A Guantanamo Timeline

Map of Guantanamo Bay


Jan 11. First group of 20 detainees arrives at Guantanamo Bay's Camp X-Ray, and they are housed in open-air cages with concrete floors. The International Committee of the Red Cross makes its first visit six days later.
Jan. 18 President Bush decides detainees' standing as terrorists disqualifies them from prisoner-of-war protection under the Geneva conventions.
Jan. 22 After a Navy photo is released showing detainees in goggles and masks, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld defends the detentions of "committed terrorists."
Jan. 27 Vice President Cheney calls the detainees "the worst of a very bad lot. They are very dangerous. They are devoted to killing millions of Americans."
Feb. 12 U.S. officials say they envision a long-term prison camp on the island.
Feb. 21 Federal judge dismisses a challenge to the detentions.
Feb. 27 Almost two-thirds of detainees go on a hunger strike to protest a rule against turbans in the first organized act of defiance. U.S. officials decide to allow the turbans.
March 21 The Bush administration announces new military tribunal regulations.
April 25 Construction of the new 410-bed Camp Delta is completed.
Oct. 27 Four detainees — three Afghans and a Pakistani — are released.


March 11 Federal appeals court rules that the detainees have no legal rights in the United States.
July 3 Bush designates six suspected al Qaeda terrorists eligible for military tribunals — the first since World War II.
September Arrests become public of two translators and a Muslim chaplain who worked at Guantanamo on charges relating to alleged espionage and improper use of classified documents. The case against the chaplain later unravels.
Oct. 9 The Red Cross issues a public statement noting "deterioration in the psychological health of a large number of detainees."
Nov. 10 U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear the Guantanamo case.
Dec. 3 Australian detainee David Hicks becomes the first prisoner to be given a lawyer.


Jan. 12 Five military lawyers assigned to defend detainees say they plan to tell the Supreme Court that some of the rules drawn up for the military tribunals are unconstitutional.
April 20 Supreme Court hears arguments on the Guantanamo detentions.

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