Yesterday, Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England signed the implementing directive for the administrative review procedures for enemy combatants detained by the Department of Defense at the U.S. Naval Base, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This annual review process will be managed by the Office for the Administrative Review of the Detention of Enemy Combatants (OARDEC). Rear Admiral James M. McGarrah is the director of OARDEC. England is the designated civilian official overseeing the process and the final decision maker for all annual review recommendations. All enemy combatants detained at Guantanamo Bay except those who are pending trial by military commissions are eligible for the annual review.
The directive establishes the administrative review board (ARB) which will annually conduct necessary proceedings to make an assessment of whether there is continued reason to believe that the enemy combatant poses a threat to the United States or its allies, or whether there are other factors bearing upon the need for continued detention, including the enemy combatants intelligence value in the Global War on Terror. Based on this assessment, the ARB can recommend that individuals should be released, should be transferred with conditions or should continue to be detained.
During the review, each eligible enemy combatant will have an opportunity to appear in person before an ARB of three military officers and provide information to support his release. The enemy combatant will be provided a military officer to assist him. In addition to information provided by the enemy combatant, the ARB will consider written information from the family and national government of the enemy combatant and information provided by DoD and other U.S. government agencies. Based on all of the information provided, the ARB will make a recommendation to the designated civilian official, England, who will make the final decision whether to release, transfer or continue to detain the individual. If England orders continued detention, the next review date will be scheduled to ensure an annual review.
The ARB process is separate from and will occur after the one-time only combatant status review tribunals that are currently being conducted at Guantanamo Bay to determine whether detainees there should continue to be classified as enemy combatants.
The administrative review implementation directive may be found at: