A compromise from the Times. They went ahead and published this notwithstanding the fact that it’s a crap sandwich for The One, especially at this particular moment in the debate, but they bent over backwards to emphasize that the delay’s all DOD’s fault, not his. So he’s really sort of a victim, you see, even though as C-in-C he could have demanded the report any time he wanted.

Two administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said the report was being held up by Defense Department employees fearful of upsetting the White House, at a time when even Congressional Democrats have begun to show misgivings over Mr. Obama’s plan to close Guantánamo…

The report was made available by an administration official sympathetic to its findings who said the delay was creating unnecessary “conspiracy theories” about the holdup…

“If we hold it, then everybody claims it’s political and you’re protecting the Obama administration,” said a [DOD] official, who asked for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. “And if we let it go, then everybody says you’re undermining Obama.”…

Among the 74 former prisoners that the report says are again engaged in terrorism, 29 have been identified by name by the Pentagon, including 16 named for the first time in the report. The Pentagon has said that the remaining 45 could not be named because of national security and intelligence-gathering concerns…

The Pentagon has so far provided no way of authenticating its 45 unnamed recidivists, and only a few of the 29 people who are identified by name can be independently verified as having engaged in terrorism since their release. Many of the 29 are simply described as associating with terrorists or training with terrorists, with almost no other details provided.

Seems like an easy solution here: If administration officials already have the report, they could take the decision out of DOD’s hands by releasing it themselves. Which, I suppose, is precisely what they did in essence by leaking it to the Times. Better to push it out there now, while the plan to close Gitmo is momentarily deceased, than to let it linger and go through another clusterfark down the road after it’s resuscitated.

Speaking of clusterfarks, here’s Gibbs at today’s presser making the astonishing admission that the decision to close Guantanamo was “hasty.” Or is he? Geraghty’s bowled over, but my sense is that when Gibbs says “we’ve made some hasty decisions that are now going to take some time to unwind, and closing Guantanamo Bay, obviously, is one of those decisions,” he means America under Bush made a hasty decision in setting up Gitmo (note that this remark immediately follows a critique of the prison) and now The One has to deal with the fallout from that. The alternative is that he’s kneecapping his own boss by saying he acted rashly in fulfilling a campaign promise to order Gitmo shut down right away. Gibbs isn’t that stupid (I think), but you make the call.