Vast Majority of Gitmo Detainees ‘Low-Level Fighters’

Report Recommends 48 Detainees Be Held 'Indefinitely'

A secret Obama Administration report on Guantanamo Bay’s detention center was leaked to the Washington Post today, revealing a pair of claims seemingly in distinct opposition to one another.

On the one hand the report concluded that the vast majority of the detainees currently being held are “low-level fighters,” with no more than 24 “leaders, operatives and facilitators involved in plots against the United States.”

Despite this, the report concluded that besides 36 detainees who could be prosecuted in the courts, some 48 others should be held “indefinitely under the laws of war.”

30 others, Yemeni citizens, have been approved for release but the Obama Administration has refused to do so, citing instability in that nation. A handful of others were left completely uncategorized, sort of a second layer of legal limbo within the legal limbo of summary detention by the US.

President Obama initially pledged to close the detention center, noting that it is harming America’s image abroad. These pledges have fallen by the wayside, with the president now looking at possibly, in a few years, relocating the detainees to a new prison in Thomson, Illinois, where they will continue to be held without charges until they die of old age or it becomes politically palatable for some future president to release them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.