What Happened to the Periodic Review Process for GTMO Detainees?

By Jack Goldsmith
Monday, April 23, 2012, 11:20 AM

In March 2011, the Obama administration issued an Executive Order (13567) that created a process of Periodic Review of Individuals Detained at Guantánamo Bay Naval Station Pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force.”  The “review and hearing” process was designed to operate on top of the habeas review process and the other internal review processes for GTMO detainees, and to facilitate release of detainees who were not “a significant threat to the security of the United States.”     Bobby analyzed the EO here and here, as did Tom Nachbar here.

The EO states: “For each detainee, an initial review shall commence as soon as possible but no later than 1 year from the date of this order” (emphasis added).  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?  This Carol Rosenberg story suggests not.  If not, why not?  Note that the EO provides that it “shall be implemented subject to the availability of necessary appropriations and consistent with applicable law.”  Note also that section 1023 the NDAA of 2012, signed by the President late last year, states: “Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report setting forth procedures for implementing the periodic review process required by Executive Order No. 13567 for individuals detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force.”  Since Section 1023 of the NDAA tweaks the requirements in EO 13567, perhaps this legislation is the reason for the delay in implementing EO 13567.