President Obama Signs National Defense Authorization Act Solidifying Ban on Torture

Thirty-two of the nation’s most respected retired generals and admirals urged[3] President Obama to submit a plan to Congress detailing actions the administration will take to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Signatories the letter[4] are members of a larger group of retired military leaders who have long advocated for closing Guantanamo. Many of them stood behind President Obama on his second day in office in 2009 as he signed the executive order to close Guantanamo within one year.

There are 107 detainees at the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay. Military leaders and national security experts agree[5] that the facility harms national security and should be closed. Forty-eight of the remaining detainees are cleared for transfer, and another 48 are eligible for Periodic Review Board (PRB)[6] hearings. Human Rights First notes that PRB reviews should have been completed for every eligible detainee over three years ago. Detainees who are not cleared for transfer, or who will face prosecution, will likely need to be transferred to the United States in order to close Guantanamo.

“If President Obama is serious about closing Guantanamo by the end of his term in office, he is running out of time to act, and history will judge him for that inaction,” noted Wala. “This should be a national security priority for the administration, and releasing a plan to Congress would signal that the administration intends to treat closing Guantanamo as such.”

For more information or to speak with Wala, contact Corinne Duffy at [email protected][7] or 202-370-3319[8].


  1. ^ intelligence and interrogation professionals (
  2. ^ retired generals and admirals (
  3. ^ urged (
  4. ^ letter (
  5. ^ agree (
  6. ^ Periodic Review Board (PRB) (
  7. ^ [email protected] (
  8. ^ 202-370-3319 (

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