Apr 25, 2011

NPR News reports on Gitmo detainees

NPR News is reporting new details about detainees from the U.S. military's Guantanamo Bay prison. A series of investigative reports, mined from secret documents leaked last year to WikiLeaks, were published last night on; NPR correspondents Tom Gjelten, Dina Temple-Raston and Margot Williams will report more findings on NPR News programs throughout the day. The New York Times, which received the cache of classified military documents from an anonymous source, shared them with NPR.

Huffington Post reports behind-the-scenes details of the race among major news outlets to publish their findings from the WikiLeaks Gitmo documents. Both the New York Times and NPR benefited from the expertise of Margot Williams, a former Times reporter now working in NPR's investigations unit. Williams, who maintained the Times database on Gitmo and continued to work on it after leaving the paper, has "absolutely encyclopedic" knowledge of the prisoners held there, NPR Executive Editor Dick Meyers tells HuffPo.

Meyers also responds to government officials who criticized news organizations for publishing the classified documents. "It's incredibly valuable and important material in giving insight into who the U.S. government has detained at Guantanamo Bay, who they've released, who is still there and why they're still there," Meyers said. "What are the problems with releasing them? What are the problems with putting them through any kind of trial or tribunal?"

"We are confident in reporting on them that we are not compromising national security or any methods or sources of intelligence gathering," he added.

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