Monday, December 17, 2012

Guantanamo Bay: Difficulties in Managing Detainees Leaving Guantanamo Bay

The State Library has a publication from the federal government entitled: Leaving Guantanamo: policies, pressures, and detainees returning to the fight. It was published January 2012 by the 112th Congress House Committee on Armed Services. This publication handles a complex topic in a straightforward way. It shows that the Guantanamo Bay detainee challenge started in 2002 when the facility was established, it provides information about both current and former detainees and it points out the difficulties of transferring or keeping prisoners there.

According to this publication seven hundred and seventy nine individuals have been held at Guantanamo Bay Detention Center (GTMO). As of January 1, 2012, 600 have left the facility and eight have died there.  The U.S. government believes that 27% of former GTMO detainees were confirmed or suspected to have been engaged in terrorist or insurgent activities.

The report found that:
  • some detainees should not be held
  • after the population rose releases and transfers took place
  • during Bush’s 2nd term pressure to reduce the GTMO population accelerated
  • the Obama administration is continuing the same policies so that there may continue to be threats that some former detainees will resume terrorist activities.

The report recommends that the Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence collaborate to produce a report of factors that cause or contribute to becoming engaged in terrorist activities after they have been released from Guantanamo Bay.  The report concludes with dissenting views from various members of Congress.

This document can be found at the State Library’s Reference Desk and is also available online