WH Official: ‘We Have Ways’ To Keep Tabs On Released Gitmo Detainees

John Podesta at Christian Science Monitor breakfast, June 6, 2014.
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The White House has taken heat over the national security risks of releasing members of the Taliban being held at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for captive Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, but a top adviser to President Obama assured reporters on Friday that the administration will be watching them.

The five detainees exchanged for Bergdahl are banned from leaving Qatar for one year. John Podesta, counselor to the president, told reporters at a breakfast held by the Christian Science Monitor in Washington that the U.S. had received “assurances from the Qataris” that the Taliban members would be diligently monitored.

But he also implied the U.S. national security apparatus would be doing surveillance of its own. The administration had concluded, Podesta said, that “the threat posed by the detainees could be significantly mitigated.”

“As you know, we have a lot of ways of knowing what people are doing,” he said Friday when asked if there would be independent U.S. monitoring aside from the Qataris. “I think it’s fair to say that we’ll keep an eye on them.”

Photo: Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor.

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