Some repeatable tidbits on Obama’s promise to close Guantanamo prison in a year:
January 21, 2009: Obama suspends military commissions stopping prosecution of 21 detainees for 120 days. Says courts or civilian trials is the way to prosecute the detainees. Said that the Bush decision to have military commissions is “an enormous failure”.
January 22, 2009: Obama signs order to close Gitmo within a year. Orders interrogations must follow army manual. Announces no plan on what to do with the 350 prisoners located at the Cuba-based base. Says Gitmo needs to close because it “weakens national security.”
February 20, 2009: Pentagon says Gitmo meets standards of Geneva convention.
March 13, 2009: Obama drops the term” enemy combatant”
May 12, 2009: Obama administration said they would not support the release of detainee torture photos, after originally saying they would not fight a court order to turn over 44 photos requested by the American Civil Liberties Union.
May 15, 2009: Obama reinstates military commissions rather than civilian trials.
May 20, 2009: U.S. Senate votes 90 – 6 to prohibit funding to transfer, release, or incarcerate detainees at Guantanamo Bay to or within the United States
May 22, 2009: Obama gives National Security Speech at 10:10 a.m., minutes before former Vice President Dick Cheney was scheduled to give a speech to the American Enterprise Institute at 10:45 a.m. – trying to get edge on national security debate that the former Vice President was winning.
May 27, 2009: 49% of Americans oppose closing Guantanamo.
June 11, 2009: Two White House aides accompany 4 prisoners from Guantanamo to Bermuda for release. The Obama administration coordinated with Bermuda officials but not British officials, who may be forced to grant the prisoners citizenship under Bermuda/British law. The 4 prisoners were detained in 2001 and are Uighurs (a Turkic ethnic group from the western province of Xinjiang, China). Beijing says they are dangerous separatists. Bermuda citizens are outraged, as well as Great Britian. The four Uighurs enjoy a swim in the Atlantic waters days after their release.
June 2009: The Obama administration coordinates with Palau officials to release 13 Guantanmo prisoners to their tiny Pacific country. Palau citizens are outraged. Palau President Johnson Toribiong said this was a “humanitarian gesture” while reports surface that the American government will give them $200 million in aid.
August 2009: Rasmussen Reports say 32% of Americans favor closing Guantanmo, with 55% opposing. 75% of U.S. voters surveyed are somewhat concerned that dangerous terrorists will be set free. Of that, 56% are VERY concerned.
May 2010: Today is just a random day in 2010 – and Guantanmo is still open.
September 2011: Today is just a random day in 2011 – and Guantanmo is still open.
May 2012: Today is just a random day in 2012 – and Guantanmo is still open.