Is the removal of 60 Guantanamo Bay detainees really going
to go as expeditiously as President Obama believes? The real question has been
where they are going to go after being released. Clarity on the answer is
starting to surface, with Obama adding additional responsibilities to the role
of veteran diplomat Daniel Fried.
According to the Associated Press, “Fried is currently
assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, a position he
held during the Bush administration, and part of this new job will be
negotiating the transfers of Guantanamo inmates to third countries, mainly in
Europe, the officials said.”
It continues, “The officials spoke on condition of anonymity
because the appointment has not yet been announced.” Closure of the facility is
slated to occur at year’s end.
In the mean time, as “Gitmo” details are sorted out, USA
Today published an article titled, “Terrorist watch list hits 1 million.” The
article sites, “The government’s terrorist watch list has hit 1 million entries,
up 32% since 2007. Federal data show the rise comes despite the removal of
33,000 entries last year by the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center in an effort
to purge the list of outdated information and remove people cleared in
The AP article concludes, “There are up to 60 Guantanamo
inmates who, if freed, cannot be returned to their homelands because they could
face abuse, imprisonment or death. They come from Azerbaijan, Algeria,
Afghanistan, Chad, China, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.”
Well that’s comforting.