To Close Guantánamo, US Must Go Through Yemen

Officials reluctant to send prisoners back to unstable nation
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2008 3:00 PM CST
In this June 6, 2008 file photo, reviewed by the US military, the sun rises over Camp Delta detention compound at Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base in Cuba.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsleyl, File)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – As the new administration decides how to make good on its promise to close Guantánamo Bay, the little nation of Yemen is proving to be big trouble. US officials began sending detainees to be held in their home countries in 2005, but have kept all 100-odd Yemenis over fears that their government will let them free, McClatchy reports.

Officials want assurances that the men won't pose any threat to the US before releasing the 220 remaining prisoners. But Yemen says it can't hold anyone without charges, something the Bush administration convinced other countries to do. Yemen's failure to prevent September's US Embassy bombing has further weakened trust in its ability to contain potential security threats.