Page 2 of 2   <      

Pentagon Releases Gitmo Detainees' Names

But Peppler, in an e-mail to the AP, emphatically ruled that out.

"Absolutely not," Peppler said. "There are no other detention facilities other than those under DoD control in Guantanamo Bay.

The AP sought the names, photos and other details of current and former Guantanamo Bay detainees through a Freedom of Information Act request on Jan. 18. After the Pentagon didn't respond, the AP filed a lawsuit in March seeking compliance.

The Pentagon later agreed to turn over much of the information. Motions are pending in court for additional information, including the height and weight of the roughly 480 detainees still at Guantanamo Bay to assist with news coverage of a hunger strike.

The Pentagon refused to release that information, arguing that medical records are private. The military said the hunger strike began in August and has involved a maximum of 131 detainees.

The Pentagon also argued that releasing photos of current detainees would damage U.S. intelligence gathering. Releasing pictures would make it easier for al-Qaida to retaliate against detainees suspected of cooperating with interrogators, said Paul B. Rester, the director of the Joint Intelligence Group at Guantanamo. That would make it harder for the U.S. to collect intelligence, Rester said in a May 10 affidavit filed in response to the AP's Freedom of Information Act suit.

"No human intelligence sources interested in cooperating with the United States officials under any hope of anonymity will be willing to do so if their photographs and names are publicly released," he said.

The U.S. military says 759 detainees have been held at Guantanamo Bay since the detention center began taking prisoners in the U.S. war on terror in January 2002. About 275 have been released or transferred.

The U.S. has filed charges against 10 detainees.

The Pentagon says another 136 detainees at Guantanamo have been approved for release or transfer, but their departure in some cases has been delayed as Washington tries to persuade their home countries to accept them and receive assurances they won't be treated inhumanely.

In April, the Department of Defense released to the AP the names of 558 detainees who had a Combatant Status Review Tribunal, which determines whether they are "enemy combatants" who should be held.

That list, however, did not include about 200 detainees who were released or transferred before the Combatant Status Review Tribunals began in July 2004. Those names were among those listed Monday.


Associated Press writers Robert Burns in Washington and Ben Fox in San Juan, Puerto Rico, contributed to this report.

<       2

© 2006 The Associated Press