(CNN) - A year has passed since the Obama administration said the Guantanamo Bay military prison would close, but White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Sunday that the facility won't go away in the near future.
In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Gibbs said that even though the site is a recruiting tool for Islamic terrorists, legal and legislative issues have contributed to the delay in its closing.
"It's certainly not going to close in the next month. I think it's going to be a while before that prison closes," Gibbs told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "I think part of this depends on the Republicans' willingness to work with the administration on this."
Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham previously negotiated with the White House on closing the prison, but the talks ended without an agreement. Shutting down Guantanamo Bay was an oft-made campaign promise by Obama during the 2008 election, but controversy has surrounded the decision since then over whether to try the suspected terrorists imprisoned there in federal court or in military commissions.
"Well, obviously, there are prohibitions, legislatively, on the transfer of some of the prisoners," Gibbs said. "Some would be tried in federal courts, as we've seen done in the past. Some would be tried in military commissions, likely spending the rest of their lives in a maximum security prison that nobody, including terrorists, have ever escaped from. And some, regrettably, will have to be indefinitely detained."
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