The approaching U.S. deadline to withdraw troops from Afghanistan in 2014 may help free a handful of Guantanamo detainees by the year’s end, with or without President Barack Obama’s blessing.
There are 17 Afghan detainees left in Guantanamo out of a total prison population of 155. Lawyers for some of these men argue that the legal basis for holding them indefinitely without charge will unravel when the U.S. draws down its troop presence from their country at the end of this year as scheduled. Human rights activists, meanwhile, are making the broader and more controversial argument that the U.S. will no longer be at war, period, at the end of 2014, and thus will be compelled to charge or release every Gitmo inmate.
The deadline is clearly on Obama’s mind. “...With the Afghan war ending, this needs to be the year Congress lifts the remaining restrictions on detainee transfers and we close the prison at Guantanamo Bay,” he said in his State of the Union speech last week. The presidentRead More »from As Afghan war draws down, hope for some Gitmo detainees