No White House timetable for closing Guantanamo: Gibbs

Miami HeraldDecember 27, 2010 

The Obama administration acknowledged Sunday that it has no new timetable for closure of the prison camps at Guantánamo, while reiterating a White House talking point that the controversial detention center is an al Qaeda "recruiting tool.''

One of President Barack Obama's earliest executive orders was to order the prison camps emptied by Jan. 22, 2010. But spokesman Robert Gibbs told CNN's State of the Union program that there's no end in sight

``It's certainly not going to close in the next month,'' around the first anniversary of the administration's failed closure timetable. ``I think part of this depends on the Republicans' willingness to work with the administration on this.''

Both Democrats and GOP members of Congress scuttled a key facet of the closure plan -- to move some of the long-held war-on-terror captives to U.S. soil for continued detention and, in some cases, trials -- by putting legislative restrictions on Guantánamo transfers and releases in a succession of funding bills.

Still, Gibbs on Sunday cast the U.S. domestic conflict over closure as a partisan issue, replying to CNN news show host Candy Crowley that some Pentagon leaders such as Gen. David Petraeus support closing the camps in southeast Cuba to take away a propaganda tool from America's enemies.

"The question is, are we going to continue to have and let al Qaeda use Guantánamo Bay as a recruiting tool?''

Read the full story at MiamiHerald.com

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