White House says President Trump has signed an executive order to keep Guantanamo Bay prison open

FILE - In this June 27, 2006 file photo, reviewed by a U.S. Department of Defense official, U.S. military guards walk within Camp Delta military-run prison, at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba.

FILE - In this June 27, 2006 file photo, reviewed by a U.S. Department of Defense official, U.S. military guards walk within Camp Delta military-run prison, at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

The White House says President Donald Trump has signed a new executive order to keep the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay open.

Trump said during his campaign that he wanted to keep Guantanamo open and “load it up with some bad dudes.” But the White House announcement just before Tuesday’s State of the Union address marks a formal reversal of President Barack Obama’s eight-year effort to close the detention center.

The order preserves military detention as a counterterrorism tool by keeping the prison open.

President George W. Bush opened Guantanamo after Sept. 11 to hold and interrogate suspected enemy combatants. At its peak in 2003, it held about 680 detainees.

Bush transferred about 500 out before leaving office. Obama transferred 197 detainees out, leaving 41.

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