A CNN poll says U.S. public opinion has eroded — sharply — over President Barack Obama's plan to close the prison camps at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The news channel released the poll Sunday, two months after the Obama administration missed its own Jan. 22 deadline for emptying the controversial camps, which currently hold 183 foreign men as war captives.
A clear majority now, 60 percent, according to the poll of some 501 people interviewed March 19-21, favor continuing to operate the prison camps. CNN said the survey questioned a sample of Democrats, Republican and Independents.
On the eve of the deadline for closure, 47 percent supported keeping the prison camps in operation.
Since then, Congress has continued to block funding for a series of steps the White House wants to undertake as part of its closure program.
Also, debate has roiled the national political landscape over the status of foiled Christmas bomber Umar Faruk Abdulmttalab, a Ugandan who tried to bomb a Detroit-bound passenger airliner. He has been held in federal law enforcement custody as a criminal suspect and was not, as some Guantanamo supporters have advocated, turned over to the military for battlefield-style interrogation.
Sunday, Obama advisor David Axelrod said the Obama White House was still committed to closing the detention center but refused to set a timetable for it.
Several factors were complicating the closure, he said, including "legislative sensibilities," and "constitutional principles."
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