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On January 22, 2009, President Barack Obama issued an executive order calling for the Guantanamo Bay detention center to be closed permanently within one year. At the time of this directive, there were 245 detainees still in custody.

Over the ensuing 13 months, the prisoner population at Guantanamo shrank to 198 but the facility was still open. According to a January 2012 Committee on Armed Services report, fully 27 percent of the nearly 600 detainees who had been released during the preceding several years, were known to have returned to jihadist pursuits against the United States and its interests. Nonetheless, President Obama reaffirmed that his administration would proceed with plans to shut down Guantanamo by the earliest possible date. "Make no mistake," he said. "We will close Guantanamo prison, which has damaged our national security interests and become a tremendous recruiting tool for al Qaeda."

This section of DiscoverTheNetworks traces the Obama administration's efforts to shutter Guantanamo in the aftermath of the President's executive order.


The New Era of Irresponsibility
By Ben Johnson
January 23, 2009

Obama Signs Order to Close Guantanamo Bay Facility
January 22, 2009


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