While the administration still hopes to close the facility, it has struggled to win congressional support to transfer some of the detainees to the U.S. to stand trial.
"I would say we are pretty profoundly disappointed in the Obama administration's lack of leadership and his inability to close this place," said Stacey Sullivan, the counterterrorism advisor to Human Rights Watch.
After the attempted Christmas Day jet bombing, a plot with ties to Yemen, it became even more difficult to find a home for the roughly 95 Yeminis who make up half of the population at Guantanamo.
"Everyone that we talk to on the Hill, people that would like to see Guantanamo closed, say that the administration has not been on the Hill making its case to close Guantanamo," Sullivan said.
Critics say the apparent "lack of direction" seems to be impacting two key trials – that of the alleged planner of the USS Cole attack and the Sept. 11 conspirators.
"We're going to zip past the nine-year anniversary of 9/11 without an indictment, without anybody setting foot in a courtroom," said Col. Lawrence Morris, the former prosecutor for Gitmo cases.
On the base, military officials insist the detainees are not discouraged.
"Every single time we release a detainee, we take the Department of Justice notification, post it in Arabic on each block, so they know some of their brothers are leaving," said Lt. Col. Andrew McManus. "So they see hope."
Since the Guantanamo prison opened in 2002, 779 detainees have been held there. The Bush administration released 530 men and cleared 59 others for release by the time Obama took office.
Fox News' Catherine Herridge and The Associated Press contributed to this report.