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Trump likely to “inherit” 27 + 4 (or 5) uncharged GTMO detainees

That’s what Charlie Savage reports in this story.  Thanks to the remarkable efforts of Lee Wolosky, Paul Lewis and others, the Obama Administration will likely transfer 17 or 18 more GTMO detainees before the end the President’s term.

That will leave ten detainees who have been charged in military commissions cases, and 31 or 32 others who are being held during hostilities with al Qaeda.  Of those in the latter group, four or five have been cleared for transfer based upon a consensus view of agencies in a PRB determination that further detention is no longer necessary to protect against a significant threat to the security of the United States, but transfer arrangements with other nations have not been finalized for them–which means that they probably will not be transferred before January 20.  It appears that these four or five cleared detainees include:  (i) Ridah Bin Saleh al Yazidi (Tunisian–ISN No. 38); (ii) Sufiyan Barhoumi (Algerian–ISN No. 694); (iii) Abdul Latif Nasir (Moroccan–ISN No. 244); and (iv) Muieen Adeen al Sattar (an ethnic Rohingya Burmese born in Dubai, who lived in Mecca for most of his life before 2001–ISN No. 309).

As I’ve previously explained, this is about as close as President Obama could possibly have gotten to actually closing the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, in light of statutory restrictions that Congress has needlessly and unwisely imposed.  (See my three-part post — Part OnePart Two, and Part Three.)

It will, of course, be pointless, and very costly, to continue to operate GTMO for such a tiny detainee population.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that the new President and Congress will see fit to permit the final three dozen or so detainees to be held in the United States.

 


About the Author

is a professor at the Georgetown University Law Center.