The Department of Defense conducted its first Administrative Review Board (ARB) for enemy combatants detained at the U.S. Naval Base, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. All detainees who have been confirmed to be enemy combatants by the Combatant Status Review Tribunals will be processed through the ARBs.
The ARB process annually assesses whether an enemy combatant continues to pose a threat to the United States or its allies, or whether there are other factors bearing upon the need for continued detention. Based on this assessment, the ARB will recommend that individual detainees be released, transferred or continue to be detained.
During the review, each eligible enemy combatant is given the opportunity to appear in person before an ARB panel of three military officers and provide information to support his release. The enemy combatant is provided a military officer to assist him throughout the ARB process. In advance of the ARB hearing, information bearing on this assessment is also solicited from DoD and other U.S. government agencies, and from the family and national government of the enemy combatant, through Department of State. Based on all of the information provided, the ARB makes a recommendation to the Designated Civilian Official (DCO) who makes the final decision whether to release, transfer or continue to detain the individual. If the DCO determines that continued detention is warranted, the enemy combatant will remain in DoD control and a new review date will be scheduled to ensure an annual review.
Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England is the Designated Civilian Official overseeing the process, and is the final decision maker for the ARB processes. The review process is managed by the Office for the Administrative Review of the Detention of Enemy Combatants (OARDEC), which is headed by Rear Adm. James M. McGarrah.
The Adminstrative Review Board implementing instructions are available at: http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Sep2004/d20040914adminreview.pdf .
A fact sheet explaining the various procedures affecting Guantanamo detainees is available at: http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Aug2004/d20040818GTMODetProc.doc .