Press Releases

Conyers: 10 Years Later and Congressional Republicans Still Refuse to Close Guantanamo Detention Center

Washington, DC, January 11, 2012

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the detention center located at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.  On January 11, 2002, the Bush administration transported twenty detainees to the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, the first of 775 detainees that have been housed at the facility over the past ten years.  A decade after its creation, 171 detainees remain housed at the facility, 89 of whom have been cleared for release but whose transfer has been blocked by provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act.  House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) released the following statement in response:

“The failure to close Guantanamo Bay lies not with President Obama but with Republican leaders in Congress who have thwarted this Administration’s efforts to shutter Guantanamo at every turn.  Provisions in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, just passed by Congress at the end of last session, prohibit the release of 89 detainees who have been cleared by the C.I.A., F.B.I, National Security Council and Department of Defense for transfer or resettlement.  Congress  has repeatedly barred transfer of detainees to stand trial in our time-tested Article III courts.  These obstructionist efforts have made it all but impossible for President Obama to solve a legal quagmire created by his predecessor that has harmed the U.S. government’s credibility at home and abroad.  On this tenth anniversary, Congress should commit to working with President Obama to close Guantanamo and bring an end to this ugly period in American history.”