Six more released from Guantanamo Bay, but 215 remain as Obama deadline approaches
Updated 6:18 p.m.
By Garance Franke-Ruta
President Obama promised to shutter the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, within a year of assuming office, issuing an executive order mandating the closure of the facility by Jan. 22, 2010.
"The detention facilities at Guantanamo for individuals covered by this order shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than 1 year from the date of this order," it said.
While it is now clear that goal is unlikely to be met, it's worth examining just how distant it has become.
The Washington Post built a database of the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay from 2002 to May 2006. The collection, released in May 2006, was the largest list of names made public at the time, encompassing more than 550 individuals, and the paper has continued to maintain records on detainees there. Since then, the Department of Defense, under a Freedom of Information Act request, has also publicly issued the names of all those held at the facility since its opening -- a total of 779 people.
By late February, a month after Obama took office, 241 detainees remained in custody at Guantanamo, according to Post records.
Over the weekend, six Uighurs held by American forces since 2001 were released to the tiny island nation of Palau.
Remaining at Guantanamo: 215 individuals -- a number that represents a decrease of just 26 people over the past eight months.
Only three months remain until the president's self-imposed deadline for clearing out the facility.
Posted at 6:06 PM ET on Nov 2, 2009
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