Yesterday, Jack posed the question of what ever happened to the periodic review process that President Obama had ordered for long-term detention review at Guantanamo Bay. “I have heard little about these reviews since last Spring, and the deadline for their commencement passed last month. Has the administration carried out its pledges under the EO? . . . If not, why not?”
Since Jack posted this, I have poked around a little. Here’s what I have heard.
While there’s some grumbling in the interagency about the pace at which the Pentagon has proceeded, folks around the Defense Department explain the delay as largely a function–as Jack conjectured–of the NDAA, which required tweaks to the review process.
The Pentagon knew the NDAA was coming, and officials knew that it was likely to contain language requiring changes to the periodic review process. But there were multiple versions of the bill–which differed significantly in what they would and wouldn’t require in the way of changes. The result was that DoD couldn’t finalize anything until the final bill was signed at the turn of the year. And then the procedures had to be altered. The new procedures then had to be vetted through the interagency process, which always involves an extensive back and forth. And the cumulative result was, well, the delay.
At this point, however, I’m told that the Periodic Review Board secretariat has been stood up. And the interagency process has reached agreement on implementation guidelines, which should become public soon.