Pentagon Names Detainees Held at Guantanamo
SUSAN STAMBERG, Host:
NPR's defense correspondent Vicky O'Hara joins us. Good morning, Vicky.
VICKY O: Good morning, Susan.
STAMBERG: Human rights groups have been demanding information about the detainees for four years now, I think. Do these documents give a full accounting of who is behind the bars there in Guantanamo?
HARA: And I should also mention that these documents actually were made available last year, but that was also in response to a Freedom of Information request. But at that time, the names and countries had been blacked out.
STAMBERG: Yeah, but you still have to do a whole lot of hunting and picking in order to find that information. This administration has been so secretive about this. What is there to learn from the documents once you've done the hunting and picking?
HARA: There's the ethnic Uighur from China who says he was trying to learn how to fight the Chinese government.
STAMBERG: Vicky, what's the reason that the White House is so adamant about not releasing names and identities?
HARA: The Pentagon says that identifying detainees could put the prisoners or their families at risk, the rationale being that if they are identified and they cooperate with interrogators, al-Qaida might retaliate. Human rights groups, of course, say that not identifying the prisoners leads to abuse, and they also say that the families of these people have a right to know what is happened to their husbands, sons or perhaps daughters.
STAMBERG: Can we, briefly now, expect more documents anytime soon?
HARA: Journalist and human rights groups are certainly going to fight for it. They're not going to be satisfied with this. They will go back to court.
STAMBERG: Thank you very much. NPR's defense correspondent Vicky O'Hara.
HARA: Thank you.
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