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Homeland Security

American Forces Press Service

Terrorists Will Not Be Released, DoD Official Says

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2004 - No dangerous terrorists are going to get out of detention because of Supreme Court decisions handed down June 28, a senior DoD official said here today.

"No one's being released as a result of the decisions," DoD Deputy General Counsel John Sullivan said in an interview with the Pentagon Channel and American Forces Press Service today. "In fact, the Supreme Court reaffirmed our authority to detain enemy combatants."

The effect of the decisions, Sullivan said, is to give detainees a second chance to show that they are not, in fact, enemy combatants. "Only after they have convinced us or a court that they are not enemy combatants will they be released," he said.

Sullivan said that no one in the department has suggested moving the detainees held in the facility at Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the United States. No one has suggested the United States stop using the facility to house these dangerous detainees. He called news reports that the detainees will be moved from Guantanamo "pure speculation."

Sullivan said the Supreme Court may allow long-planned administrative reviews as the vehicle to give detainees that second look. Navy Secretary Gordon R. England, for example, is heading an effort to examine all detainees held in Guantanamo to determine if they still represent threats to the United States and its allies. Sullivan suggested that tinkering with England's procedures or setting up a similar effort may satisfy the Supreme Court ruling.

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