Summary of Evidence (ARB)

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Counter-terrorism analysts prepared a Summary of Evidence memo for the Administrative Review Board hearings of approximately 460 captives in the Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba from December 2004 to December 2005.[1][2][3]

Release of the memos[edit]

The Department of Defense partially complied with a Freedom of Information Act request to release names and transcripts from the captives' Combatant Status Review Tribunals and Administrative Review Board hearings, on March 3, 2006. The Department of Defense released 59 portable document format files, containing transcripts, memos, and other documents. Three of the PDF files contained 121 Summary of Evidence memos.[1][2][3]

In early September 2007 The DoD released fourteen pdf files that contained all 464 Summary of Evidence memos prepared for the first annual Board hearings, and ten files that contained all 333 Summary of Evidence memos prepared for the second annual Board hearings.[4][5][6]

Discrepancies in the spelling of the captives' names[edit]

The names of the captives were redacted from all the transcripts. Their transcripts were identified only by their ID numbers. The captives' Summary of Evidence memos, on the other hand, had their ID numbers redacted, but the captives' names were in the clear.

On April 20, 2006 the Department of Defense released a list of the names, nationalities, and ID numbers of the 558 captive whose status double-checked by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal.[7] The release of a list of names, and ID numbers allowed the transcripts to be correlated with the captives' names. It also allowed the official spelling of the names, as of April 20, 2006, to be compared with official spelling of the names in 2005.

Approximately half of the names were spelled consistently on the Summary of Evidence memos and official list of names released on April 20, 2006.

The Department of Defense released a second official list on May 15, 2006.[8] The Department of Defense said the 759 names on the second list represented all the captives who were held, in military custody, in Guantanamo. However the names of several dozen men who have been reported to have been held captive in Guantanamo were missing from the official lists.

Format of the memos[edit]

The memos were all from the Presiding Officer assigned to the captive's Board to the captive, via the Assisting Military Officer assigned to the captive. Under the rules under which the Board hearings were conducted, the Assisting Military Officer was supposed to learn the captive's account of himself, and present that story to the Tribunal, if the captive was unwilling or unable to attend.

The memos all contained the same five numbered paragraphs:

  1. An Administrative Review Board will be convened to review your case to determine if your continued detention is necessary.
  2. The Administrative Review Board will conduct a comprehensive review of all reasonably available and relevant information regarding your case. At the conclusion of this review the Board will make a recommendation to: (1) release you to your home state or to a third state; (2) transfer you to your home state, or a third state, with conditions agreed upon by the United States and your home state, or the third state; or (3) continue your detention under United States control.
  3. The following primary factors favor continued detention.
  4. The following primary factors favor release or transfer.
  5. You will be afforded a meaningful opportunity to be heard and to present information to me Board; this includes an opportunity to be physically present at the proceeding. The Assisting Military Officer (AMO) will assist you in reviewing all relevant and reasonably available unclassified information regarding your case. The AMO is not an advocate for or against continued detention, nor may the AMO form a confidential relationship with you or represent you in any other matter.

Both the factors favoring continued detention, and the factors favoring release or transfer were followed by lists of allegations, or "factors".

Transfer, in this context, means repatriation to the custody of the authorities in their native country.

The allegations, or "factors", the favored continued detention were always further categorized into sub-headings, like: "Intent", "Commitment", "Connections", "Associations", "Training", and "Other Relevant Data". The factors under each subheading were always separately numbered, except intermittently, if the subheading only had a single factor.

Some of the allegations, or factors, did not concern the activities or associations of the captives, before their capture.

  • The continued detention of some captives were justified by reports from the guards that there had been occasions when they had been "non-compliant".
  • The continued detention of some captives were justified by reports that they had "lead prayer sessions".

The factors favoring release were not numbered. This list was almost always quite brief, and, in some instances, merely said: "not applicable". One common factor favoring release was that the captive had claimed he had no advance knowledge of the plans for Al Qaeda's attacks on the USA on September 11, 2001.

Guantanamo captives whose memos were released[edit]

The 121 captives whose Summary of Evidence memo, prepared for their first annual Review Board, was released are:

ID Name Nation Page numbers Notes
3 Gholam Ruhani AFG 54
  • Claims involuntary conscription to the Taliban.[9]
  • Alleged to have worked as a Taliban intelligence official.[10]
  • Captured when asked to translate at a meeting with militia leader Abdul Haq Wasiq.
6 Mullah Norullah Noori AFG 99
  • Alleged acting Governor of Mazari Sharif.
  • Claimed he was just a foot soldier.
8 Abdullah Gulam Rasoul AFG 36
  • Allegedly captured at the same time and place as a Taliban leader.[11]
  • Allegedly claimed it would be legitimate to wage jihad if his country was invaded.[12]
38 Ridah Bin Saleh Al Yazidi TUN 51-53
  • Page 3 missing from his factors memo.[13]
  • Allegedly trained at a military camp.
45 Ali Ahmad Muhammad Al Rahizi YEM 38
  • Allegedly an OBL bodyguard.[14]
  • Allegedly trained at an Afghan military camp.[15]
48 Abdulah Alhamiri UAE 41
  • Allegedly served on the front lines.[16]
  • Allegedly trained at an Afghan military camp.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Summary of Evidence memos prepared over December 2004 through December 2005, Set 1 (.pdf), US Department of Defense, released March 3, 2006
  2. ^ a b Summary of Evidence memos prepared over December 2004 through December 2005, Set 2 (.pdf), US Department of Defense, released March 3, 2006
  3. ^ a b Summary of Evidence memos prepared over December 2004 through December 2005, Set 3 (.pdf), US Department of Defense, released March 3, 2006
  4. ^ OARDEC (September 10, 2007). "Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) and Administrative Review Board (ARB) Documents". United States Department of Defense. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  5. ^ OARDEC (August 9, 2007). "Index to Summaries of Detention-Release Factors for ARB Round One". United States Department of Defense. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  6. ^ OARDEC (July 17, 2007). "Index of Summaries of Detention-Release Factors for ARB Round Two". United States Department of Defense. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  7. ^ List of prisoners (.pdf), US Department of Defense, April 20, 2006
  8. ^ List of prisoners (.pdf), US Department of Defense, May 15, 2006
  9. ^ Summarized transcripts (.pdf), from Gholam Ruhani's Combatant Status Review Tribunal - pages 7-12
  10. ^ Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Gholam Ruhani Administrative Review Board, May 2, 2005 - page 54
  11. ^ Summarized transcripts (.pdf), from Abdullah Gulam Rasoul's Combatant Status Review Tribunal - pages 1-6
  12. ^ Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Abdullah Gulam Rasoul Administrative Review Board - page 36
  13. ^ Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Ridah Bin Saleh Al Yazidi Administrative Review Board, May 4, 2005 - pages 51-53
  14. ^ Documents (pdf) from Ali Ahmad Muhammad Al Rahizi's Combatant Status Review Tribunal
  15. ^ Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Ali Ahmad Muhammad Al Rahizi Administrative Review Board - page 38
  16. ^ Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Abdulah Alhamiri Administrative Review Board - page 41