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Archive for Friday, October 12, 2007

U.S. reviewing enemy combatant hearings

October 12, 2007

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— The U.S. military is reviewing its decision to classify hundreds of Guantanamo Bay inmates as "enemy combatants," a step that could lead to new hearings for men who have spent years behind bars in indefinite detention.

Navy Capt. Theodore Fessel Jr., the lead officer at Guantanamo for the Defense Department agency that oversees the panels, said authorities have begun seeking new or previously overlooked evidence that may warrant new hearings after the process came under fire.

"With all the outside eyes looking in at the process, it's forcing us to say, 'OK, did we take everything into consideration when we did the Combatant Status Review Tribunals?"' Fessel told journalists Wednesday at the naval base in southeast Cuba.

Critics called it an overdue acknowledgment that the so-called Combatant Status Review Tribunals are unfairly geared toward labeling detainees the enemy, even when they pose little danger.

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