Grassley seeks more transparency regarding transfer of Guantanamo detainees

Guantanamo DetaineesFrom Press Release


U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte of (R-NH) are asking for more information on three former Guantanamo Bay detainees who were released pursuant to court orders and may have returned to the battlefield. One former detainee is confirmed to have reengaged in terrorist or insurgent activities, while the other two are suspected of reengagement in similar activities, according to a recent report by the Director of National Intelligence.

“As our service members continue to defend our nation against enemies wishing to destroy our American way of life, it’s disturbing to see that our own judicial system has allowed terrorist detainees to return to the battlefield. We need to know the extent of the damage caused by these ill-advised decisions so that we can work to prevent them in the future,” Grassley said.

“We cannot continue to supply the enemy with reinforcements.  As we watch the confirmed reengagement numbers rise, it is time Congress starts scrutinizing exactly who we are releasing from Guantanamo back to the battlefield, whether subject to a court order or otherwise.  At the very least, we need to understand the legal justification behind these court orders, and what harm they caused,” Graham said.

“No American service member should ever have to confront a former Guantanamo detainee on the battlefield.  The American people have a right to know about the terrorist activities of detainees who have been released from Guantanamo, as well as the terrorist associations and activities of detainees still there,” Ayotte said.

In a letter to National Intelligence Director James Clapper, the senators request the identities of the former detainees, the court cases that led to their transfers, whether they were approved for release or transfer under other detainee review procedures and whether anyone, including U.S. forces, was killed or injured in the activities in which the detainees participated. Detainees are confirmed to have reengaged if there is a “preponderance of information which identifies a specific former GTMO detainee as directly involved in terrorist or insurgent activities.” Detainees are suspected of reengaging when plausible, but unverified reporting indicates direct involvement in similar activities.

According to the report, nearly 29 percent of all former GTMO detainees are confirmed or suspected of reengaging in terrorist or insurgent activities.

Grassley’s letter may be read by clicking here.