A Pentagon report concludes that one in seven of those detainees released from the Guantanamo prison have already returned to terrorism. This is all the more troubling when you consider that those were the detainees that were considered safe to release. More troubling still, the report’s release is being held up for political reasons, reports the New York Times:
An unreleased Pentagon report concludes that about one in seven of the 534 prisoners already transferred abroad from the detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, are engaged in terrorism or militant activity, according to administration officials.
The conclusion could strengthen the arguments of critics who have warned against the transfer or release of any more detainees as part of President Obama’s plan to shut down the prison by January. Past Pentagon reports on Guantánamo recidivism have been met with skepticism from civil liberties groups and criticized for their lack of detail.
The Pentagon promised in January that the latest report would be released soon, but Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, said this week that the findings were still “under review.”
Two administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said the report was being held up by Defense Department employees fearful of upsetting the White House, at a time when even Congressional Democrats have begun to show misgivings over Mr. Obama’s plan to close Guantánamo.
The NYT dutifully relates the skepticism of civil liberties groups for the report’s lack of detail, adding:
Among the 74 former prisoners that the report says are again engaged in terrorism, 29 have been identified by name by the Pentagon, including 16 named for the first time in the report. The Pentagon has said that the remaining 45 could not be named because of national security and intelligence-gathering concerns. . .
The Pentagon has provided no way of authenticating its 45 unnamed recidivists, and only a few of the 29 people identified by name can be independently verified as having engaged in terrorism since their release. Many of the 29 are simply described as associating with terrorists or training with terrorists, with almost no other details provided.
Of course, you would expect that much of the report would be based on sensitive information that the Pentagon would not want to make public. Nevertheless Thomas Joscelyn points out that several recidivists can be verified through public sources. And these recidivists are costing human lives. For instance, one detonated a suicide bomb in Mosul, killing 13 Iraqis and wounding 42 others.
Remember, the releasees so far are the ones that were deemed safe to release. What happens when we start releasing the others?
(Via Power Line.)