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Timeline of Events

Guards at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, stand on either side of a line of detainees as part of a search for unauthorized items.
Guards at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, stand on either side of a line of detainees as part of a search for unauthorized items. (By Brennan Linsley -- Associated Press)

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Jan. 22 The day after his inauguration, President Obama signs an executive order to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, within a year.

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Feb. 18 White House counsel Gregory B. Craig becomes the first high-level administration official to visit Guantanamo. The same day, a federal appeals court blocks the transfer of Uighur detainees there into the United States.

Feb. 23 Administration transfers first detainee, sending Binyam Mohamed to Britain.

May 15 Pentagon seeks continuance in several military commission proceedings. The White House announces that it will reform the military commissions process, including revising rules for hearsay and evidence obtained through torture. The same day, detainee Lakhdar Boumediene, an Algerian national, is transferred to France.

May 20 Senate votes 90 to 6 to forbid any transfers of detainees to the U.S. mainland. The legislation also rejected Obama's request for $80 million to build a holding facility for detainees inside the United States. The same day, in congressional testimony, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III warns against moving detainees to the United States.

May 21 In an address at the National Archives, Obama says that the Guantanamo prison has weakened national security and that the cost of keeping it open exceeds the complications of closing it.

Late May Obama taps senior adviser Pete Rouse to begin coordinating efforts on Guantanamo for the White House.

June 3 Washington Post-ABC News poll finds 50 percent of those surveyed do not approve of closing the facility, up significantly from a Pew poll in February.

June 9 Detainee Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani is transferred to New York to face terrorism charges stemming from his involvement in 1998 bombings in East Africa.

June 11 Four Uighurs are transferred from Guantanamo to Bermuda; one detainee is sent to Chad and another to Iraq. The next day, three detainees are transferred to Saudi Arabia.

June 25 Obama signs an appropriations bill forcing the administration to report to Congress before moving detainees and preventing the White House from using available funds to move detainees onto U.S. soil. The provisions expire Oct. 1 but can be renewed.

July 22 Justice Department announces that it will delay recommendations on new detention policy by 180 days.

Aug. 24 One detainee is transferred to Afghanistan.

Aug. 28 Two Syrian detainees are transferred to Portugal.

Sept. 23 Senior administration officials say they are close to completing a review of all remaining 226 detainees. As many as 60 could be held indefinitely without charge or trial.

-- Julie Tate and Dafna Linzer


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