While Obama made it a goal of his administration to close the facility, only 135 prisoners have been release since he took office. His predecessor, President George W. Bush, by comparison, released 532.
The slow pace of releases has prompted critics to accuse Obama of failing to live up to his promise. Some see Obama’s finger-pointing toward Congress as smokescreen designed to obscure the fact that the White House has enough power to do more under its own authority.
At least 86 of the remaining detainees could be freed or transferred to other countries with little interference by the legislative branch other than a requirement to give Congress notice of at least 30 days.
“There are signs of progress, but at the current pace the administration will not get through all the detainees and give them a proper chance of transfer by the time Obama steps down,” Pardiss Kebriaei, a senior attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, told The Guardian.
In fact, 48 have already been cleared for release, ready to go without any other legal hurdles in front of them.