Gibbs: Gitmo isn't closing now
December 26th, 2010
11:27 AM ET
12 years ago

Gibbs: Gitmo isn't closing now

(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."

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: Guantanamo • Robert Gibbs • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Monster Zero

    Point taken; Obama is a liberal, NOT a communist. If you make a confusion between those two terms, educate yourself.
    You are right Marcus, Obama and his merry band of liberal progressives fall more in line as a Marxist Fascists, his Mother and Grandparents were Communists, Van Jones is a Communist. Now I do take exception to your comment about Obama not being a liberal, please explaing why his Senate voting record was the second most liberal in Congress.......I know George Bush made him do it.

    December 26, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  2. Gil

    It is a disgrace to our country to keep it open. Why is it still out there as a blot against all America is and stands for?

    December 26, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  3. vic nashville tn

    Few things we won’t see change soon because Obama becoming third Bush

    Bush Tax cut
    Bush war
    Bush Guantanamo
    Bush housing market collapsed
    Bush bail outs

    December 26, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  4. Marcus

    Monster Zero – Do you realize that you quoted me saying that Obama IS a liberal and then bashed me for 'saying' (don't know where in my post so please tell us where) that he IS NOT?
    Geez louise! Are you Scalia in disguise?
    At the issue at hand I thank all the spineless Republicans that made provisions in the budget bill to make sure that no civil court for terrorist will be paid for with the budget's money, that no (already built and quite unused) prison will be bought to host them and such. Thanks for creating all the loopholes (both financial and legal) that keep this disgrace open.
    (I'm being sracastic here).

    December 26, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  5. FauxNews

    Whoever has the contracts to run that facility sure knows how to contribute.

    December 26, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  6. MikefromWV

    But no one has commented on the basic issues here. Obama wanted Gitmo closed. Republicans orchestrated an image of escaped alleged terrorists running through American streets, plotting misdeeds, with absolutely no evidence in support of their charges. As a result a spineless Congress voted prohibitions against Gitmo prisoners being transferred to the U.S. How is that Obama's fault? Evidence, please - facts only, no suppositions.

    December 26, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  7. thor

    So Gibbs just found this out.It's only been a year.Oh well.!!!

    December 26, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  8. Jake

    Are we to believe that if Gitmo closes al Qaeda won't be able to recruit? There is no good reason to close Gitmo and hundreds of good reasons to keep Gitmo open. The only reason Obama persists in wanting to close Gitmo is to fulfill an ill-conceived campaign promise... no matter the cost to America's security.

    December 26, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  9. Ted Crawford

    Getmo does represent what we stand for! If you wish to come here legally and in peace we will grant you a path to share in what generations of Americans have built with their blood and toil. If you come at us with agression we will defend ourselves and our posterity with all means available to us, we ask no mercy and we offer none. If you come at us you must succed or you will die!! These people are not playing games they are clearly deadly serious and we must respond in kind

    December 26, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. annie s

    Obama isn't a liberal or a socialist. He certainly ins't a Marxist or Communist, and there really is no such thing as a Marxist Fascist – the two ideologies oppose one another. While Obama certainly has liberal leanings in many things, he is, above all, a pragmatist, and so far, despite the hatred and fear inducing sound bites from the right, he has governed primarily from the center.

    December 26, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. james

    Another campaign promise kept. Way to go, Bozo-In-Chief.

    The BIC has had to learn several lessons... one, that Gitmo is not a recruiting tool for terrorists, two, that Americans will not tolerate being made to live among terrorists like they were the Sunday school teachers, and three, this is a war against a people who will die to the very last to kill us. Gitmo will still be open at the end of 2012, and rightfully so. Guaranteed.

    December 26, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  12. Grif99999

    That was the most ridiculous promise that BO made. What difference does it make that it is open? What is the plan for the terrorists that are there? From what I can see there never was a plan. It will turn out to be just one more unkept promise from BO.

    December 26, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. rosethornne

    "more in line as a Marxist Fascists".
    Wow. Someone is either deliberately ignorant, or too stupid to live.
    Go look up some definitions in a thing we call a "book" before you make such a fool of yourself in public again.

    December 26, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  14. brown

    I hope these "detainees" are not put in our civilian prisons ... it wouldn't be long before they radicalize the population!

    December 26, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  15. MyOpinion

    Will the Cuban Embargo Act end, soon? The Cold War is (maybe) over by now.

    December 26, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  16. vic nashville tn

    People oppose closing Gitmo don’t trust our prison I have to agree with them
    I read this in Tennessean 12/5/2010
    “Private prison company Corrections Corporation of America has contributed significantly to politicians in Tennessee who support the law and is a member of an organization promoting the law” similar to Arizona SB 1070

    CCA pushing for a Law which they can make money who is money tax payer’s

    Sad, unbelievable, ridiculous

    December 26, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  17. Joshua Ludd

    Yet another thing Obama is going to promise and then put off indefinitely.

    December 26, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  18. malabar

    u morons do realize Obama is a politician first and foremost, right? to lie and break promises is like breathing to them. name 1 politician who never revealed their hypocricy.

    December 26, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  19. Last Honest Person

    Gibbs is once again running his mouth. He says that Obamanation is having trouble closing Gitmo because the Republicans and Conservatives just don't get it. He says that Gen. BetrayUs and other military leaders, etc, say that terorists use the prison as a terrorist tool. Okay, it these morons are so smart then why doesn't Obamanation and Gibbs tell the American people all the reasons why Arab terrorists hate America. Not only tell us all the reasons, but rank them in importance.
    Is Gitmo the number one reason? Or is it America's support of Israel? Or is it because America is a Democracy and these fanatics want to rule eveyrone? Or is it because most Americans are rich (by their standards) and wasteful or Americans live immoral lives or is it something else?
    Please people, wake up. Quit believing everything coming out of Gibb's mouth.

    December 26, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |