WikiLeaks release on Gitmo condemned by Obama administration

The Obama administration is condemning the latest release of classified documents by WikiLeaks that provide new details about detainees held at Guantánamo Bay. 

More than 700 documents were made public Monday that detail sensitive information about the status of, evidence against and treatment of some of the 172 prisoners still housed at the detention facility in Cuba. 

The government said that the leak, published by news outlets like The Washington Post and The New York Times, could impede its anti-terrorism efforts. It defended its conduct in handling the prisoners. 

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Key portions of the documents, compiled between 2002 and 2009, show that evidence against many of the remaining detainees is insufficient to stand up in a federal court or military tribunal. That's a key impediment in transferring prisoners out of the facility and moving them through the justice system.

Government officials, however, argued in a statement that the Guantánamo Review Task Force established by the Obama administration after it took office in January 2009 in many cases may have arrived at different conclusions about prisoners than the detainee assessment briefs (DABs), on which the leaks are based. 

 The task force released its final report last year, when it ruled that 48 out of the then-196 detainees should be held indefinitely. 

"The assessments of the Guantanamo Review Task Force have not been compromised to WikiLeaks. Thus, any given DAB illegally obtained and released by Wikileaks may or may not represent the current view of a given detainee," Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell and U.S. envoy to Guantánamo Ambassador Dan Fried said in a release. 

Their statement "strongly condemn[ed]" WikiLeaks and several news organizations for publishing the new documents.

"Both the previous and the current administrations have made every effort to act with the utmost care and diligence in transferring detainees from Guantanamo," the statement said. "Both administrations have made the protection of American citizens the top priority, and we are concerned that the disclosure of these documents could be damaging to those efforts."

WikiLeaks document dumps last year exposed sensitive diplomatic cables between the U.S. and other nations that exposed tensions on subjects like the war on terror and anti-nuclear proliferation efforts. 

The documents are not said to include many details about allegations of harsh treatment of prisoners at the military prison, which Morrell and Fried insisted the administration still intends to close. 

"We will continue to work with allies and partners around the world to mitigate threats to the U.S. and other countries and to work toward the ultimate closure of the Guantanamo detention facility, consistent with good security practices and our values as a nation," they said.

— John T. Bennett contributed to this post.