[Update: A previous version of this story stated that all three networks skipped this story on Thursday. Only NBC did. We regret the error.] With the Obama administration’s renewed effort to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, NBC on Thursday ignored new details of former detainees attacking American personnel overseas. According to The Washington Post, “The Obama administration believes that at least 12 detainees released from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have launched attacks against U.S. or allied forces in Afghanistan, killing about a half-dozen Americans”
Despite four hours of air time on Thursday’s Today, the show skipped it. So did that evening’s NBC Nightly News. Thursday’s Good Morning America and CBS This Morning both covered it, barely.
GMA allowed 13 seconds. This Morning managed a scant 24 seconds. Here are their news briefs:
AMY ROBACH: There are new details now about the prisoners who have been freed from Guantanamo Bay. The Washington Post reporting about a dozen former detainees have now launched attacks in Afghanistan, killing as many as six Americans including a civilian aide worker.
ANTHONY MASON: The Washington Post reports that former Guantanamo prisoners are suspected of killing about six Americans in Afghanistan. U.S. officials say a civilian woman was among the victims. About a dozen former detainees are blamed. CBS News has learned that a national intelligence review earlier this year found that 118 of 673 released detainees returned to the battlefield.
The CBS Evening News and ABC's World News Tonight both failed to follow up on Thursday night.
After a Pentagon official admitted to Congress back in March of the incidents the White House has refused to provide more details publicly. But through their own investigation the Post found that, “while most of the incidents were directed at military personnel, the dead also included one American civilian: a female aid worker who died in Afghanistan in 2008.”
In a statement to the press Republican Representative Edward R. Royce, of California, declared “The administration is releasing dangerous terrorists to countries that can’t control them, and misleading Congress in the process … The president should halt detainee transfers immediately and be honest with the American people.”
The Post also reported that the White House argued the repeat offense rate of released detainees was actually lower than former federal prisoners. “Among former Guantanamo detainees, the total number of released detainees who are suspected or confirmed of reengaging is about 30 percent,” as opposed to the 50 percent of former federal prisoners.