Hagel to decide 'fairly soon' about detainees

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday said he will make decisions soon about six Guantanamo Bay detainees whom Uruguay has offered to accept.

"I’ll be making some decisions on those specific individuals here fairly soon," Hagel told reporters en route to Alaska before his trip to Asia and Europe, according to Reuters

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Congress delegated the responsibility to him to notify lawmakers about decisions to release detainees, Hagel said.

"My name goes on that document. That’s a big responsibility.”

"I have a system that I have developed, put in place, to look at every element, first of all complying with the law, risks, mitigation of risk. Does it hit the thresholds of the legalities required?" he said.

In March, Uruguay said it would take some detainees from Gitmo at Washington’s request. In return, Uruguay wants the United States to free Cuban prisoners.

The prisoners are likely three Cuban intelligence agents who have been imprisoned in the U.S. since they were convicted of spying in 2001, Reuters noted.

Uruguay said the detainees would be free if they are transferred there.

President Obama promised to close the detention center just after taking office in 2009, but that goal has been derailed because of problems transferring detainees to other countries.