Guantanamo Bay Turns 10

And appears no closer to closure than it was 2 years ago
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2012 7:52 AM CST
Guantanamo Bay Turns 10
In this Jan. 11, 2002 file photo, detainees wearing orange jump suits sit in a holding area as military police patrol during in-processing at Camp X-Ray on Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base in Cuba.   (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Shane T.McCoy, File)

Today is a birthday, but probably not one you want to celebrate: Guantanamo Bay is turning 10, an anniversary that will be marked by protests here and abroad. Ten years ago, the first 20 detainees were flown to the detention facility in chains. Several of those 20 remain at Gitmo today, NPR notes. Of the 171 detainees still held at Guantanamo, just 36 will likely be given a military trial. Another 48 will, seemingly, be detained indefinitely; the US lacks a sufficient amount of evidence to try them, but insists they are too dangerous to release.

Over the past decade, the facilities have been modernized and now appear unexpectedly permanent, considering President Obama vowed to close the prison within one year of taking office—a deadline that expired two years ago. White House spokesperson Jay Carney this week insisted Obama still has a "firm" commitment to closing the prison, but he also noted that the process "faces obstacles that we’re all aware of" and said the administration "will continue to work through it." In Time, Mark Thompson writes, "That’s White House-speak for don’t count on it." (More Guantanamo Bay stories.)

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