September 26th, 2009
10:43 AM ET
5 years ago

Officials: Guantanamo prison unlikely to close by January 2010

The U.S. military prison at Guantanamo in Cuba is unlikely to close by the Obama administration's deadline of January 2010, two senior administration officials say.
The U.S. military prison at Guantanamo in Cuba is unlikely to close by the Obama administration's deadline of January 2010, two senior administration officials say.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The U.S. military prison at Guantanamo is unlikely to close by the Obama administration's deadline of January 2010, two senior administration officials said late Friday.

They cited legal complications for the delay, but said they were still optimistic about shutting the facility soon.

The announcement represents a blow to the president, who signed an executive order with great fanfare in January, during his first week in office, setting the deadline to close the facility.

The delay may provide fodder for Republicans like former Vice President Dick Cheney, who has argued that shutting the prison would make the United States less safe. He said Obama should have had a detailed plan in place before signing the order.

In a written statement, U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky noted the announcement, and said, "even White House officials are now acknowledging that there is still no alternative that will keep Americans as safe as housing detainees at that secure facility off our shores.

"Americans and a bipartisan majority in Congress will continue to reject
any effort to close Guantanamo until there is a plan that keeps Americans as safe or safer than keeping detainees in the secure detention center."

The senior administration officials insisted the White House is making progress in finding third-party countries to accept the remaining detainees.


Filed under: Guantanamo
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Pattobay

    But he said he would close Gitmo as soon as he sat down at the Big Desk last January! Did anybody really believe that? Also, did he get out of Iraq or Afghanistan yet, not to mention capture Bin Laden.? He sounded like these problems were something he would take care of in his first 100 days! I guess there are a lot of dunderheads out there who still think he will carry out ANY of his campaign promises -- sure was a great applause line though.

    September 26, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  2. m jeff

    If terrorist commit crimes against Americans they should be held in American prisons. We want them punished, but we want some other Country to do it for us.

    September 26, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. JP

    What was the idea of signing an executive order in the first week with great fanfare without a plan? Just to ridicule the previous administration? What a shameful act.

    September 26, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  4. Buster

    ANOTHER OBAMA LIE.....when will the people who voted for this liar realize he has NEVER told the truth.

    September 26, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  5. Peter

    They GOP started Gitmo with only a single strategy. Cheney and his clonies should be put in gitmo before closing the doors!

    September 26, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. Bob the Observer

    Let's see: healthy, pork-free meals, medical care, a crisp personal copy of the Koran, and window A/C units in those cells. This is not a prison. It's the Hilton.

    September 26, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. Matt

    It would be refreshing to see liberals hold Obama accountable. Still in Iraq, adding troops to Afghanistan, Gitmo "may not" close, et cetera. If a Republican president was in office, the media would be going insane. Since it's Obama, he gets a pass. I don't necessarily care what your political views are, just be consistent. If you voted for your guy because you thought he would get us out of overseas wars and Gitmo, then get ticked off now that it isn't happening and demand it! If you thought Bush's spending us into oblivion was bad, then get pissed at Obama for doing the same thing instead of saying, well, he had no choice, Bush did it to him. A crock. Support whoever you will, but stop giving him a pass every time a commitment is not honored instead of excusing it. This applies to both sides of the political spectrum. The pass Obama is getting from Democrats makes me sick. For the record, Bush made me sick, too.

    September 26, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. Bubble of Sanity

    Hey, wait. I thought it was already closed! Wasn't it going to close on January 21?

    September 26, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
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