Friday, June 12, 2009

Wire: US Military Warns Against Guantanamo Detainee Transfers

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2009 -- Newswire services reported this morning that U.S. military intelligence officials have quietly told Congress they advised against transferring 25 of the 60 Guantanamo Bay terror detainees deemed eligible for relocation by the Obama administration, including five who are considered to be highly dangerous and likely to return to the battlefield.

But the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) officials did not raise any formal objections with the administration because they concluded the decision to move prisoners already had been made, according to a letter Sen. Tom Coburn, a member of the intelligence committee, sent Tuesday to Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair, according to a report by The Washington Times.

In the letter, obtained by The Washington Times, the Oklahoma Republican senator questions whether the White House put political considerations ahead of national security.

The Washington Times noted the following details:
"The DIA told the committee that DIA has not objected to the release of many rank-and-file members of terrorist organizations 'due to an explicit understanding that many detainees were destined to be transferred out of GTMO regardless of intelligence-based objections,' " Mr. Coburn wrote.

"DIA's admission that it is not objecting to the release of some members of terrorist organizations due to a belief that policy considerations will outweigh intelligence concerns is highly troubling and highlights the need for the committee to hear from your office about the judgments of all agencies on this matter," Mr. Coburn wrote.
During the presidential campaign, Mr. Obama said that if elected he would close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, and two days after taking office issued an executive order carrying out that pledge, giving a one-year deadline for its closure, The Washington Times report said.

Recent polls show that a majority of Americans are opposed to closing the Guantanamo Bay camp and moving the detainees to the U.S.

Many state officials have also joined to oppose having any of the detainees moved to their jurisdiction.

(Report from newswire sources.)

Source: EXCLUSIVE: Military warns against detainee transfers

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