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Published On: Wed, Oct 17th, 2012

Dianne Feinstein leading new study to release Gitmo prisoners

The idea of closing down Guantanamo Bay and transferring its detainee population to the United States was supposed to be a dead issue, but Congresswoman Dianne Feinstein is leading a group that doesn’t think so.

photo Joshua Sherurcij

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is working on a report identifying “policies, plans and procedures” for transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay and exploring Defense and Justice Department “facilities in the United States that are most likely to meet the requirements for housing Guantanamo Bay detainees.” …

“We do have work underway on Guantanamo and alternative detention options, but it is not complete.  We expect to be done by mid-November. That work will need to undergo a classification review, so it is unclear when it might be publicly available, if at all,” GAO spokesman Ned Griffith tells Danger Room.
Only 166 of the 800 detainees are still at Gitmo.
Many people recognize it’s an unsustainable thing, having a 2,000-person task force taking care of a dwindling number of detainees,” says one former U.S. official. “You wind up with a Rudolf Hess problem,” referring to the former Nazi who spent decades as the sole inmate of Berlin’s Spandau Prison.
In one of his first Executive Orders in January 2009, Obama ordered an immediate review of the status of each detainee and pledged that all detainees would be either released, returned to their home country, transferred to a third country, or transferred to another U.S. detention facility within one year.

photo Joshua Sherurcij

A significant number of the men are believed to be Yemeni. President Barack Obama suspended further transfers to Yemen in January 2010, stating that conditions in the country were too “unsettled” to ensure that detainees wouldn’t return to or embark on terrorist activities.

“In the over two years since the [Guantanamo Bay Review] Task Force completed its status reviews, circumstances have changed such that the decisions by the Task Force approving detainees for transfer no longer warrant protection,” the DOJ lawyers wrote in their notice to the court (posted here).

“The efforts of the United States to resettle Guantanamo detainees have largely been successful – they have resulted in 40 detainees being resettled in third countries because of treatment or other concerns in their countries of origin since 2009. In addition, 28 detainees have been repatriated to their countries of origin since 2009. Consequently, the diplomatic and national security harms identified [by Fried in a 2009 court filing] are no longer as acute. In Respondents’ view, there is no longer a need to withhold from the public the status of detainees who have been approved for transfer.”

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. rod reynolds says:

    Why? The prisoners at Gitmo are the 9/11 murders, not US citizens. They should have been in front on a military tribunal years ago, then punished. Not housed on taxpayer dollars, and then have some senator ask to close Gitmo and stop their treatment. They are murders, and are not citizens, afforded Due Process. Shame on the senator, and whoever wrote this article.

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