Wed Jul 10, 2013, 02:29 PM
Congress allowed the administration to waive the certification requirements so long as the secretary of Defense could “substantially mitigate” any risk that a released detainee would engage in terrorism once released.
The Obama administration has never used that waiver authority. But two senior administration sources tell Newsweek that Obama is now actively considering invoking the waivers on behalf of a handful of detainees.
Initially, the waivers would be used for prisoners whose home countries have a good record of safely resettling Guantánamo detainees. Among the countries who could soon start receiving Gitmo prisoners are Morocco, Algeria, and Saudi Arabia. (Transfers to Yemen, a country in the grip of an al Qaeda insurgency, would have to wait, officials say.)
Sloan, the Gitmo envoy, declined to comment on the issue of certification waivers. But he was unambiguous about the White House’s efforts to start emptying the 12-year-old military prison expeditiously.
“The president was very clear about the goal of closing Guantánamo,” he told Newsweek. “We are working as hard as we can and as quickly as we can to move forward, including discussions with foreign governments on possible transfers.”
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