January 24th, 2009
09:30 AM ET
4 years ago

Security experts skeptical on Gitmo detainee report

President Obama has signed an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility.

President Obama has signed an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Security experts are questioning information released by the Pentagon last week, saying 61 former detainees from its detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, may have returned to terrorist activities.

The report, released days before President Obama took office, says 18 former detainees are confirmed to have participated in attacks, and 43 are suspected to have been involved in attacks.

That figure would be about 11 percent of the roughly 520 prisoners that have been released from Guantanamo, which Obama on Thursday ordered be shut down.

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soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. BB

    My neighbor may cheat on his taxes this year and next year. Lock him up in advance for income-tax evasion.

    That makes just as much sense as holding these people with no trial. Give them a trial and sentence them. Then either execute, prosecute, or release. How much of our money is going to feed and guard them? We cannot afford any more of Bush's brilliant ideas to be continued.

    January 24, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  2. katiec

    The pentagon will do anything to disguise their illegal activities.
    Where did their figures come from and where are the facts?
    Thank God the person representing our country and us will
    not put up with anymore disgraceful, rule bending activities.

    January 24, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  3. Dawn

    I do think that should be closed, but where to put them is another questions. We do not know exactly what they had done to the Gitmo detainees? were they tortured anymore than reported? It will happen in a year, Maybe Alcatraz could reopen and house them there, but I will hear from all the people in California to this. It is excape proof and if they do excape from Alcatraz, they would never make it to the mainland. Think about the sharks and rough under currant. They would be out to sea!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 24, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  4. AnnaMerkin

    Such a high percentage of people returning to terrorist activities would suggest failure of the Gitmo system rather than success at "protecting" us. Further, I'd be curious to see the percentage of people who were not actually terrorists but because of their treatment in Gitmo, because hostile towards the U.S.

    January 24, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  5. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    wow you better not show this story too much..that just might help ruin the only arguments that the far right talk show hosts have to stand on with Gitmo. Man can't that new president do ANYTHING right.......I mean wrong??

    January 24, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  6. Scott Tucson

    It's obvious that Obama doesn't know what to do with the detainees having signed his order closing that portion of Gitmo down. So why not just pack them up and send them to PA since John Murtha said he would be willing to take them in. Maybe after a few months he can let them all out on good behavior and give them flight training.

    January 24, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  7. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Even one committing another terrorist act could kill hundreds. It only took 10 terrorist to take down the World Trade Center and kill thousands. It only took 5 for the Pentagon. 61 going back to a life of terrorism is too many. Release no one unless it's proven that they are completely innocent. In a war, you don't have to prove an enemy soldier took a life to shoot him. This is a war. We don't have to prove that these people actually made attacks, just that they belong to organizaions that do.

    January 24, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. nayda

    This is a joke! how would you feel if your child was in some prison (well we do have some in US prisons) who are detained, tortured and who knows what else for years just for being a muslum? Has anyone watch rendition the movie? Believe me, the anger those men must have in their hearts today for all the wrong things Guantanamo has done to them is our fault. They are in a prison, not sure if their families are dead or alive or if they could even ever find them with all the killings we've done in Iraq in the name of Oil and false WMDs. This whole Iraq war, Guantanamo and the Bush administration is a swollen black eye for America. Only those with no common sense, and a lack of worldly understanding, can only argue otherwise.

    January 24, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  9. ronvan

    Doesn't surprise me!! Torture, Torture!!! If this is accurate their actions can be traced back to the Bush/Cheney times!! CLOSE GITMO now!! If they cannot be returned to their home countries then put them in a federal prison, have a REAL trial, and depending on the outcome they stay in prison or KICKED out of America!!

    January 24, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  10. Ernie in LA

    That's really great Obama. Set them all free. I hope they all go to live in DC.

    January 24, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. Clinton Fringer

    WOW.......................who saw that coming. Poor babies......so mistreated only to be let loose to try to kill us asnd countless others all over the world again. WAKE UP AMERICA.......................they cared nothing about our loss of lives and too many of our own soldiers have died at the hands of people just like them TRYING TO PROTECT YOU! . They can rot in there for all I care.........we don't want them set free living here.

    January 24, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  12. Texas Teacher

    Just what did anyone expect? Even if they were part of the problem, after the treatment they have received at Gitmo from the hands of the hated Americans.... do you seriously think they are going to go home contrite and ready to be part of the solution?

    It has to end somewhere. Bush handled the last release of the latest detainees. I suspect Obama will do a much better job managing the entire situation! Do not judge Obama by Bush's ignorance.... thank you very much!

    January 24, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  13. Bud

    Oh, NO! The Bush administration might have lied again. I doubt anyone could be 100% certain that some detainees would never return to being "Bad Guys", but that should never stop the application of justice. If they are guilty, sentence them, execute them but do not just hold them with no reason. Habeas Corpus is reasonable.

    January 24, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    This doesn't make sense. If this is true, then just like we detained them, released them, now have evidence of their involvement in further attacks, why don't we have them in detention again. It simply does not make sense to me.

    January 24, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  15. Mick in Mesa

    Fact check people – FACT CHECK!
    The Pentagon numbers about former Gitmo detainees are bogus at best.
    Sometimes the Pentagon reports only 6 have returned to terror groups, sometimes it's 24 and other times it's only 2! It depends on whether they want to scare the bejeezus out of us or not, depending on what the Bush people want to accomplish for the month.
    Here's the facts – The Pentagon wants to obfuscate the numbers because THEY recommended the detainees be released while Bushie was POTUS.
    Do you really think they want to admit they might have screwed up in releasing some really bad guys?
    Besides, it's the same old Bushie/repugulicon tactic used to open up Gitmo in the first place – FEAR!

    January 24, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  16. Carl in MI

    Unfortunately... you just can't believe anything produced during the days of the Bush Administration. They've lied and cried WOLF so many times AESOP needs to write a new fable about them.

    I'm sure some of them did join back up again... let's see, we kept them in GITMO for how many years? Tortured them how many times and how may different ways? Disrespected their religion and religous book the Koran how many times and in how many different ways?

    And yet, we expect them NOT to retaliate? Get real... they hate us thanks to the Bush Administration and that hate isn't going to go away anytime soon. Thank you, Dubya!!!

    January 24, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  17. fred

    I think Obama better figure out where they will go before saying they will go. Get what I'm saying. You can't close down a place before knowing where the people in that place will be taken.

    January 24, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  18. bill

    It is funny that such a report made it to the paper right before Obama took office.

    1. It means that Gitmo has not been able to do its job even under Bush
    2. It means that Gitmo created a terrorist
    3. It means that the Bush people do not who they have in Gitmo

    It is incredible luck that we have not been attacked here in the US

    January 24, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  19. Reality

    Where did the title come from? How biased can CNN be?

    Not one one security expert is skeptical of the numbers. Not one. The only person skeptical is some CNN analyst no one has heard of before.

    Obama has done virtually nothing so far. He has made a few BAD decisions and REPEATED a few of Bill Clinton's decisions. He has appointed a secretary of the treasury who is guilty of tax fraud, he has appointed political lobbyists despite promising not to. He has again hinted at censorship and derided media for asking him "substantive" questions. No Change. Just typical Chicago politics. Just wait until Blago gets pushed into a corner and starts telling the truth about media darling Obama.

    I hope this 4 years goes quick.

    January 24, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  20. chuck


    January 24, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  21. chuck


    January 24, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  22. David

    So holding these people under the old way didn't work? But what gets me is that Obama wants to close this place that have fail and try a new direction and everybody wants to put up road blocks up. My opinon is that we try something new maybe Obama know a new way that will be legal and bring respect back to our country.

    January 24, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. James

    This is the CYB report. Cover your budget. Better look like we were doing important things if we want more money next years.

    January 24, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  24. aware

    Get with the program Obama! So far you are a loser, and you are leading America down the drain! 😦

    January 24, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  25. aware

    Get with it PBO! No more obfuscation! 😦

    January 24, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
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