Michele Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for policy, testified that imprisoning some Guantanamo detainees in the U.S. would make it politically easier for European allies to take custody of some of the detainees. Robert Mueller, director of the FBI, testified to some concerns about imprisoning Guantanamo detainees in the U.S., out of fears that they’ll radicalize other inmates or conduct terrorist activities from in the prisons. Are these really, as Politico’s David Cloud writes, "sharply different views" between two senior administration officials?

Cloud’s a good reporter and these are certainly views in tension. But Mueller didn’t oppose jailing Guantanamo detainees in the U.S., he brought up solid practical concerns. And they appear to have intuitive solutions. For instance: isolate the detainees or restrict their access to non-terrorist convicts. I’m not a lawyer, but none of the remaining 240 detainees are American citizens, so presumably they’d have fewer rights in prison. That could probably lead to a justification for, say, increased surveillance of their prison activities or additional restrictions on their access to visitors, communications, and so forth. (I’ll withdraw that if the premise is incorrect, of course.)

Flournoy and Mueller: pretty reconcilable.

Crossposted to The Streak.

Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman