New CTC Report on Guantanamo

New CTC Report on Guantanamo

Posted By Greg McNeal On July 26, 2007 @ 3:06 pm In Law Blog, Counterterrorism | No Comments

A new [1] report issued by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point finds that 73% of GITMO detainees are a “demonstrated threat.“  [2] Report webpage here

What does demonstrated threat mean?  It means that they have satisfied any of the following criteria:

  • explicitly and without qualification supported or waged hostile activities against the U.S. or coalition partners
  • fought for al Qaeda or the Taliban or associated forces
  • received training in an al Qaeda or Taliban training camp
  • received training in the use of combat weapons beyond small arms (grenades, rpg’s, ied’s, sniper rifles, etc.)

In fact a further 95% were found to constitute a “potential threat.”

Bill Glaberson of the N.Y. Times, whom I have spoken with from time to time on Guantanamo issues and who consistently offers balanced and well researched coverage has [3] this to say:

The report, by a terrorism study center at [4] West Point, is essentially a rebuttal by the military of growing assertions by advocates for detainees that the naval station at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, is filled with hapless innocents and low-level cooks and other support personnel who pose no real threat.

It paints a chilling portrait of the Guantánamo detainees. Publicly available information, the report says, indicates that 73 percent of them were a “demonstrated threat” to American or coalition forces. It says that 95 percent were at the least a “potential threat,” including detainees who had played a supporting role in terrorist groups or had expressed a commitment to pursuing jihadist violence.

The Wall Street Journal editors also reference the report in their support for Guantanamo, [5] stating :

The real goal of Guantanamo’s critics is to have these killers treated like common criminals in American courts. That would make it impossible to deny them the full array of U.S. legal protections. In many cases, prosecutors would lack enough evidence to convict them under normal trial rules, especially if much of the evidence were classified. Soldiers don’t build a criminal case like “C.S.I.” sleuths when they’re snagging an enemy on the battlefield while also trying to avoid getting killed.

The result of bringing Gitmo detainees into U.S. criminal courts would inevitably be their widespread release—which means leaving them free to kill Americans again. The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point recently examined the non-classified evidence about Gitmo detainees, and in a new report concludes that 73% were a “demonstrated threat” to U.S. forces. No less than 95% were a “potential threat.” According to the Pentagon, at least 30 former Gitmo detainees have returned to fight Americans after deceiving U.S. interrogators and being released.

The next Supreme Court term will offer interesting developments for the future of Guantanamo.  National Security Law nerds (like me) can’t wait to see what happens.

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[4] West Point: ndex.html?inline=nyt-org
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