Obama Administration Misleads Congress on Gitmo

Two parts of the Obama administration are giving conflicting reports on the dangers posed by terrorist detainees to Congress and the U.S. courts, executive branch sources tell HUMAN EVENTS.

In effect, the Obama administration is keeping two sets of books on the terrorist prisoners.

According to rules established earlier this year, the Obama administration is required to send Congress notification of its intent to move or release any inmates at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba facility at least fifteen days before the action is accomplished.

These notifications, called “risk assessments,” were supposed to give members of Congress sufficient information for them to determine whether the move of any of the Gitmo inmates to their states or districts would pose a danger to the public. And the notice was supposed to be sufficiently in advance of the action to allow Congress to act to block it.

Now, according to sources who have requested anonymity, we can report that the Obama administration — through the State Department, which is preparing the congressional notices — is apparently manipulating the intelligence and other evidence to sanitize the Congressional notifications.

Our sources say that the State Department is intentionally omitting any information about the detainees derived from intelligence, saying it isn’t “evidence” against them. As a result, State is sanitizing the notices and presenting Congress with false findings that there is little danger posed by the detainees.

At the same time, another part of the Obama administration is telling the U.S. courts a very different story about some of the same detainees.

Pleadings filed in the U.S. District Court here — in opposition to Gitmo detainees’ writs of habeas corpus seeking release from detention — are being prepared in the Defense Department.

These pleadings, called “factual returns,” are, according to our sources, much more “robust” and contain specific information that shows how profoundly dangerous the inmates are to the public and why they should not be released from U.S. custody.

The “returns” are apparently filed under seal in the court and not available to the public.

Free people can derive a lot of differing opinions from the facts. But there is only one set of facts.

Why is the Obama administration telling Congress that these men aren’t dangerous when it is apparently telling the U.S. District Court just the opposite?

Congress is returning shortly to face serious issues, such as the continuing war between the CIA and Democratic leaders. Before it does anything else — before talking about Obamacare, cap-and-trade or any other legislation — it should get to the bottom of this mess.