Report Questions Release of Guantanamo Detainees

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More than a quarter of the detainees released from the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, resumed terrorist activity, according to a new report released by Republicans on the investigations panel of the House Armed Services Committee.

The report questions the wisdom of releasing such detainees.

Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama released or transferred 600 prisoners out of the Guantanamo prison, only to find that 27 percent of them re-engaged in terrorism, up from 25 percent the previous year.

"The Bush and Obama administrations, reacting to domestic political pressures and a desire to earn goodwill abroad, sought to reduce the Guantanamo population by sending detainees elsewhere," the report said.

"Both administrations faced the persistent challenge of ensuring that the potential threat posed by each detainee had been aptly assessed before transfer or release and that the countries that received the detainees had the capacity and willingness to handle them in a way that sufficiently recognized the dangers involved," report authors explained.

"Despite earnest and well-meaning efforts by officials in both administrations, the re-engagement rate suggests failures in one or both aspects of the process," they concluded.

As of Jan. 1, 779 individuals have been held at Guantanamo, 600 have left the installation, eight died there, and 171 remain, according to Defense Department data.

The Obama administration is considering the release of several Afghan Taliban prisoners from the facility and sending them to a third country reportedly to get the Taliban to the table for peace talks.

Related Blog:

Stakelbeck on Terror

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