2011 January 7

Congress Blocks Closing of Guantanamo Bay Detention Center


President Barack Obama on this day signed the National Defense Authorization Bill for Fiscal Year 2011 into law. A provision in the law prohibited the spending of any money to transfer terrorist suspects being held at Guantanamo Bay to the United States for trial. This provision thwarted President Obama’s promise to close the notorious detention center, which had become the international symbol of the human rights abuses under the George W. Bush administration. Immediately after he was inaugurated as president, Obama, on January 22, 2009, ordered the closing of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center within one year.

Read: Karen Greenberg, The Least Worst Place: How Guantanamo Became the World’s Most Notorious Prison (2009)

Learn more about President Bush and the detainees: Howard Ball, Bush, The Detainees, & the Constitution: The Battle Over Presidential Power in the War on Terror (2007)

Read the best book on President Obama and the war on terrorism: Charlie Savage, Power Wars: Inside Obama’s Post-9/11 Presidency (2015)

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