The Department of Justice and Department of Defense today announced that the Detention Policy Task Force, which was created pursuant to Executive Order 13493, has issued a preliminary report on military commissions and a process for the determination of prosecution forum for trials of suspected terrorists. A copy of the report is attached. As authorized by the Executive Order, the Attorney General and Secretary of Defense have also decided to extend by six months the period in which the Task Force will conduct its work and submit a final report.
The Attorney General and Secretary of Defense serve as Co-Chairs of the Detention Policy Task Force and have been represented on the Task Force by their designees. Other Task Force participants include designees of the Secretary of State, Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
According to the Executive Order, the Task Force’s mission is "to conduct a comprehensive review of the lawful options available to the Federal Government with respect to the apprehension, detention, trial, transfer, release, or other disposition of individuals captured or apprehended in connection with armed conflicts and counterterrorism operations, and to identify such options as are consistent with the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and the interests of justice." The Executive Order directs the Detention Policy Task Force to provide a report to the President within 180 days of the date of the Order, (by July 21, 2009), "unless the Co-Chairs determine that an extension is necessary."
Separately, the Department of Justice today announced that the Special Task Force on Interrogation and Transfer Policies, created pursuant to Executive Order 13491, will have an additional two months to submit its final report to the President. This Task Force is charged with evaluating whether the use of interrogation practices beyond those listed in the Army Field Manual by agencies other than the military provide an appropriate means of acquiring the intelligence necessary to protect the nation. It is also responsible for examining the transfer of individuals to other nations in order to ensure that such individuals are not tortured and that U.S. commitments to ensure the humane treatment of individuals in its custody or control are not undermined or circumvented.
The Detention Policy Task Force and the Special Task Force on Interrogation and Transfer Policies are distinct from the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force, which was created pursuant to Executive Order 13492. The Guantanamo Review Task Force is conducting a review of the status of all individuals currently detained at Guantanamo Bay and is making recommendations regarding the proper disposition of each in order for the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay to be closed within one year from the date of the Executive Order.