DOJ List Details Plans for Gitmo Detainees

Tuesday, 18 Jun 2013 02:28 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The Justice Department has released a list detailing its plans for the 166 inmates who remain behind bars at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, showing who has been recommended for continuing detention, transfer or prosecution.

The document, released through a Freedom of Information Act request from The New York Times,  represents recommendations from a task force of national security agencies that President Barack Obama tasked in 2009, after he pledged to close the prison within a year.

The list shows about three dozen detainees deemed to be prosecutable and another four dozen who are considered impossible to prosecute and too dangerous to let out.

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The task force said that some of the detainees who were severely abused while in U.S. custody can still face trial. For example, Abu Zubaydah, accused of facilitating terrorism, was subjected to waterboarding and other torture techniques by the CIA, reports The Times, but has still not yet been charged with a crime.

The list also includes Mohammed al-Qahtani, a Saudi who is believed to have been the intended 20th hijacker in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He was charged in 2008 but the charges were dropped by military official Susan Crawford, after she concluded he was tortured by interrogators, reported the Washington Post.

Other partial lists of the detainees have been released since 2009, including a shorter list of those who had been approved for transfer that came out earlier this year.

Since 2010, Congress has banned bringing detainees into the United States for trial in civil courts, and a federal appeals court ruled that military commissions cannot charge detainees with conspiracy and material support for terrorism if they are not linked to a specific attack.

About 104 detainees at Guantanamo are participating in a hunger strike at the prison while they await word of their fate, and a military spokesman Monday said 44 are being force-fed through tubes.

The State Department Monday appointed Cliff Sloan as the new envoy for shutting down the prison.

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