Pentagon names Gitmo inmates

A computer disk containing the documents was turned over to a reporter from the Associated Press, which filed a Freedom of Information Act suit to force the disclosure of names kept secret since early 2002.

Pentagon officials said the documents would also be posted on a Defense Department website to comply with a court order that they be made public by March 3.

Spokesman, Bryan Whitman, said the Pentagon would release 317 sets of records of hearings into the status of detainees as enemy combatants or whether they were eligible for transfer or release.

The records do not include all the 490 people currently detained at the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.

“The documents will not provide a full list of names of detainees who are currently held at Gitmo, although it will provide over 5,000 pages of unredacted (uncensored) transcripts containing detainee personal information,” said Mr Whitman.

The documents were previously released in June 2005 but with the names and nationalities of the detainees blacked out.

Mr Whitman said the original request was for the release of transcripts of the hearings in which detainees appeared before Combatant Status Review Tribunal and Administrative Review Boards at Guantanamo.

“What you have here today, though, is a release that’s being made pursuant to a judge’s order about a particular set of records,” Mr Whitman said.

The identities of many Guantanamo detainees have previously been revealed by their families, laywers and through court cases.

But this marks the first time the Pentagon has publicly disclosed the identities or nationalities of any of the prisoners it is holding at Guantanamo.

Mr Whitman contended that the Pentagon has withheld their identities and other personal information out of concern that their release could result in reprisals against the detainees.

He said in some cases detainees have made incriminating statements about third parties in their home countries, or about other detainees, or made statements that could be considered disloyal by enemy forces.

“Each of the situations, plus others, could result in retaliation against detainees from other detainees at Guantanamo, or against their family members in their home countries, or against detainees themselves if there were to eventually be released,” he said.

Human rights activists, however, have accused the administration of withholding the names to prevent lawyers from contacting detainees to defend them.

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