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Obama Releases 15 Gitmo Detainees in Largest Transfer During Presidency

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The U.S. approved the release of 15 detainees from the Guantanamo Bay military prison to the United Arab Emirates on Monday evening, marking the single largest transfer under the Obama administration.

The Pentagon said the transfer of 12 Yemenis and three Afghans from the U.S. facility in Cuba drops the total number of remaining detainees to 61–nearly four times lower than when President Obama first took office. In 2009, there were 242 men imprisoned at Guantanamo.

Obama reiterated his aim earlier this year to close down Guantanamo Bay by the end of his presidency, calling the prison “contrary” to U.S. values and a recruitment tool for terrorists.

U.S. law bars the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to American soil, which a bipartisan majority in Congress supports keeping in place, although the Obama administration is hoping lawmakers change their minds. Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Secretary of State John Kerry have to negotiate with foreign leaders to resettle or repatriate the detainees. – READ MORE

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