The Weekly Standard
On May 1, 2009, Republican senator Christopher Bond wrote to President Obama with questions about the handling of detainees from Guantánamo Bay. Bond, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was concerned about reports that an increasing number of transferred detainees were going “back to the battlefield to kill American soldiers.” He asked a series of specific questions about the detainees and the process for releasing or transferring them.
Almost a full year later, on April 19, 2010, Bond received a response from the Justice Department, which Obama had designated as the lead agency on the detainee task force. Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legislative Affairs Ronald Weich wrote offering a vague description of detainee review process and promising that the detainee task force made its decisions only after a “careful examination of the available and relevant information pertaining to each detainee.”
Blah, blah, blah.
For more than a year, Obama officials, with the Justice Department in the lead, have hidden crucial information on detainees from the public. They have refused to discuss the decisions of the Guantánamo Bay task force or to identify the 60 individuals who serve on it. They have declined to provide information on the detainees that have been transferred or released. And they have ignored repeated requests for specifics on the growing number of former detainees who have returned to jihad—terrorists that the U.S. military is now fighting in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and beyond.
The recidivist group is growing. The Weekly Standard has learned that the Pentagon has an updated version of its “Return to the Battlefield” report, which tracks Guantánamo Bay recidivism. The percentage of known or suspected recidivists is now “north of 20 percent,” according to a source familiar with the latest data.