(CNN) – With the clock ticking down to the Obama administration’s self-imposed deadline for closing the U.S. military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, senior Obama adviser David Axelrod said the White House believes it will come close to the original deadline but may not exactly make the one-year deadline.
Announcing on January 22 of this year that “Guantanamo will be closed no later than one year from now,” Obama himself committed the new administration to closing the controversial facility by late January 2010. Since then, the administration has confronted complex legal issues over what to do with the approximately 200 terror suspects still detained at Guantanamo, which has made the deadline increasingly unattainable.
But, in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, Axelrod said the administration will come close.
“We believe we’re going to substantially meet the deadline,” Axelrod told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, “We may not hit it on the date but we will close Guantanamo and we’re making good progress toward doing it.”
Asked by King how many more months the administration anticipated that Guantanamo would remain open, Axelrod refused to specify a time frame.
“I’m not going to put a deadline on it, John, but we’re going to get it done. We’re moving toward getting it done in all the different dimensions that are necessary to get it done.”
Democratic officials said White House Counsel Greg Craig was ousted because of frustration among senior White House aides over his handling of the plans to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. He’s set to leave his post early next year.
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