Random Analytica: Guantanamo Detainees 2009 – 2018

by Shane Granger

Ian Bremmer, the President of the Eurasia Group sent out an interesting tweet yesterday which highlighted the amount of detainees held by the US Military at Guantanamo Bay since 2009. Interestingly there were 214 detainees held at the prison in 2009 when then President Obama ordered the facility closed. Today there are still 41 detainees including Hambali who is accused of orchestrating the 2002 Bali Bombings and has still not faced trial.

GuantanamoDetainees2018

The New York Times has an excellent interactive project site with all the details and is well-worth a look. The Guantanamo Docket. Overview:

About the Project

The Guantánamo Docket is an interactive database of documents and analysis from The New York Times about the roughly 780 men who have been detained at Guantánamo as enemy combatants since January 2002.

The Times has reviewed thousands of pages of government documents released in recent years, as well as court records and news media reports from around the world. The Times will update the database with ongoing research.

There are three types of documents in the database:

Combatant Status Review Tribunals

The database includes Pentagon documents related to the Combatant Status Review Tribunals, military hearings created in response to a 2004 decision by the United States Supreme Court to judge whether prisoners at Guantánamo were properly designated as enemy combatants and subject to indefinite detention. The hearings took place from July 2004 to March 2005.

Administrative Review Boards

The database also includes documents from subsequent Administrative Review Boards, panels of military officers conducting annual hearings to determine whether the detainees remain a threat to the United States or its allies.

These documents, along with the documents related to the Combatant Status Review Tribunals, were selected for public disclosure by the U.S. Defense Department in 2006 in response to a lawsuit brought under the Freedom of Information Act by The Associated Press.

Joint Task Force Assessments

The database also includes a selection of classified documents from the Guantánamo Joint Task Force, part of a huge trove of secret documents leaked last year to the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks. They were made available to The Times by another source on the condition of anonymity. The files contain the government’s assessment of the dangers the individuals represent. The files are dated from February 2002 to January 2009, and some of the information may have been superseded by later, still undisclosed assessments made during the Obama administration or by more highly classified documents.

The documents contain the Defense Department’s assessments of the detainees, some of which have been challenged in federal court, and in some of the cases lower court judges have ruled against evidence presented by the government. Those cases have been appealed.

In June 2013, the Justice Department released a list showing who of the remaining Guantánamo detainees has been recommended for transfer, prosecution or continued detention without trial. The list, released under the Freedom of Information Act, represents the final recommendations of a task force of national-security agencies President Obama put together in 2009 as part of his unfulfilled pledge to close the prison within a year. The group issued a report in early 2010, but its individual recommendations were not included in that document.

Lastly, a copy of the tweet by Ian Bremmer which kicked off the idea for the infographic.

180201_Tweet_IanBremmer_Guantanamo

UPDATES

13 Feb 2018: Amended first paragraph to include Hambali story.