Judicial Watch to release new Defense Department documents on threat posed by Gitmo detainees 

Judicial Watch will release later this morning new national security documents it obtained via Freedom of Information Act litigation detailing the seriousness of threats represented by terrorists detained at Gitmo, The Examiner has learned.

Among the highlights of the newly released documents, according to Judicial Watch:

* The NSC Summary of Conclusions includes a detailed list of Bush administration officials who attended the June 19, 2003 meeting, including:

Former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who chaired the meeting; Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld; Former Attorney General John Ashcroft; Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage; and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, among others.

The meeting included representatives from the Departments of State, Defense, Treasury, and Justice as well as the Office of Vice President, CIA, White House Counsel, Joint Chiefs of Staff and National Security Council.

* According to the NSC Summary of Conclusions document, meeting participants requested another briefing to “include information regarding efforts to ensure that detainees who are released are prepared to be reintegrated into their societies and, to the extent possible, will not harbor ill will towards the United States.”

* The Department of Defense briefing document, entitled “Guantanamo Detainees,” clearly stated the dangers of releasing enemy combatants currently held at Guantanamo Bay into the general population:

-- “There is substantial risk that detainees at Guantanamo, upon release, would set out to kill Americans or other innocent civilians around the world.”

-- “Releases are not without risk if the individuals decide to resume fighting against us. Even though we have been careful and thorough in our screening, we now believe that several of the released detainees have returned to fight against the US and coalition forces.”

* The Defense Department briefing also includes a detailed chronology of the threat posed by al-Qaida beginning in 1996, biographies on some of the enemy combatants being detained, intelligence gathered from these detainees and a discussion about the Bush administration’s policies regarding the processing and treatment of detainees.

More to come.

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Mark Tapscott

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