Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp

The Guantanamo Bay detention camp is a controversial detainment and interrogation facility of the United States military located within Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba. The facility was established in 2002 by the Bush Administration to hold detainees believed to be connected with the war in Afghanistan and later Iraq. It is operated by the Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) of the United States government in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, which is on the shore of Guantánamo Bay. The detainment areas consist of three camps: Camp Delta (which includes Camp Echo), Camp Iguana, and Camp X-Ray, but Camp X-Ray has been closed. The facility is often referred to as Guantánamo, G-Bay or Gitmo, after GTMO, the military abbreviation for the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.

After the US Department of Justice advised that the Guantanamo Bay detention camp could be considered outside U.S. legal jurisdiction, the first twenty captives arrived at Guantanamo on January 11, 2002. After the Bush administration asserted that detainees were not entitled to any of the protections of the Geneva Conventions, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld on June 29, 2006, that they were entitled to the minimal protections listed under Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. Following this, on July 7, 2006, the Department of Defense issued an internal memo stating that prisoners would in the future be entitled to protection under Common Article 3. Susan J. Crawford, who was appointed by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to review practices used at Guantanamo Bay, told Bob Woodward of the Washington Post in an interview in January 2009 that Mohammed al-Qahtani was tortured while being held prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, making her the first Bush administration official to concede that torture occurred there.

On January 22, 2009, President Barack Obama signed an order to suspend the proceedings of the Guantanamo military commission for 120 days and that the detention facility would be shut down within the year. On January 29, 2009, a military judge at Guantanamo rejected the White House request in the case of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, creating an unexpected challenge for the administration as it reviews how America puts Guantanamo detainees on trial. On May 20, 2009, the United States Senate passed an amendment to the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009 (H.R. 2346) by a 90-6 vote to block funds needed for the transfer or release of prisoners held at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. President Obama issued a Presidential memorandum dated December 15, 2009, ordering the preparation of the Thomson Correctional Center, Thomson, Illinois so as to enable the transfer of Guantanamo prisoners there. The Final Report of the Guantanamo Review Task Force dated January 22, 2010 published the results for the 240 detainees subject to the Review: 36 were the subject of active cases or investigations; 30 detainees from Yemen were designated for 'conditional detention' due to the security environment in Yemen; 126 detainees were approved for transfer; 48 detainees were determined 'too dangerous to transfer but not feasible for prosecution'. The Federation of American Scientists published a report entitled 'Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court'.

On January 7, 2011, President Obama signed the 2011 Defense Authorization Bill which places restrictions on the transfer of Guantanamo prisoners to the mainland or to other foreign countries, thus impeding the closure of the detention facility. U.S. Secretary of Defense Gates said during a testimony before the US Senate Armed Services Committee on February 17, 2011: "The prospects for closing Guantanamo as best I can tell are very, very low given very broad opposition to doing that here in the Congress." After the United Nations called unsuccessfully for the Guantanamo Bay detention camp to be closed, one judge observed 'America's idea of what is torture ... does not appear to coincide with that of most civilized nations'. In April 2011, Wikileaks began publishing 779 secret files relating to prisoners in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. As of September 2012, 167 detainees remain at Guantanamo.

Read more about Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp:  History, Facilities, Detainees, Conditions, Operating Procedures, Government and Military Inquiries, Guantánamo Military Commission, Release of Prisoners, Criticism and Condemnation, Obama's Efforts To Close The Camps, Media Representations

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