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. No Hillary = No Obama

    Obama and his grandiose plans – turn out to be nothing more than short-sighted failings.

    September 27, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    Did I just wake up in never never land and McSongbird has become relevant all of a sudden? He couldn't even fly planes without crashing and being captured - we should trust his judgment why?

    September 27, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  3. Rose

    This is what happens when you shoot from the hip. NO PLAN when Obama made his decision, he had to keep his word to save face. He sure has backed down on many of his campaign promises.
    Plain and simple, he has no clue about anything he does. He is the puppet and spokesman for his ADVISORS. He can't make a decision without at least fifty people giving him the answer.

    September 27, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. Simmy

    Republican propaganda, lies and fears spewed into the atmosphere didn't help any......Why are those who say they serve God so fearful? God has not given US a spirit of fear.....There is no fear in love.....Unity and support was needed from the gitgo.....It's a shame the way GOPers fool around with their constituents.....

    GITMO will get closed, and some of those terrorist (who are by now more moderate than some of those townhallers-homegrown terrorists) will be housed in prisons in America.....

    September 27, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. slp

    Here is a news flash for you, Angie in PA. Terrorist want to kill us regardless of who likes us or not. They hate democracy and any country who stands for democracy. It doesn't matter if President Obama is running around the world making nice with all the evil dictators and we all have a warm and fuzzy feeling because we are all friends now. Terrorists will never like us. The best way to combat terrorism is to advance the cause of democracy, not sit around a camp fire holding hands with all the tyrants of the world.

    September 27, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
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