Prez of FBI Agents Association Fires Off Letter Opposing Law Requiring Mandatroy Military Custody in Terrorists

Konrad Motyka, president of the FBI Agents Association, wrote this Dec. 7 letter to members of  the Senate Armed Services Committee. He wrote the letter stating the association’s opposition to  a proposed law that would require mandatory military custody for someone captured who is suspected of being a member of al Qaeda or its affiliate and is involved in plotting or carrying out terrorist acts against the U.S.  FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III has also fired off a letter to lawmakers stating his opposition to the law.

Konrad Motyka/ photo

Dec. 7, 2011

Dear Chairmen and Ranking Members

On behalf of the more than 12,000 active duty and retired FBI Agents who are members of the FBI Agents Association (“FBIAA”), I write today to express our concerns about Section 1032 of S. 1867, the National Defense Act for Fiscal Year 2012.

Section 1032 requires that persons detained in connection with incidents of terrorism be held in military Custody and leaves Critical operational details unresolved, Like many in the federal law enforcement and intelligence communities, the FBIAA is concerned that this language undermines the ability of our counterte1’1’01’ism experts to conduct effective investigations.

Accordingly, we urge the conferees working to reconcile H.R. 1540 and S. 1867 through the conference process to reject Section 1032.

Section 1032 establishes a presumption for military custody for individuals detained in connection with acts of terrorism against the United States. While Section 1032 includes some exceptions and waivers to the military custody requirement, they are limited in scope and could create additional layers of bureaucracy at critical points in our investigations. lnjecting this level of uncertainty and delay into terrorism investigations could undermine law enforcement effectiveness.

To truly fight terrorism, all of the nation’s law enforcement assets should be deployed and enabled to act nimbly. This can only be accomplished if our laws preserve flexibility and prevent unnecessary bureaucracy from hampering law enforcement activities.

As part of the nation’s Counterterrorism strategy, FBI Agents work in the United States and abroad as an integral part of the intelligence-gathering and interrogation process.

These interrogations are often instrumental in obtaining information that is essential to efforts to thwart

subsequent acts of terror’. The interrogation of detained persons, however, must be adapted to each specific individual and circumstance in order to be effective.

Obtaining cooperation or information requires a mix of patience, leverage, and relationship-building that is inconsistent with the language in Section 1032, which under a presumption of military custody would require a waiver early in the process.

FBI Agents already work closely with the military and prosecutors to conduct effective investigations, and interjecting a requirement to obtain waivers from the Secretary of Defense, while well-intentioned, risks delays and miscommunications that would not serve the goal of conducting effective investigations.

The FBIAA shares the goal of enacting and adopting policies that protect Americans from terrorism and we appreciate the difficult task before the conferees Working to reconcile H.R. 1540 and S. 1867.

To this end, we urge the rejection of any language that risks unnecessarily limiting the flexibility that is essential to adapting our investigations to the circumstances of each investigation. In the interest of national security, please reject Section

1032 in the final National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the FBlAA’s views on this issue, please do not hesitate to

contact me.


FBI Agents Association
Konrad Motyka

Leave a Reply