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Four Released From Gitmo

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon has determined four more prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, no longer pose much of a threat and plans to release them, a senior official said Friday.

No information on those four was available. The State Department is making arrangements to send them to their home countries, said Rear Adm. James M. McGarrah, who oversees the reviews of prisoners and whether they should remain at Guantanamo, told reporters at the Pentagon.

Their fate was determined by a quasi-judicial process called an administrative review board, which the Pentagon created after human rights groups complained about the indefinite nature of the detentions at the U.S. naval base.

Contrary to popular belief (popular belief on the left side of politics anyway), detainees at Gitmo are not locked up and the key thrown away. There is a system in place for extracting the needed intelligence out of the prisoners and releasing them when it is deemed prudent to do so. This is the first time, however, that I've heard of this system being put in place as a reaction to complaints from human rights groups.

Anyway, now all we have to do is hope that the determinations as to which prisoners get out and which stay in are thorough enough to ensure that none of these people go one to aid or commit terrorist attacks. Given that some reports have as many as a dozen former Gitmo prisoners returning to fight against America and its allies in the war on terror I'm not sure that it is.

To be perfectly honest with you, this issue has been far too politicized for my taste. The decisions made at Gitmo should be made in the interest of national security. Instead the politicians have the decisions being made in the interest of international public relations. And all that's going to do is render the entire system ineffective.

Rob Port is the owner and operator of Say Anything.


Comments (4)

It only took a couple of mi... (Below threshold)
rebus:

It only took a couple of minutes to find this -
http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/2004/tr20040707-0981.html
on the DOD web site.
It's the transcript of a backgrounder from a year ago.

Why were they taken in as p... (Below threshold)
Zsa Zsa:

Why were they taken in as prisoners in the first place?... Kind of makes you wonder if they are releasing these prisoners... WHAT did they do to be considered prisoners in the first place? Were they shooting at US and British soldiers or threatening them in someway? IF so ? WHY are they releasing them????

They were captured for figh... (Below threshold)

They were captured for fighting against coalition soldiers, but that would only justify holding them in-country (Iraq or Afghanistan, wherever they were captured). They get sent on to Gitmo if they're thought to be terrorists or to have pertinent intelligence against the terrorists -- in other words, if they're believed to be more than just anti-coalition fighters.

And if it turns out they're not more than just anti-coalition fighters, there's no good reason to keep them at Gitmo.

I think that means they ought to be sent back to in-country holding, not released to go set bombs in London.

Rob said: "This is the firs... (Below threshold)

Rob said: "This is the first time, however, that I've heard of this system being put in place as a reaction to complaints from human rights groups."

I'm not convinced that just because the LA Times says this system was a reaction to human rights groups pressure is a fact. I'm just saying.

McGehee said: "They were captured for fighting against coalition soldiers, but that would only justify holding them in-country (Iraq or Afghanistan, wherever they were captured)."

Got a reference for this? What document/rule/agreement/treaty says that POW's/enemy combatants must be detained in the country in which they were captured? I seem to remember German POW's being kept in the US... far from where they were captured. I agree that releasing these guys doesn't seem like a good idea on the surface. But as with most stories told by the media, I wonder what they (the reporters or the government) are not telling us. There is more than meets the eye here. Releasing these prisoners is not exactly like releasing penguins into the wild.




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