Anne E. Kornblut
Thursday, Nov 19th, 2009
BEIJING — President Obama directly acknowledged for the first time Wednesday that the prison facility at Guantanamo Bay will not close by the January deadline he set, but he said he hoped to still achieve that goal sometime next year.
Obama refused, however, to set a new deadline.
In an interview in the Chinese capital with Major Garrett of Fox News, Obama said he was “not disappointed” that the Guantanamo deadline had slipped, saying he “knew this was going to be hard.”
“People, I think understandably, are fearful after a lot of years where they were told that Guantanamo was critical to keep terrorists out,” Obama said. Closing the facility, he added, is “also just technically hard.”
Obama came to office pledging to shut a detainee facility that had become a symbol for prisoner abuse at the hands of American officials. He signed orders to shut the military prison by January 2010, but White House officials quickly encountered resistance from members of Congress opposed to moving prisoners to U.S. soil and from other countries they had hoped would accept detainees.
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This article was posted: Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 12:06 pm