Hedging on Guantanamo

Europe’s Hedging on Inmates Clouds Guantanamo Plans
(New York Times, March 16, 2009, Pg. 1)
European countries that have offered to help the Obama administration close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay have begun raising questions about the security risks and requirements if they accept prisoners described by the Bush administration as “the worst of the worst,” according to diplomats and other officials. The concerns, and a deep suspicion of whether the American intelligence community will share full information on the prisoners, are likely to complicate the resettlement effort, which is critical to President Barack Obama’s fulfilling his pledge to close Guantanamo within a year of his taking office.

EU Could Aid U.S. by Taking 60 Detainees 

(Financial Times, March 16, 2009)

Up to 60 Guantanamo Bay detainees could be taken in by European Union countries, according to the bloc’s senior justice official. Jacques Barrot, the vice-president of the EU, said Europe’s response to any U.S. request that it take former detainees would be a “test issue” ahead of a trip he is making to Washington this week. “We are open to co-operation to help close Guantanamo as long, of course, as the methods used there are not replicated in other places,” he said, adding that Washington would need to give the EU complete information on the background of the detainees sent to Europe.

U.S. Challenged on Sealing of Detainee Files
(Washington Post, March 16, 2009, Pg. 15)
The Justice Department has filed “unclassified” records in federal court outlining the government’s cases against more than 100 detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, but the records are not being made public. The move has triggered a legal skirmish with detainees’ attorneys, who say the excessive secrecy greatly complicates their work, especially in light of looming hearings. Three news organizations have also joined the fight, saying the government is keeping valuable information from the public. The government says it wants to keep the records from public view for now as a national security precaution after it discovered classified information in the documents.