Senators Press White House For Increased Transparency On Guantanamo Detainees

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today join Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Michael Rounds (R-SD), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Tim Scott (R-SC) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), in sending a letter urging President Obama to adhere to his own promise of increasing transparency, a commitment on which the administration has fallen short when it comes to detainees at Guantanamo and their transfer to other countries.     

“When a detainee is transferred, the only specific information released by the Department of Defense is the detainee’s name and the name of the country to which the detainee will be transferred,” wrote the Senators. “The administration does not provide any information regarding the detainee’s previous terrorist activities and associations, previous assessments of the detainee’s risk level to the U.S. and our allies, or behavior while in detention. The administration does not provide even the most basic information regarding arrangements with the country that has agreed to receive the detainee.”

“As a result, Americans are left in the dark regarding the detainee’s potential membership in al Qaeda or its affiliates, terrorist training, or previous hostile actions against U.S. troops. The American people, and often many of their representatives in Congress, do not even know if the detainee will be detained or released once they are transferred. Without this information, it is difficult for Americans to accurately assess the wisdom of transferring these detainees,” the Senators continued. “With 30% of former Guantanamo detainees confirmed or suspected of reengaging in terrorist activity, this lack of transparency with the American people is not acceptable.”

After asking a number of questions, they wrote, “Any argument that this information cannot be declassified safely and provided to the American people creates the appearance that the administration does not want the American people to know the truth about the detainees at Guantanamo and those being transferred to other countries.”

The full text of the letter is available by clicking here