X marks path to freedom

Jamie DeLoma

Several Guantanamo Bay prisoners have been deemed appropriate for release by Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld and the Department of Defense and will soon experience independence.
Rumsfeld recently announced that a small group of prisoners is no longer of interest to the United States. One prisoner who suffered from a severe mental illness was released a few months ago.
In order to become a candidate for freedom, a prisoner is first questioned to see if there is a possibility of the person providing beneficial and accurate intelligence to the United States.
If the prisoner has any intelligence to share, he is then shifted into a different category of prisoner. It is then determined if the prisoner could be prosecuted as a criminal or whether he poses a security risk.
If the prisoner does not fall into any category, Rumsfeld explained, “The goal is to not have them. Let’s be rid of them.”
The Defense Secretary went on to reveal that there is a small number of prisoners who have moved through the process and are now being considered for release. However, he was unsure of how many prisoners would be released and what their nationalities are.
Before being released to another government, a consultation is made. If the other government wants to keep the men in custody themselves, that is their decision. If not, the prisoners are released. For security reasons, the detainees will be transferred before any announcement of their release or transfer is made.
One reason for the security concerns came from the detainees themselves. Many are concerned that they will face retribution from al Qaeda and the Taliban.
There are currently 598 detainees in the U.S. Navy base representing 42 nationalities with 150 additional prisoners in Afghanistan.