Pentagon misses deadline for new policies on Guantánamo detainees, transfers: report

Pentagon misses deadline for new policies on Guantánamo detainees, transfers: report
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The Pentagon has reportedly missed a deadline set by President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Democrats sharpen their message on impeachment MORE to develop policies for the transfer of new detainees from the battlefield to Guantánamo Bay.

Trump in January signed an executive order keeping the controversial detention facility open, and ordered Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisFormer Mattis staffer: Trump 'shooting himself in the foot' on foreign policy Former staffer hits back at Mattis's office over criticism of tell-all book Former speechwriter for General James Mattis: Has the national security state grappled with Donald Trump? MORE to recommend how the U.S. should handle individuals captured fighting “in connection with an armed conflict, including policies governing transfer of individuals to U.S. Naval Station Guantánamo Bay.”

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Defense officials told CNN that these recommendations are still in the works, and that the Pentagon missed Tuesday's deadline.

"The Department of Defense is in the final stages of providing a recommendation to the White House on policies regarding the disposition of individuals captured in connection with an armed conflict. This includes policies governing transfer of individuals to the detention facility at US Naval Station Guantánamo Bay," an unidentified official said Tuesday.

Mattis added to reporters Monday night that he was unconcerned with the deadline.

"Right now I'm not working that issue," he said.

The defense chief went on to say that the Trump administration is in contact with detainees' home countries to determine citizenship status of captured Islamic State in Iraq and Syria fighters, noting that many have had their status stripped due to their decision to join the terrorist group.

"We have been engaging with their home countries. Home being the country they were a citizen of when they left to go fight. Now, in some cases, those countries have stripped them of their citizenship, so they have a different view as far as what their status is today. So this is not simple," Mattis said.

"Now that's being worked principally, of course, by State Department, and we're giving all the support that we can," he adds.