Pentagon report: Guantanamo meets Geneva standards

A study requested by the Obama administration reportedly says the facility complies with the treaty, but offers some suggestions for improving prisoner conditions.

By Alex Koppelman

Published February 20, 2009 9:00PM (EST)

The New York Times has a story that could pose a problem for the Obama administration moving forward: A Pentagon report, requested by the administration, has concluded that the military prison at Guantanamo Bay complies with the humanitarian requirements set by the Geneva conventions.

The study, which was conducted by Adm. Patrick Walsh, the vice chief of naval operations, does list ways that prisoner conditions could be improved, however. Allowing for increased prisoner-prisoner interaction, including speaking more with each other, reportedly tops the list.

The Times notes that the report "was widely seen as an effort by the new administration to defuse the power of allegations during the Bush administration that there were widespread abuses at Guantánamo, and that many detainees were suffering severe psychological effects after years of isolation." Still, the report's conclusion may make the closure of the facility -- already a politically difficult enterprise -- more difficult for the Obama White House.

Walsh is expected to speak about the report next week, and deliver it to the administration this weekend.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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