Dempsey "concerned" about releasing Gitmo prisoners
February 14th, 2012
11:19 AM ET

Dempsey "concerned" about releasing Gitmo prisoners

By Adam Levine

The nation's top military officer said he is "concerned" about transferring prisoners from Guantanamo in a deal to bring the Taliban to the negotiation table.

The deal to transfer five Taliban prisoners has not been decided on but the Obama administration has had the intelligence community assess the prisoners being considered.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he is "concerned about our ability to maintain vigilance and control of those individuals" if released, though he added he is supportive of the reconciliation talks.  Dempsey made the comment during testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

The comments come on the same day a Taliban spokesman told CNN's Nick Paton Walsh that while the Taliban have met with U.S. officials to discuss possible peace talks, they but do not want to negotiate with Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government, a Taliban spokesman said Tuesday.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told the committee that no prisoner would be transferred out without his certification that they will not return to battlefield, a requirement created by Congress.

"I have made very clear that unless I am convinced that in this kind of situation those steps are taken to ensure that these individuals do not wind up going back to the battlefield, I am not going to certify that kind of transfer," Panetta said.

Republican Senator John McCain, who raised the issue during the hearing, noted to Panetta that one quarter of those released have returned to terrorism in the past.

Post by:
Filed under: Afghanistan • Dempsey • Diplomacy • Gitmo • Karzai • Military • Panetta • Taliban • Terrorism
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Spelunker4Plato

    We can't really call ourselves imperialists if we negotiate and look like we want peace, now can we? I mean come on... that would imply that like, we're people and we should work together and cooperate and stuff....

    February 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  2. Voice of Reason

    Put microchips in their collective ass-cheeks and let em loose.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Reply

    not in suppt of that, totally.

    February 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  4. ms1234

    If only they were charged with crimes, I could happily, wholeheartedly await a life sentence with bated breath. ... .

    February 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  5. ms1234

    I read that Mr. Dempsey is concerned about release at this time. Have they had their arraignment yet? Go from there.

    February 14, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  6. TowelHeads

    Towel heads will always be towel heads.

    February 14, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Reply
    • ms1234

      I cannot stand racism, so I will apologize to the world for your remarks, although not on your behalf.

      February 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Reply
    • Spelunker4Plato

      Fascist zealots will always be fascist zealots too i guess.

      February 15, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.