Transfers of Guantánamo Detainees to Yemen: Policy Continuity Between Administrations

Coauthored with Robert M. Chesney and Matthew Waxman

Briefing to the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, “Transfers of Guantanamo Detainees to Yemen: Policy Continuity Between Administrations,” June 15, 2011.

Thank you for the opportunity to brief the subcommittee on the problem of transfers of Yemeni detainees from Guantánamo Bay. Yemeni transfers have, since the Christmas Day bombing attempt and the rise of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, become an area of considerable political rancor. The rancor is, in our judgment, unwarranted. As we shall explain, transfer policy towards Yemen has been a matter of institutional continuity between administrations, a matter in which policymakers face no good options, and a matter in which there is currently no dispute between the political parties. To put the matter simply, both the Bush Administration and the Obama Administration have been appropriately cautious about transferring detainees to Yemen. Republicans and Democrats and Congress and the administration all agree that conditions in Yemen will not permit the transfer of detainees to that country at this time. There are many aspects of detention policy that are genuinely in dispute. This is not one of them.

To read the full briefing, click here.

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