Source: Congress has been told of 6 pending Guantanamo releases

Miami HeraldAugust 18, 2009 

The Obama administration has filed classified notices with Congress of plans to transfer six Guantanamo detainees to foreign countries under a new congressional reporting rule created to hamper the closure of the controversial prison camps, a source familiar with the process said on Tuesday.

All six so-called risk assessments and notification of transfers were filed Aug. 7, meaning the first transfers under the new notification bureaucracy could occur over the weekend at the earliest.

The source was not authorized to speak on the matter and described the process to The Miami Herald on condition of anonymity.

The Justice Department has already confirmed that it provided notice to Congress that it planned to send Afghan detainee Mohammed Jawad to his homeland. A federal judge ordered Jawad's release in July after ruling there was insufficient evidence to prove that he had hurled a grenade that wounded two U.S. soldiers in a Kabul bazaar in 2002.

The other five included plans to send two detainees approved for release to Ireland, two to Portugal and a fifth to a not yet decided nation. The source would not identify the detainees.

The White House established the reporting bureaucracy in July after Congress enacted legislation that bans the release of Guantánamo detainees into the United States.

It also sets waiting periods before they could be jailed in the United States or transferred abroad in the Guantánamo portion of the Supplemental Defense Appropriations Act, which expires in September.

Meantime, the regulation requires the Obama administration to provide Congress with a classified filing on each of the other 223 detainees the government wants to transfer elsewhere as part of President Barack Obama's order to empty the prison camps by Jan. 22, 2010.

Read the full story at MiamiHerald.com

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