Say What? White House Errs on Guantanamo Facts

Obama administration claims about Gitmo are riddled with inaccuracies.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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This story first appeared on the ProPublica website.

Yesterday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs made two claims about the administration’s handling of detainees at Guantanamo Bay that overstated its progress in clearing the prison. According to Gibbs, the administration has carried out large-scale transfers and releases of detainees out of the prison. But those claims are incorrect.

In describing efforts to send some detainees home or to third-country hosts, Gibbs told reporters: “More of those transfers have taken place in the past eight months than have taken – than took place in the previous eight years.”

In fact, in the last eight months, 31 detainees have been transferred out of Guantanamo to other countries.  In the eight years previous, more than 520 detainees were sent home or to third countries.

In total, 32 detainees have been transferred since Obama was inaugurated. In the last year of the Bush administration, 36 detainees were transferred out of Guantanamo.   

We’ve asked the White House for comment and will update when we get it.

Gibbs also claimed that the White House has complied with all court orders to release detainees who won their habeas petitions in US courts in the District of Columbia.  

“We have transferred those [detainees] that courts have said shouldn’t be held [at Guantanamo] to either their home country or third-party countries,” Gibbs told reporters at Wednesday’s briefing.

Yet, there are outstanding court orders for the release of 10 detainees at Guantanamo. Seven of the 10 are Chinese Muslims who are ethnic Uighurs. The Uighurs were ordered released in October, 2008. But the government is struggling to find countries to take them. In the meantime, the Uighurs have a case pending in the Supreme Court seeking their release into the United States.

 

 

 

 

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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