Obama still committed to closing Guantanamo

WASHINGTON Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:45pm EST

In this photo, reviewed by a U.S. Department of Defense official, a Guantanamo detainee's feet are shackled to the floor as he attends a ''Life Skills'' class inside the Camp 6 high-security detention facility at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base April 27, 2010. REUTERS/Michelle Shephard/Pool

In this photo, reviewed by a U.S. Department of Defense official, a Guantanamo detainee's feet are shackled to the floor as he attends a ''Life Skills'' class inside the Camp 6 high-security detention facility at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base April 27, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Michelle Shephard/Pool

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama is still determined to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, despite criticism over his civilian prosecution of terror suspects, the White House said on Thursday.

"The president remains committed to closing Guantanamo Bay to ensure that it is no longer the recruiting poster that it is right now for al Qaeda," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told a news briefing.

A civilian jury on Wednesday acquitted a man once held at Guantanamo of all but one charge related to the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa. Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani still faces a minimum sentence of 20 years for conspiring in the attacks in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people.

Critics say the verdict raised questions over the administration's ability to successfully prosecute remaining Guantanamo Bay terrorism suspects, and what that meant for the facility's eventual closure.

Obama has already failed to meet an election campaign pledge to shut it down in the first year of his presidency and transfer its inmates to prisons in the United States.

Republicans favor military trials for suspects.

Gibbs said the future of these trials has yet to be determined, but the outcome of the prosecution of Ghailani would be among the factors taken into consideration.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle and Alister Bull, editing by Stacey Joyce)

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Comments (2)
PrincipeReale wrote:
What is it about the will of the people that Obama doesn’t understand? It we had an election today for the worst President in our history, Obama would win in a land slide.

Nov 18, 2010 5:18pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Trippin wrote:
It is a symptom of the sophomoric arrogance of the blind haters on the right to assume they for one second know the “will of the people.” In point of fact, their hubris drives them to vote consistently against their own economic interests. It would be entertaining to watch if they weren’t dragging us all down with them. Alas, evidently we haven’t yet fallen far enough.

But as for Obama being committed to close Gitmo, oh — you mean like he was committed to the public option, committed to ending DADT, committed to stopping warantless wiretapping, committed to ending torture, committed to ending “too big to fail,” committed to being the most transparent administration in history, committed to ending the war in Iraq, committed to repealing tax breaks for incremental income above $250,000, committed to ending tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas, and committed to bringing change to Washington?

That kind of committed?

Nov 19, 2010 11:53am EST  --  Report as abuse
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