The Pentagon plans to transfer about a dozen inmates of the Guantanamo military prison to at least two countries that have agreed to take them, according to a Reuters report released on Thursday.
"I do not have a timeline on when particular detainees will be transferred from Guantanamo," Commander Gary Ross, a Defense Department spokesman, said in a statement. "However, the administration is committed to reducing the detainee population and to closing the detention facility responsibly."
The first of the transfers are expected in the next few days and the others will occur in the coming weeks. This is the first major move since Obama announced the future shutdown of Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
Sympathy may benefit one of the detainees, Tariq Ba Odah, a Yemeni man who has been on a long-term hunger strike and has lost about half of his body weight. His weight had dropped to 74 pounds from 148 and his legal team feared he could die of starvation.
Remember that it was only last week when a senior Defense Department official told lawmakers that Americans have been killed by prisoners released from the detention center.
And it was only a few months ago when John Kerry was confronted with the fact that a released detainee had returned to the battlefield. Kerry responded by saying, "He's not supposed to be doing that."