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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.

By Web Politics Editor  |  November 2, 2009; 6:06 PM ET
Categories:  Detainee Update  
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I am not care how many terrorists Mr. Obama would like to release and when the Guantanamo Bay will be closed. I was wondering why the U.S. send the six Uighur Detainees to Palau instead of extraditing them back to China.Their name was on the UN list of international terrorists and should be extracdited back to their nation to accept prosecution according to the international law. It's reported that the U.S. government make a deal with Palau and spend 20 billion dollars to let them accept the terrorists. Shouldn't Americans be the one who hate terrorists mostly in the world?

Posted by: skyshuangziguxing | November 3, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

The pResident Obama shouldn't have promised to close GTMO without having all of the facts.

Posted by: JakeD | November 2, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

The delay speaks more to Republican's inability to govern then Obama's inability to meet his deadline.

The record keeping on the Guantanamo prisoners was dismal, spread out in several different offices and jurisdictions. They were appalled at the level of disarray and incompetence in the Bush Administration's record keeping. It took almost six months to find all the information of the detainees.

Posted by: thebobbob | November 2, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: JakeD | November 2, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

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