The Pentagon has sent two more Guantanamo Bay detainees home to Algeria, reducing the prison camps' population to about 250.
The latest transfers, announced Monday, are part of a steady series of departures from the prison camps in southeast Cuba as the Bush administration winds down.
Filings in federal court list the two men repatriated to their homeland as Soufian Huwari, 38, and Labed Ahmed, 50, who in some Defense Department documents is identified as Abdallah Husseini.
The transfers come at a time of much debate over the future of the detention center. The American Civil Liberties Union is urging President-elect Obama to order the camps' closure on his inauguration day.
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The Obama transition team's spokeswoman, Stephanie Cutter, said no decision would be made without first “conferring with congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle, as well as interested groups.”
Cutter's statement did not appear to rule out pre-inauguration deliberations, however, noting that “any decisions would need to be discussed with his Cabinet nominees, none of whom have been selected yet.”
The Obama team's comments also followed rejection of an Associated Press report that said Obama had already crafted secret plans to put Guantanamo detainees on trial in the U.S. through a series of courts, one yet to be created.
In the meantime, the Bush administration has been downsizing the detainee population, issuing transfer announcements with a template declaration that calls the repatriations “an unprecedented step in the history of warfare.”