“The American people should know who these men are.”
WASHINGTON- Last night, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., vice chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, sent the following letter to President Obama, calling for the declassification of intelligence related to the five Afghan nationals who were transferred from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to Qatar.
“In addition to explaining why he did not notify Congress of this prisoner swap, President Obama needs to look the American people in the eye and explain why he was justified in releasing these individuals. He also needs to explain the risks associated with transferring these individuals and why they will never face justice for their past actions,” said Chambliss. “The president should immediately declassify each of their 2009 assessments and let the American people know what each of these individuals was accused of, why they were being held at Guantanamo, and what this administration found in each of their annual reviews. If the American people had this information, they would agree we should not be returning these terrorists back to the fight.”
Sen. Chambliss discusses this issue further here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwEE28J6GtI&feature=youtu.be
Below is the text of the letter:
June 3, 2014
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
I write to urge you to declassify additional intelligence related to the five Afghan nationals, Khairullah Khairkhwa (ISN 579), Nurullah Noori (ISN 006), Mullah Mohammad Fazl (ISN 007), Abdul Haq Wasiq (ISN 004), and Mohammad Nabi Omari (ISN 832), transferred from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO) to Qatar. Since 2011, I have opposed this transfer because of the threat these detainees pose. While I have been able to see the intelligence, the American people have not. In order to fully evaluate the validity of this transfer and decide for themselves, the American people should be afforded the opportunity to see as much of this intelligence as possible.
I formally request that you declassify, to the greatest extent possible, the 2009 Guantanamo Review Task Force assessments and any other relevant intelligence surrounding the five transferred GTMO detainees. Although I understand that some of this material needs to remain redacted, much of this intelligence is over a decade old and does not present a threat to current U.S. sources and methods.
Secretary Clinton in a January 13, 2012, letter to the leadership of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees stated: “I want also to make clear that any transfer from Guantanamo will be undertaken after consultation with Congress and pursuant to all legal requirements for transfers, including those spelled out in the FY2012 Defense Authorization Act.” This commitment was not honored. Additionally, Secretary Hagel recently cited an “acute and urgent danger to the life of Sergeant Bergdahl,” for failing to properly notify Congress. Despite several requests, I have not seen any evidence of a danger so urgent as to preclude the required notification.
Thank you for your urgent attention to this matter. I look forward to your response.
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