An NPR investigation of secret military documents from the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay details the system used to assess how dangerous the detainees would be if released.
More than 160 of the prisoners released or transferred from the Guantanamo detention camp under Presidents Bush and Obama had previously been judged as “likely to pose a threat to the U.S.” The decision to release or transfer these detainees, despite their former classification as “high risk,” contradicted the Pentagon’s own recommendation that prisoners in this category should remain in detention….
The large number of detainees who were transferred or released from Guantanamo despite their “high risk” assessment is nonetheless striking. Of 600 detainees known to have been transferred out of Guantanamo since 2002, at least 160 were previously in the high-risk category. The repatriation of more high-risk detainees appears likely.
The Obama administration has not yet named the 89 current Guantanamo detainees it says are due to be transferred, but only about 40 of those still in detention at the camp were assessed as “medium” or “low” security risks as of early 2009, according to the investigation by NPR and The New York Times. Some risk assessments have since been revised. The Obama administration carried out a new review of all Guantanamo detainees after it took office in January 2009, and those reports are not included in the documents reviewed by NPR.
Among the “high risk” detainees who have been transferred from Guantanamo since 2002, NPR and the Times have identified at least a dozen who have returned to terrorism or otherwise reassociated with al-Qaida, including two Saudis who became leaders of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula….