5,956. 6/21/2004

An examination of Guantánamo detainees “has found that government and military officials have repeatedly exaggerated both the danger the detainees posed and the intelligence they have provided. In interviews, dozens of high-level military, intelligence and law-enforcement officials in the United States, Europe and the Middle East said that contrary to the repeated assertions of senior administration officials, none of the detainees at the United States Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay ranked as leaders or senior operatives of Al Qaeda. They said only a relative handful–some put the number at about a dozen, others more than two dozen–were sworn Qaeda members or other militants able to elucidate the organization’s inner workings. “While some Guantánamo intelligence has aided terrorism investigations, none of it has enabled intelligence or law-enforcement services to foil imminent attacks, the officials said. Compared with the higher-profile Qaeda operatives held elsewhere by the C.I.A., the Guantánamo detainees have provided only a trickle of intelligence with current value, the officials said.

 – Tim Golden and Don Van Natta Jr., “U.S. Said to Overstate Value of Guantánamo Detainees,” The New York Times, June 21, 2004

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