September 27th, 2009
11:10 AM ET
5 years ago

Gates, McCain say delay likely in closing Guantanamo facility

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said it may take longer than expected to close Guantanamo prison.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said it may take longer than expected to close Guantanamo prison.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates acknowledges that closing the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will likely take longer than planned.

"I think it has proven more complicated than ... anticipated," Gates said in an interview broadcast Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

Noting he had pushed for a firm deadline of closing the controversial facility in January 2010, Gates said: "If you have to extend that date, if at least you have a strong plan showing you're making progress in that direction, then this - it shouldn't be a problem to extend it and we'll just see whether that has to happen or not."

In a separate interview on the ABC program "This Week," Gates said closing the military prison on schedule would be "tough."

Also on ABC, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona said he attended briefings in which he was told the Guantanamo facility was unlikely to close on schedule.

"Apparently they're certainly not going to make that deadline," McCain said. "But we should continue to work towards the closure of Guantanamo Bay because of the image that it has in the world of brutality, (which) harms our image very badly."

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soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Tom in Delaware

    Here's an idea...WHO CARES what other countries think about our 'image'...leave Gitmo open because it's the perfect palce for the terroists.

    If 'image' is so important to you little Liberal panty-wastes' then let all the the Leftist media outets start putting a postive spin on Gitmo to undo the years of negative spin you put so much effort into...this isn't happening TO YOU, it's happening BECAUSE OF YOU....BWAHAHAHAHA

    September 27, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. Jon Krieger

    Here's another case where Obama spoke without thinking!Obama does not know what he is doing!

    September 27, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. Chuck

    When we catch a terroist, we should "double shoot" him, or her, on the spot. Then we wouldn't be having so much trouble closing Gitmo.

    September 27, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  4. victim of republican greed

    Be patient, Grasshopper, Gitmo will be closed. It is a bigger Bush mess than Obama thought it was. At any rate it will be done.

    To all the right wingnut knuckle draggers, Gitmo is a recruiting tool for terrorists.

    September 27, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  5. victim of republican greed

    Q: Who cares what other countries think about our image?

    A: Most intelligent human beings know that it is better to not have to police the world by ourselves. We no longer have the resources, thanks to republicans. While I am sure that most wingnuts were bullied when they were little, they are over compensating for their feelings of inferiority by talking tough.

    September 27, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  6. Samuel

    What's wrong with you Americans?
    These people whom you will release will come back and attack you or the rest of us.

    We love you President Bush

    September 27, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  7. Yossi Gestetner

    Bull! Limbaugh back in Jan (or early Feb) said it clear that the prison on the base will NOT be closed by Jan '10 because it is impossible.

    So Mr. Gates should not say it was “more difficult than anticipated.” He should have said “it was proven more difficult than we in the administration fantasized.”

    September 27, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  8. ANGIE IN PA

    WHO CARES WHAT OTHER COUNTRIES THINK

    Spoken like a true right wing nut then they wonder why we have Terriost wanting to kill us like everyone has claimed you dont need a high IQ To be a Republican.

    September 27, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. victim of republican greed

    One thing for sure, if you do the opposite of what McCain says, you will be right 97% of the time.

    September 27, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  10. Sue

    EVERYTHING mr. boma has anticipated????? has to be RECALCULATED AGAIN. He truly has been USELESS – oh except for picture taking and beer parties and sports involvement with his "SELF as the center!!!!

    September 27, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  11. Bedtime for Obonzo

    Good. Keep it open as long as possible, then transfer the terrorists to Nancy Pelosi's district.

    September 27, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  12. b nice

    It doesn't matter what the deadline is. Just close Guantanamo. the president is not perfect. Republicans and anti american Tea baggers need to shut their trap. It is what it is. The bottomline is that it will be closed!!

    September 27, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  13. A Democrat of 51 years who has finally got smart to their foolishness.

    They better keep it open. This only the biginning of what's to come. Islam has not faded out of the picture and will not until all the infidels are dead and gone. Beware America.

    September 27, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  14. An Ex-NC-Pub

    "Apparently they're certainly not going to make that deadline," McCain said. "But we should continue to work towards the closure of Guantanamo Bay because of the image that it has in the world of brutality, (which) harms our image very badly.

    So, John, it took you six years and an Obama decision for you to finally understand the harm this place does to our country and therefore to our armed services.

    September 27, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain

    To everyone who's afraid of having the inmates at Gitmo transferred to federal prisons on U.S. soil:

    You are aware, aren't you, that those same prisons currently house inmates convicted of pre-meditated murder (including serial killers), aggravated assault, rape and pedophilia? Do you honestly think that simply because those criminals aren't Muslim and didn't blow something up that they wouldn't hurt you or your family if they had the chance?

    Use your heads, folks, and stop spouting nonsense!

    September 27, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  16. ThinkAgain

    First of all, our country is a nation of laws, with the U.S. Constitution and its guarantees of due process as our primary founding document.

    We are not a nation that "disappears" people, holding them indefinitely without charge. We are not Pinochet's Argentina; Stalin's Russia; Hitler's Germany; Khomeni's Iran.

    Just because someone is suspected of something, that does not mean they are guilty.

    My guess is the same folks supporting holding prisoners in Gitmo simply because they fit a certain profile also vehemently oppose anything the ATF or other law enforcement agency does against Americans suspected of illegal activity.

    September 27, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  17. jules sand-perkins

    If our actions are to be based on concern for our image, we could just apologize for erecting the World Trade Center in the first place. It was terribly tall, you know. It's not good for one's image to be overbearing.
    Those twin towers were bound to make somebody envious.
    Why don't we apologize?
    After all, apology is always the best policy.

    September 27, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  18. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    That's what happens when you make promises with no plan. The real issue isn't GITMO, it's the perception of bad treatment fostered by the liberal media. Most of the prisoners are living better than if they were free. A tiny fraction has been subject to enhanced interrogations, so what? They are responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans. They have no rights except the right to pay for what they did.

    September 27, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  19. Willy Brown

    Another Obummer Lie!

    September 27, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  20. jules sand-perkins

    I'm still concerned about our image.
    Have we apologized for Valley Forge yet?

    September 27, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. Joe M

    Kep it open... We need to send...Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rice and Dumbsfeld there... They were and are the world's bigget terrorists..

    September 27, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. Peter

    Don't close yet! we need Cheney and his clonies at Gitmo for a month or two!

    September 27, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  23. Ken in NC

    Put them in a boat with one gallon of gas, 10 or 15 holes in the boat, chum the waters and tell them to go home. Gitmo has to be closed.

    September 27, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  24. Ruty

    McCain needs to go back to Arizona. He lost the election but must not be aware of it. We don't care what you think John.

    September 27, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  25. They call me "tater salad"

    Would McCain have closed Guantanamo if he were elected President? Highly unlikely! However, he want's us all to think that he's all for closing it because suddenly he's concerned about the bad image it gives America! Hmm.........That's not what he was saying last year at this time! I think McCain is having one of those senior moments he's famous for! He needs to go back and check his notes from his failed Presidential Campaign! Old Fart!

    September 27, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
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