason for the increased awareness of these security breaches is a California law that requires notice of security breaches to the affected individuals. This law, implemented in July 2003, was the first of its kind in the nation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment

Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment

Date: October 2, 2006
Creator: Garcia, Michael John
Description: Controversy has arisen regarding U.S. treatment of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, and whether such treatment complies with related U.S. statutes and treaties. Certain provisions of the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the "McCain Amendment." This report discusses the McCain amendment and also discusses the application of the McCain Amendment by the DOD in the updated 2006 version of the Army Field Manual.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment

Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment

Date: October 2, 2006
Creator: Garcia, Michael John
Description: Controversy has arisen regarding U.S. treatment of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, and whether such treatment complies with U.S. statutes and treaties such as the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) and the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Congress approved additional guidelines concerning the treatment of detainees via the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), which was enacted pursuant to both the Department of Defense, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and Pandemic Influenza Act, 2006 (P.L. 109-148), and the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2006 (P.L. 109-163). Among other things, the DTA contains provisions that (1) require Department of Defense (DOD) personnel to employ United States Army Field Manual guidelines while interrogating detainees, and (2) prohibit the “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment of persons under the detention, custody, or control of the United States Government.” These provisions of the DTA, which were first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the “McCain Amendment.” This report discusses the McCain Amendment, as modified and subsequently enacted into law.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The War Crimes Act: Current Issues

The War Crimes Act: Current Issues

Date: January 28, 2008
Creator: Garcia, Michael J.
Description: This report discusses current issues related to the War Crimes Act of 1996 and Common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, which sets out minimum standards for the treatment of detainees in armed conflicts "not of an international character (e.g., civil wars, rebellions, and other conflicts between State and non-State actors).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Immigration-Related Detention: Current Legislative Issues

Immigration-Related Detention: Current Legislative Issues

Date: January 30, 2008
Creator: Siskin, Alison
Description: This report examines policy issues surrounding detention of aliens, including concerns about the number of aliens subject to mandatory detention and the justness of mandatory detention, especially as it is applied to asylum seekers arriving without proper documentation. Some have raised concerns about the length of time in detention for aliens who have been ordered removed. Additionally, issues have been raised about the amount of detention space available to house DHS detainees. Another area of uncertainty is the Attorney General’s role in the detention of noncitizens, since the creation of DHS.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Delegation of the Federal Power of Eminent Domain to Nonfederal Entities

Delegation of the Federal Power of Eminent Domain to Nonfederal Entities

Date: May 20, 2008
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: Congress has on several occasions delegated its power of eminent domain to entities outside the federal government -- public and private corporations, interstate compact agencies, state and local governments, and even individuals. The constitutionality of such delegation, and of the exercise of such power by even private delegates, is today beyond dispute. However, among delegates with both federal and private characteristics, there is some subjectivity to deciding which to list in a report limited to "nonfederal entities." For delegatees of federal eminent domain power listed here, delegations since 1920 have primarily been to Amtrak, hydroelectric facilities (for dams and reservoirs), and entities engaged in the movement of electricity, gas, and petroleum (the last one expired), and for interstate bridges.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress

The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress

Date: June 5, 2008
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Description: This report provides historical background of the Council, including the role of the previous Commission. It discusses the Council's current mandate and structure, as well as U.S. policy and congressional actions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress

The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress

Date: June 5, 2008
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Description: This report provides historical background of the Council, including the role of the previous Commission. It discusses the Council's current mandate and structure, as well as U.S. policy and congressional actions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Data Security: Federal Legislative Approaches

Data Security: Federal Legislative Approaches

Date: June 6, 2008
Creator: Stevens, Gina Marie
Description: This report discusses the core areas addressed in federal legislation, including the scope of coverage (who is covered and what information is covered); data privacy and security safeguards for sensitive personal information; requirements for security breach notification (when, how, triggers, frequency, and exceptions); restrictions on social security numbers (collection, use, and sale); credit freezes on consumer reports; identity theft penalties; causes of action; and preemption.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Satellite Surveillance: Domestic Issues

Satellite Surveillance: Domestic Issues

Date: June 27, 2008
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr. & Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: This report provides background on the development of intelligence satellites and identifies the roles various agencies play in their management and use. Issues surrounding the current policy and proposed changes are discussed, including the findings of an Independent Study Group (ISG) with respect to the increased sharing of satellite intelligence data. There follows a discussion of legal considerations, including whether satellite reconnaissance might constitute a "search" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment; an overview of statutory authorities, as well as restrictions that might apply; and a brief description of executive branch authorities and Department of Defense directives that might apply. The report concludes by suggesting policy issues Congress may consider as it deliberates the potential advantages and pitfalls that may be encountered in expanding the role of satellite intelligence for homeland security purposes.
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