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An official photograph of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. / U.S. Army via Getty Images

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL STATION, CUBA - The chief prosecutor in the military commission said Sunday that he had concluded that the five Taliban members released for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl could not have been successfully prosecuted.

Brig. Gen. Mark Martins said he concurred with a study conducted a few years ago that found prosecutors were unlikely to win convictions against about 200 detainees, including the five traded for Bergdahl. Republicans such as Sen. John McCain, of Arizona, have derided the swap, saying it will put U.S. troops at risk.

"I concluded there was not a successful prosecution to be made," Martins said.

Sunday's announcement indicates that the five Taliban probably would have to be released when, and if, the detention center here closes down, a pledge made by President Obama. Martins made the determination, he said, after reviewing the findings of the study and the files of each man.

Meanwhile at Guantanamo, while lawyers prepare for legal action this week, inmates of the world's most infamous prison - accused of being the world's most notorious terrorists - are enjoying soccer.

The most popular television program among the 149 men the military refers to as detainees?

"Right now, it's the World Cup," Navy Cmdr. John Filostat, spokesman for Joint Task Force Guantanamo, said Sunday.

Detainees watch the matches on television in their detention camp in a communal setting, the audio in their native language piped to them through earphones.

Beyond soccer, the biggest news here in recent weeks has been the release of the five Taliban the Bergdahl swap. The controversial trade occurred on May 31. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has defended the deal, saying it was necessary to secure Bergdahl's safe return and the assurances of the emir of Qatar that the Taliban members will be essentially house prisoners for the next year.

About 29% of the 630 detainees who have been transferred from Gitmo to other countries have resumed their lives as terrorists, Filostat said.

The transfer of the detainees came off without a hitch, Filostat said. Detainees learned of the deal, for the most part, by watching television.

The five came from the lower-security Camp 6, a communal lockup, so their absence was noted by some of their fellow detainees.

The mood among those remaining in the camp after the trade "was surprisingly normal."

That means what has evolved into "normal" life since the camps opened in 2002 has continued. Detainees read papers in Arabic, Pashtun and Russian, take classes in English and Spanish, pray and work out on treadmills and elliptical machines.

They also continue to act out. About half of them are in the higher-security Camp 5, a single-cell facility for "non-compliant" detainees, Filostat said. A smaller number live in Camp 7, home to terrorist suspects deemed to be of "high value."

There's a range of non-compliant behavior. There are verbal assaults on guards, a daily occurrence, Filostat said. And some detainees who refuse to eat are intubated, or forced fed, to keep them alive. Filostat declined to say how many weren't eating, saying that detainees have used the number of hunger strikes as propaganda.

Then there's "splashing," he said. Detainees fling a mixture of vomit, urine and feces at their guards about once or twice a week, Filostat said.

"A lot of these detainees are still in the fight," he said.

Follow @tvandenbrook on Twitter.

Correction: Navy spokesman John Filostat's name was misspelled in a previous version.



Copyright 2014USAToday

Read the original story: Prosecutor says trial for 5 traded Taliban hard to do

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