President Obama’s repeated pledges to close the Guantánamo Bay detention center have been routinely and deliberately undermined by his own Department of Defense, according to a damning new investigation published on Monday.
Citing numerous administration officials, Reuters exposed a “pattern” of bureaucratic obstacles imposed by the U.S. Pentagon which have successfully thwarted efforts to transfer cleared detainees from the notorious offshore prison.
“Pentagon officials have refused to provide photographs, complete medical records and other basic documentation to foreign governments willing to take detainees, administration officials said,” according to the Reuters excluive. “They have made it increasingly difficult for foreign delegations to visit Guantánamo, limited the time foreign officials can interview detainees and barred delegations from spending the night at Guantánamo.”
Such delays, Reuters notes, “resulted in four Afghan detainees spending an additional four years in Guantanamo after being approved for transfer.”
“In other cases,” the reporting continues, “the transfers of six prisoners to Uruguay, five to Kazakhstan, one to Mauritania and one to Britain were delayed for months or years by Pentagon resistance or inaction, officials said.”
In the case of longtime hunger-striking prisoner Tariq Ba Odah, Pentagon officials refused to hand over the cleared Yemeni’s medical files to a foreign delegation, which had requested the files as part of their consideration to take in Ba Odah to their undisclosed country.
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