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DoD, Fearful of White House, Bottles Up Report Showing 1 in 7 Freed Gitmo Detainees Returns to Terrorism

5:22 PM, May 20, 2009 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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New York Times:

An unreleased Pentagon report provides new details concluding that about one in seven of the 534 prisoners already transferred abroad from the prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has returned to terrorism or militant activity, according to administration officials.

The conclusion could strengthen the arguments of critics who have warned against releasing any more prisoners as part of President Obama's plan to shut down the prison by January 2010. Past Pentagon reports on Guantánamo recidivism, however, have been met with skepticism from civil liberties groups and criticized for their lack of detail.

The Pentagon promised in January that the latest report would be released soon, but Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, said this week that the findings were still "under review."

Two administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said the report was being held up by Defense Department employees fearful of upsetting the White House, at a time when even Congressional Democrats have begun to show misgivings over Mr. Obama's plan to close Guantánamo.

Update: Steve Hayes and Tom Joscelyn wrote about the Obama administration's stonewalling on the report in March.