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Still in Gitmo: Haunting Glimpses of Last Prisoners

The path to closure of "Gitmo" still remains uncertain as Obama's order to close the prison in 2008, failed due to political opposition.

A guard walks into the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center, also known as "Gitmo", a maximum security detention center at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on Oct. 22, 2016.

The U.S. military's Joint Task Force Guantanamo is still holding 60 detainees at the prison, down from a previous total of 780, including 20 cleared for release.

On his second day in office in 2008 President Obama issued an executive order to close the prison, which has failed because of political opposition in the U.S. Congress, mostly from Republicans who argue that they won't jeopardize national security over a campaign promise.

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A prisoner walks up the stairs in "Gitmo". During a news conference in Laos in September, Obama said that he's not ready to concede that the prison will remain open when he leaves office.

The detention center was opened in January 2002 to hold foreign fighters suspected of links to the Taliban or the al-Qaida terrorist organization

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A prisoner washes up before evening prayers.

Obama said his administration was still working diligently to shrink the prisoner population and that in doing so he hopes the American people will ask about the expense of maintaining a facility that he believes isn't necessary for their safety and security.

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Prisoner artwork hangs on display in the library of the "Gitmo".

"I continue to believe that Guantanamo is a recruitment tool for terrorist organizations, that it clouds and sours some of the counter-terrorism cooperation we need to engage in," Obama said. Yet Republican White House hopeful Donald Trump has called for expansion of the prison.

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A U.S. soldier looks into a cell. John Moore / Getty Images

A prisoner sits on a sofa watching television.

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A prisoner helps another with his hair as they prepare for evening prayers.

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A prisoner mops the floor in the common area of "Gitmo".

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Reading materials and DVDs, including guidelines for distribution to prisoners are displayed in the library. 

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Magazines in Arabic sit on display in the library.

The face of the green-eyed girl on the cover of National Geographic had been scratched by a prisoner, according to the librarian. 

 

 

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A television, protected by plexiglass, plays an Arabic music show.

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A prisoner prepares to eat lunch.

 

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Feeding tubes sit on display in the detainee clinic. 

The tubes are used to force-feed prisoners who refuse to eat. 

 

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A U.S. Navy doctor displays a restraint chair in the detainee clinic. 

The chair is used to force-feed prisoners who refuse to eat.

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A training dummy lies inside the detainee clinic.

 

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A medic stands in the detainee pharmacy. 

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Prisoners bow during evening prayers.

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A prisoner walks to an outdoor area of "Gitmo". 

 

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