Judge Orders U.S. to Supply Prisoner Names

“A federal judge has ordered the Pentagon to release the names and nationalities of hundreds of prisoners detained at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, rejecting the government’s argument that it would be a violation of their privacy and expose them to retaliation by terrorist groups.

The ruling, issued yesterday by Judge Jed S. Rakoff of Federal District Court in Manhattan, came in a lawsuit brought by The Associated Press in April 2005 under the Freedom of Information Act. The suit sought to force the Pentagon to release transcripts of military tribunal hearings held to determine whether the detainees at Guantánamo had been properly categorized as “enemy combatants.”

Last year, the Pentagon released the transcripts of 558 tribunals but blacked out the names and other basic identifying information about the prisoners. In his new ruling, which he described as “final,” Judge Rakoff ordered the Defense Department to turn over “unredacted copies” of the transcripts to the news agency.” (New York Times)