Obama: 'Approximately 166 Detainees at Guantanamo Bay'
10:09 AM, Dec 15, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
The White House revealed yesterday that there "approximately 166 detainees at Guantanamo Bay" right now. The news was in Obama's "war powers resolution" letter, which is meant "to keep the Congress informed about deployments of U.S. Armed Forces equipped for combat."
"The combat-equipped forces, deployed since January 2002 to Naval Base, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, continue to conduct secure detention operations for the approximately 166 detainees at Guantanamo Bay under Public Law 107-40 and consistent with principles of the law of war," Obama writes in the section on "MILITARY OPERATIONS AGAINST AL-QA'IDA, THE TALIBAN, AND ASSOCIATED FORCES AND IN SUPPORT OF RELATED U.S. COUNTERTERRORISM OBJECTIVES."
Obama famously promised to close the Guantanamo detention facility within a year of becoming president of the United States. But as he acknowledges, it's still open with "approximately 166 detainees" nearly four full years after Obama was first sworn in as president.
It is not clear why Obama is only able to approximate the number of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Additionally, in the war powers resolution letter, Obama mentions engagements with Yemen: "The U.S. military has also been working closely with the Yemeni government to operationally dismantle and ultimately eliminate the terrorist threat posed by al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the most active and dangerous affiliate of al-Qa'ida today," he writes.
As well as American in Cenral Africa, in particular Uganda, Sudan, Congo, the Central African Republican, some of which is part of the effort "to apprehend or remove Joseph Kony and other senior Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) leaders from the battlefield, and to protect local populations."
Obama mentions American personnel in Egypt, too. "Approximately 694 military personnel are assigned to the U.S. contingent of the Multinational Force and Observers, which have been present in Egypt since 1981," he writes.
And Obama's "war powers resolution" letter mentions U.S.-Nato "operations" in Kosovo, "regional security operations," and "maritime interception operations" aimed at terrorists.