Obama Orders Largest Guantanamo Bay Prisoner Release Yet

Before his administration closes out this January, President Obama is ordering the transfer and release of 17 or 18 detainees from the Guantanamo Bay military prison. This would mark the single largest transfer under the Obama administration to date.

Many of these proposed detainees would be released to countries such as Italy, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. If these 17 to 18 detainees are permitted release, then that would leave only around 40 prisoners left at the notorious prison by the time President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

Obama has always been a staunch critic of the Guantanamo Bay prison, calling it “contrary” to American values. Since taking office, Obama had vowed to shut down the prison before the end of his presidency. At the time former President George W. Bush was leaving office, there was around 242 prisoners. Eight years later, there are only 59 currently under Obama’s rule.

Again, this number could dwindle to the low 40s if Obama is able to release the prisoners before Trump is inaugurated. By law, the Pentagon must notify Congress at least 30 days before a transfer moves forward. The deadline was this past Monday, when Obama ordered the notification.

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