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Obama’s pledge to close down Guantanamo is ‘not even close’

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Robert Verkaik
London Independent
Aug 19, 2010

Barack Obama’s pledge to shut down Guantanamo Bay will not be honoured until at least a year after the President’s self-imposed deadline – and may not be completed in his first administration.

 The man in charge of the seven prison camps at the US naval base in Cuba is yet to receive direct orders to begin the transfer of prisoners so he can close the detention facilities.

In his first media interview since taking up the post three months ago, Admiral Jeffrey Harbeson said that even if President Obama implemented his order today it would take him six months to complete the job, a year after the January 2010 deadline imposed by the President when he signed the executive order in 2009.

The stalled timetable reflects growing opposition from the US public, and Congress, to the transfer of prisoners to the US mainland. Plans to move the bulk of the 176 detainees to a specially built maximum security prison close to Chicago have run into fierce local and national opposition, while Congress has also blocked the allocation of more money to build new facilities. 

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This article was posted: Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 10:19 am





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