Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

2 Gitmo detainees to be sent back to Algeria

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration announced Friday that it was reviving the repatriation of low-level detainees from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which had dried up after Congress imposed strict limits on transfers.

The announcement comes as William Lietzau, the top Pentagon official dealing with detainees, is stepping down to take a private sector job. Officials said the timing was a coincidence.

The White House said it had informed Congress that it intended to return two detainees to Algeria under the terms of a statute that requires Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to certify that various security conditions have been met.

"We are taking this step in consultation with the Congress, and in a responsible manner that protects our national security," the administration said in a statement. "We continue to call on Congress to join us in supporting these efforts by lifting the current restrictions that significantly limit our ability to transfer detainees out of Guantanamo, even those who have been approved for transfer."

The statement did not identify the two detainees. There are as many as five Algerians at the prison who were recommended for transfer by a task force in early 2010. In all, 86 of the 166 detainees at the prison have been recommended for transfer if security conditions can be met. President Barack Obama has sought to revitalize his administration's effort to close the Guantanamo prison amid a hunger strike.

Republicans have sought to portray Obama's efforts to wind down operations at the detention center as soft on terrorism, and Friday, Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, accused Obama of taking the risk of releasing detainees who might engage in terrorism, as some former released detainees have done, "just to satisfy a political promise."

But Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the Democrat who chairs the intelligence committee, praised Obama's move, noting the two had been "cleared for transfer years ago" and arguing that at an annual cost of $2.7 million to house each detainee, "it is in the national security interests of the United States to transfer these detainees to their home countries."

2 Gitmo detainees to be sent back to Algeria 07/26/13 [Last modified: Friday, July 26, 2013 10:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Kenya opposition says it will challenge election in court

    World

    NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenya's opposition will challenge the results of last week's presidential election in Supreme Court and wage a campaign of civil disobedience, its leader announced Wednesday, saying they intend to expose a "computer-generated presidency."

  2. Kriseman and Crist rally troops for final push in St. Pete mayor's race

    Blogs

    Elections have consequences. Donald Trump. Charlottesville.

    Rick Kriseman and Charlie Crist pose for a group photo Wednesday evening with progressive activists at Allendale United Methodist Church
  3. The FHP trooper behind quota on speeding tickets will resign Sept. 5

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A Florida Highway Patrol official's call for troopers to meet ticket quotas has cost him his job.

    Major Mark D. Welch, Troop Commander of Troop H, wrote an email asking his employees that he wants them to write two citations each hour. "This is not a quota," he wrote. His resignation is effective Sept. 5. [Florida Highway Patrol]
  4. Plan your weekend Aug. 18-20: Elvis in concert, Jason Aldean, Monster Jam Triple Threat, Sing-Along Grease

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    The king

    Elvis: Live in Concert: This year marks the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, and Ruth Eckerd Hall will have a Graceland-produced Elvis concert on a movie screen, accompanied by a full live orchestra. Graceland calls it the closest audiences …

    Handout photos of Elvis: Live in Concert, a tour spectacle featuring a live orchestra backing the voice of Elvis Presley, projected onto a movie screen. The tour comes to Ruth Eckerd Hall on 8/18/17. Credit: Graceland.
  5. Woman convicted in murder of 18-year-old with cerebral palsy gets lighter term

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Linda Bonck, a 90-pound Chamberlain High School senior with cerebral palsy, lived near Tampa's Lowry Park. She struggled to walk and talk but was known for being friendly and trusting of strangers until she vanished one day in 1992.

    Georgia Miller, 39, was convicted for the 1992 murder of Linda Bonck, an 18-year-old Chamberlain High School student who had cerebral palsy. Originally sentenced to life in prison, Miller was resentenced Wednesday to 65 years, the result of U.S. and Florida Supreme Court decisions that found it unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life. With gain time, Miller will be released from prison in the next six years. [Florida Department of Corrections]