(WASHINGTONPOST) — Seventy-one detainees at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay will get parole-board-style hearings at the Navy base in Cuba, the Pentagon said Sunday, though it did not say when the panels will meet, whether the media can watch and which of the long-held inmates will go first.

The disclosure followed a flurry of e-mails after 10 p.m. Friday from Pentagon bureaucrats notifying attorneys for some of the 71 inmates that the government was preparing to hold the hearings, which were ordered by President Obama two years ago.

Retired Rear Adm. Norton C. Joerg, a senior Navy lawyer during the George W. Bush administration, told the lawyers that the new six-member “periodic review boards” will not decide whether the Pentagon is lawfully imprisoning their clients.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.