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NYT: Parole Board for Gitmo Detainees Prepped

In this photo reviewed by a U.S. Department of Defense official, a Guantanamo detainee runs inside an exercise area at the detention facility on Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba, April 27, 2010.
AP PHOTO
In this photo reviewed by a U.S. Department of Defense official, a Guantanamo detainee runs inside an exercise area at the detention facility on Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba, April 27, 2010. The Obama administration is reportedly preparing a plan to provide the equivalent of a parole board for Guantanamo detainees.
AP PHOTO

Obama Administration officials are planning to meet this week to hash out the details of a draft order that would establish the equivalent of a parole board for prisoners currently held at Guantanamo Bay, The New York Times reports.

As of now, courts have approved the holding of Guantanamo's prisoners in detention without trial. The draft order in the works would set up a panel to evaluate the danger each detainee poses, and whether or not they can be sent to another country for detention.

The process for setting up this review committee board began as far back as May 2009, when Mr. Obama said in a speech that some prisoners would be held without trial indefinitely because of the danger the pose and the difficulty in prosecuting them.

"We must have clear, defensible and lawful standards for those who fall in this category," Mr. Obama said in that speech, which he delivered at the National Archives. "We must have fair procedures so that we don't make mistakes. We must have a thorough process of periodic review, so that any prolonged detention is carefully evaluated and justified."

The proposal would replace the "annual review boards" that the Bush administration used to revisit its decision to hold each prisoner.

The Obama proposal would establish a "periodic review board" drawn from many agencies, not just the military, and modeled on a parole board, one official said. Detainees would be represented by lawyers and would have greater access to some of the evidence against them.

Among the details yet to be determined are how often each detainee's files would be reviewed, and how often he would receive a full-blown hearing.

Currently 174 prisoners remain at the base, 48 of whom the administration has decided to keep holding indefinitely without trial.

  • Joshua Norman

    Joshua Norman is a Senior Editor at CBSNews.com.