This weekend, news organizations, in conjunction with WikiLeaks, released intelligence assessments of the 779 individuals who have been held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since the detention facility opened Jan. 11, 2002.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the more salient points and names emerging from the files:
By the numbers
— 779 detainees held at Guantanamo.
— 409 detainees determined to be low-level guerrillas.
— 150 detainees determined to be innocent of their charges.
— 172 remain at Guantanamo. Why is the camp still open despite President Obama’s promise to close it? The Post writes: “political miscalculations, confusion and timidity.”
— 16 considered high-value detainees, all still held by the United States.
— 7 men died in captivity.
Names to know:
David Hicks: An Australian prisoner who pleaded guilty to providing material support for terrorism, Hicks was transferred to an Australian prison in 2007 and later released. His attorney told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that the lawyers representing inmates at Guantanamo were not given access to all the information the U.S. government had and that the files contain inaccurate statements.
Shaker Aamer: Still held at Guantanamo, Aamer is considered a close associate of Osama bin Laden by U.S. officials, a view contradicted by U.K. officials. The British foreign secretary William Hague has pressed the U.S. to return Aamer, a British resident, “to put right some of the damage caused to Britain's moral authority by allegations of complicity in torture and in rendition leading to torture.”
Naqib Ullah: At the age of 14, Ullah, a Pakistani teenager was sent to Guantanamo for a year. He said he had been kidnapped and raped by Taliban forces. He was transferred out of Guantanamo in the hopes that he would “grow out of the radical extremism he has been subject to.”
Haji Faiz Mohammed: An Afghan farmer, Mohammed was arrested and diagnosed with senile dementia. He was arrested during a trip to the doctor’s to get more medicine for his aliment. In his file it states, “there is no reason on th record for detainee being transferred to Guantanamo Bay detention facility.”
Abu Hamuda bin Qumu: A former detainee considered medium to high risk, Qumu is now an ally of sorts for the U.S. army, the New York Times reports. Qumu is a leader of one of the rebel strongholds in Libya fighting to overturn Moammar Gaddafi’s rule. His original detainment in Guatanamo came, in part, because of information provided by Gaddafi’s government.
Pakistan: The United States classifies Pakistan’s intelligence agency as a terrorist. According to the files, any links to the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), as well as Iranian intelligence and groups such as Hezbollah, were linked to terrorist or insurgent activity.
Uncertainty: WikiLeaks warned in a tweet that the information in the files mighty not be accurate, as it was one-sided, written from the perspective of the detainers. Slate points out how much of the language in the reports is ambiguous, including the use of the word “possibly,” which appears 387 times.
What do you make of the documents? Let us know your questions and we’ll continue to follow up on the reports here.
Tweet More than two years after Barack Obama pledged to shutter Guantanamo Bay, 172 detainees remain there. As The Post's Peter Finn and Anne Kornblut report, "administration officials lay blame for the failed initiative on Congress, including Democrats who deserted the president, sometimes in droves. The debate, they said, became suffused with fear — fear that transferring detainees to American soil would create a genuine security threat, fear that closing Guantanamo would be electoral suicide." What do you think? Did Obama do enough to close Guantanamo? Or do national security concerns outweigh his campaign promise? Give us your thoughts by using #TheGitmoQuestion on Twitter and we'll post some responses right here.
#TheGitmoQuestion. It is not too late. If we fail to put them in American prisons, the terrorists win. They prove we are terrified.
#TheGitmoQuestion No it's not 2 late! Restore America's honor--Close it now! Put integrity back into justice system.