Obama: Guantanamo Won’t Close by January Deadline
The Washington Post reports that President Obama said yesterday that the U.S. detention facility will remain open past the January 2010 deadline for closure he set during his first days in office. From The Post:
President Obama directly acknowledged for the first time Wednesday that the prison facility at Guantanamo Bay will not close by the January deadline he set, but he said he hoped to still achieve that goal sometime next year.
Obama refused, however, to set a new deadline.
In an interview in the Chinese capital with Major Garrett of Fox News, Obama said he was “not disappointed” that the Guantanamo deadline had slipped, saying he “knew this was going to be hard.”
“People, I think understandably, are fearful after a lot of years where they were told that Guantanamo was critical to keep terrorists out,” Obama said. Closing the facility, he added, is “also just technically hard.”
As Marc Ambinder and Spencer point out, one of the questions that remains is what the administration plans to do with the dozens of detainees it deems too dangerous to release, but who “cannot be prosecuted because of evidentiary issues and limits on the use of classified material.”
This post has been updated.