5030951The task force created by President Obama to establish a way forward for the detainees at the U.S.'s military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba issued a preliminary report Monday night and asked the president for another six months in which to complete its work.
The Detention Policy Task Force is co-chaired by the attorney general and the secretary of defense and includes high-level representatives from the State Department, CIA, FBI, Department of Homeland Security and Joint Chiefs of Staff.
It's essentially charged with deciding whether to transfer the prisoners to countries willing to accept them or to prosecute them, although the Obama administration has complicated matters by proposing alternative pathways of prosecution (U.S. courts for some, military tribunals for others) and has kept open the option of continuing to detain those it doesn't feel it can convict.
White House officials briefed reporters on the developments Monday evening. According to CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller, officials said that of the 240 detainees at Guantanamo as of Jan. 22, "substantially more than 50" decisions have been made to transfer detainees to other countries.
Officials said that a "significant number of decisions" have been made to subject other detainees to prosecution, Knoller reported, but officials would not provide more specific numbers.
Separately, the Department of Justice announced that the Special Task Force on Interrogation and Transfer Policies will have an additional two months to submit its final report to the president.
According to a government statement, "That task force was charged with evaluating whether the use of interrogation practices beyond those listed in the Army Field Manual by agencies other than the military provide an appropriate means of acquiring the intelligence necessary to protect the nation. It is also responsible for examining the transfer of individuals to other nations in order to ensure that such individuals are not tortured and that U.S. commitments to ensure the humane treatment of individuals in its
"We want to get this right and not have multiple years of uncertainty," one official told Knoller of the task force report extensions.
Officials say the administration remains committed to shut down the detention center at Guantanamo Bay as scheduled in six months – and will work with Congress to make that happen.
"Asked about the policy on 'indefinite detention,' an official says the White House has no intention to rely on anything but congressional authority," Knoller reports.
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