November 15th, 2009
11:47 AM ET
10 years ago

Axelrod says WH will 'substantially meet' Gitmo deadline

A top adviser to the president said the administration is 'making good progress' towards closing Guantanamo detention facility.

A top adviser to the president said the administration is 'making good progress' towards closing Guantanamo detention facility.

(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.

Related: Top White House lawyer resigns

soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Houff

    President's Obama's administration has withdrawn from the war on terror, going so far as to refuse to even use the term "terror" for such events as the Fort Hood terror attack. Gitmo is not a prison, it is a prisoner of war camp. Those who insist that terror attacks on our nation are criminal justice matters are just plain mistaken. On the battelefield there are no Miranda rights, no "due process," no right to counsel. That is the disconnect as I see it.

    November 15, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. gary boyle

    Why is closing gitmo such a challenge for this adminastration to close ? Marion Illinoise is an ideal penitentary to house those prisoners . As an ex-prisoner who served time in this supermax prison I've seen the worst of the worst,and some escape artist try to beat this place and couldn't as well as terrorist. They even have a court room set up in the prison so you don't have to transfer prisoners back and forth. I spent 20 years in the federal prion sytem. And marion supermax can handlle any terrorist coming from gitmo!

    November 15, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
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