Task force ranks detainees' roles
WASHINGTON - About six dozen people who were being held at the Guantanamo Bay prison when President Obama took office were directly implicated in terrorist attacks against the United States or played significant roles within al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, an administration task force concluded.
The numbers were part of a yearlong review of each of the 240 detainees who were at the Navy-run prison in Cuba when Obama's term began in January 2009. The administration's Guantanamo Review Task Force, made up of officials from six agencies, completed its work in January, but did not share the report with Congress until last week, according to the Washington Post.
The task force recommended that 126 detainees be sent home or to a third country, 36 be referred for prosecution, and 48 continue to be held indefinitely without charge. An additional 30 detainees, all Yemenis, also were approved to be sent home but only once the security situation in Yemen improves.
The top tier of terror detainees numbers roughly two dozen and includes purported 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, alleged 9/11 plotter Ramzi bin al Shibh, alleged Indonesian terror leader Hambali, and Ahmed Ghailani, accused in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa. - AP
Obama honors soldiers' sacrifice
WASHINGTON - More than just barbecues and family time, Memorial Day is the chance to honor members of the military who made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of their country, President Obama said Saturday.
Obama, who has sent thousands of troops into war in Afghanistan, used his weekly radio and Internet address to reflect on what the nation owes those men and women who died in uniform. Honor them with words and deeds, the commander in chief said.
Obama has been criticized by some veterans groups for planning to attend a holiday service Monday at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery outside Chicago, instead of going to Arlington National Cemetery as presidents often do on Memorial Day and as he did last year. Vice President Biden will be at Arlington this year. - AP
Buffalo church may move to Ga.
BUFFALO - For decades, countless people from Buffalo have made the move from Rust Belt to Sun Belt. Maybe it was only a matter of time before one of its buildings would follow.
A Roman Catholic parish in the affluent northern suburbs of Atlanta has begun raising $16 million to import, piece by piece, a closed Buffalo church.
The 99-year-old St. Gerard's would get a second life as Mary Our Queen in Norcross, an up-and-coming parish that has outgrown the 600-seat sanctuary that opened a dozen years ago.
The idea of moving St. Gerard's out of Buffalo has angered the city council, which has begun amending city law so that a preservation board would have to review any proposal to move out property. "It's not right. You can't strip-mine a city's historic heritage," said Council President David Franczyk. - AP