QUESTION: Who was the last person transferred from Guantanamo? What is the status of our efforts to close Guantanamo?
ANSWER: The most recent transfer from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay was that of Saiid Farhi to the Government of Algeria, as announced by the Department of Defense on January 6, 2011. Farhi was ordered released by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Nov. 19, 2009.
The Administration has made clear that closing Guantanamo is in the interest of our national security and is continuing its efforts to close the facility. Progress has been made under this and the previous Administration. However, given legislation in place, it is clear that it will take some time to fully close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Since the beginning of this Administration, we have transferred 67 detainees to numerous destinations, including the transfer of 40 detainees to third countries. In addition, in that time frame, four detainees have been convicted in either Military Commissions or federal court. The establishment of a periodic review for certain detainees demonstrates the President’s commitment to ensuring that “any prolonged detention is carefully evaluated and justified,” and does not in any way undercut our commitment to closing Guantanamo.