President Barack Obama will
make good on a promise to close the U.S. naval prison in
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, his chief of staff Denis McDonough said on
‘Fox News Sunday.’
Obama will first present a long-awaited plan to Congress
about how to close the facility, and seek its approval,
McDonough said in an interview.
If Congress fails to act, the
White House will determine what steps to take, he said.
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White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said President Obama will make good on his promise to close the U.S. naval prison in Guantanamo Bay before he leaves office
President Obama had campaigned on closing Gitmo, but never got it done. McDonough said the president plans to present a long-awaited plan to Congress
Denis McDonough said his boss, President Obama, feels an obligation to the next president to close Gitmo. ‘He will fix this so that they don’t have to be confronted with the same set of challenges,’ McDonough said
‘He feels an obligation to the next president. He will fix
this so that they don’t have to be confronted with the same set
of challenges,’ McDonough said.
Obama pledged during the 2008 presidential election campaign
that he would close the military prison, which housed foreign
terrorism suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the
That pledge, still unfilled, has been a feature of his
annual State of the Union addresses to the nation ever since.
Obama has said the facility has been used as a recruiting
tool in propaganda from groups like al Qaeda, and also is far
too costly to maintain. There are 104 detainees left at the
Where possible, his administration has transferred detainees
to other countries.
But there is a small number of detainees who
the administration says it would like to detain in a U.S.
facility for national security reasons.
Congress has explicitly banned the transfer of detainees to
the United States.
McDonough declined to say whether Obama would close the
prison using his own executive powers if Congress rejects his
‘I’m not an if-then guy,’ he said.