Gitmo Detainee Files a Mess
Obama officials condemn disorder; ex-Bushies cry blame game
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2009 6:12 PM CST
Detainees wearing orange jump suits sit in a holding area as military police patrol during in-processing at Guantanamo Bay.   (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Shane T.McCoy, File)
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(Newser) – The case files of many Gitmo detainees are incomplete, disorganized, or strewn around the executive branch, complicating President Barack Obama’s plan to close down the detention center, reports the Washington Post. Incoming officials discovered the chaos when given access after the inauguration. One former official says he sometimes had to threaten to release prisoners to force the CIA to "cough up a sentence or two."

Some former officials counter that the Obama team is "backpedaling and trying to buy time" after promising the moon. But others acknowledge that different agencies often didn’t share information, and that the Bush administration prioritized interrogation over prosecution. "The consensus among almost everyone is that the current system is not in our national interest and not sustainable," an incoming official says.