FOIA:Combatant Status Review Tribunal dossiers

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Through a Freedom of Information Act request, the Associated Press has obtained dossiers on the military tribunals of 59 current and former detainees of the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base. These tribunals were held to determine if each detainee met the legal requirements for being classified as an "enemy combatant". Below is a summary of the types of documents contained in the dossiers, followed by some details on the contents of each. (This is one of several related projects. See bottom for links to other efforts.)

Contents

Related documentation

Not Yet Located

  • Convening Authority Appointment Letter Of 9 July 2004 (mentioned in Appointing Orders)

Other resources

How the dossiers are organized

There are two distinct types of dossiers, which will be referred to as Minimal and Standard.

Each Standard dossier comprises at least eleven documents, but may contain more. Several of these documents are boilerplate legal minutiae with little if any variation between dossiers.

A Minimal dossier comprises just two of the eleven base documents of a Standard dossier: the Coversheet and the Summary of Evidence.

The eleven base documents are as follows (they will appear in the order indicated, or something close to it):

Coversheet (1-2 pages) 
Indicates the parties in the case and a case number. This information is followed by the sworn statement of the person who prepared the dossier that it was prepared according to the relevant legal formalities. (Example: Abdullah Al-Noaimi, page 1)
Status Review (1 page) 
A memorandum with the subject: "REVIEW OF COMBATANT STATUS REVIEW TRIBUNAL FOR DETAINEE ISN #XXX". States whether the CSRT Director agrees with findings of the tribunal as to whether the detainee meets the criteria for an "enemy combatant". (Example: Salah Abdul Rasul Ali Abdul Rahman Al Balushi, page 3)
Sufficiency Review (1-2 pages) 
A memorandum with the subject: "LEGAL SUFFICIENCY REVIEW OF COMBATANT STATUS REVIEW TRIBUNAL FOR DETAINEE ISN #XXX". Lists the findings of the CSRT Legal Advisor as to whether the tribunal followed the procedures mandated in the Implementation Directive to a sufficient degree for the proceeding to be considered legal. (Example: Salah Abdul Rasul Ali Abdul Rahman Al Balushi, page 4)
Appointing Order (1 page) 
A memorandum with the subject: "APPOINTMENT OF COMBATANT STATUS REVIEW TRIBUNAL #n". Contains the order from the CSRT Director convening a given tribunal, and appointing the three members. As a rule, the tribunal members' names are redacted out. (Example: Salah Abdul Rasul Ali Abdul Rahman Al Balushi, page 5)
Forwarding Memorandum (1 page) 
A memorandum with the subject: "CSRT Record of Proceedings ICO ISN #XXX". States that the OARDEC Commander is forwarding the tribunal record to the CSRT Director pursuant to the Implementation Directive. (Example: Salah Abdul Rasul Ali Abdul Rahman Al Balushi, page 6)
Decision Report (1 page) 
A document entitled: "Combatant Status Review Tribunal Decision Report Cover Sheet". States the findings of the tribunal and indicates which parts of the tribunal record are designated as classified. (Example: Salah Abdul Rasul Ali Abdul Rahman Al Balushi, page 7)
Unclassified Summary (2 or more pages, pages numbered) 
A document entitled: "UNCLASSIFIED SUMMARY OF BASIS FOR TRIBUNAL DECISION". Provides a summary of the unclassified evidence reviewed by the tribunal, states the tribunal's conclusion, and provides a place to record the opinion of a dissenting tribunal member. Classified evidence is summarized in a separate document. The classified summaries do not appear in these versions of the dossiers.(Example: Salah Abdul Rasul Ali Abdul Rahman Al Balushi, pages 8-10)
Election Form (1-2 pages) 
A document entitled: "DETAINEE ELECTION FORM". Indicates whether the detainee elected to participate in the tribunal. Includes notes from the detainee's Personal Representative. (Example: Salah Abdul Rasul Ali Abdul Rahman Al Balushi, page 11)
Summary of Evidence (usually 2 pages, hand numbered) 
A memorandum with the subject: "Summary of Evidence for Combatant Status Review Tribunal". Comprises the summary of the evidence supporting the detainee's designation as an "enemy combatant" prepared for the detainee's Personal Representative. (Example: Abdullah Al-Noaimi, page 2)
Redaction Request (usually 2 pages per request, hand numbered) 
One or more memoranda with the subject: "REQUEST FOR REDACTION OF NATIONAL SECURITY INFORMATION". States that the FBI requests that redacted versions of certain documents pertaining to the detainee be used by the tribunal, and declares that these redactions are not relevant to the tribunal proceedings. (Example: Salah Abdul Rasul Ali Abdul Rahman Al Balushi, pages 14-15)
Representative Review (1 page) 
A document entitled: "Personal Representative Review of the Record of Proceedings". States whether the Personal Representative assigned to the detainee has any comments on the tribunal proceedings. (Example: Salah Abdul Rasul Ali Abdul Rahman Al Balushi, page 16)

The optional documents that may be included in a Standard dossier are, as a rule, various kinds of evidentiary records. The following types have been seen:

Exhibit List (1-2 pages) 
A document entitled: "Recorder Exhibit List for ISN XXXXX". Shows a list of exhibits entered in evidence along with the security classification of each. Usually appears following the Election Form. (Example: Uthman Abdul Rahim Mohammed Uthman, page 16)
Detainee Statement (pages numbered) 
A summarized transcript of the detainee's statment to the tribunal and responses to questioning by members of the tribunal proceedings. May have multiple sections with separate titles. Usually appears following the Unclassified Summary. (Example: Richard Dean Belmar, pages 10-17)
Response to Charges (pages numbered) 
A document that may have no title, or may have a title similar to the following: "Summarized Unsworn Detainee Statement" or "SUMMARIZED STATEMENT BY PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE ON BEHALF OF THE DETAINEE". States the detainee's responses to their Personal Representative concerning the allegations in the Summary of Evidence. These are dictated into the record by the Personal Representative. Usually appears following the Unclassified Summary. (Example: Uthman Abdul Rahim Mohammed Uthman, pages 12-13)

Dossiers

[Editor's note: The next step is to come up with a format for describing each dossier. I'll try to get this done later tonight (May 30), if no one else volunteers. --plover]

A Full List of Projects Related to This Effort

AP List of DetaineesACLU FOIA ReleasesFOIA Volunteer Log

Comprehension Aids

Government, military, and intelligence acronyms

Guide to FOIA exemptions • FOIA:Combatant Status Review Tribunal dossiers--This document. • dKos Diary outlining steps, goals and examples

Caged Prisoners website

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