Obama Will Issue Order to Close Gitmo

Exec edict may come as soon as Jan. 20: transition team
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 12, 2009 4:05 PM CST
Obama Will Issue Order to Close Gitmo
In an image reviewed by the US military, razor wire topped fences line the Camp Six detention facility on the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008.   (AP Photo/Mandel Ngan, Pool)

President-elect Barack Obama is preparing to issue an executive order in his first week in office—perhaps his first day—to close the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, according to two transition-team advisers, the AP reports. Nonethless, it is unlikely the detention facility at the US Navy base in Cuba will actually be closed anytime soon.

In an interview last weekend, Obama said it would be "a challenge" to close it even within the first 100 days of his administration. But the order, which one adviser said could be issued as early as Jan. 20, would start the process of deciding what to do with the estimated 250 al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects and potential witnesses who are being held there. Most have not been charged with a crime. (More Barack Obama stories.)

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