WASHINGTON (CN) – Guantanamo Bay Prison will not be closed by the self-imposed January deadline, President Obama announced Wednesday while still in Beijing. The delay, following foot dragging in Congress, marks the setback of a major Obama campaign promise. “We had a specific deadline that was missed,” Obama told NBC.
“We are on the path and of a process where I would anticipate that Guantanamo will be closing next year,” Obama said in an interview with Fox News. “I’m not going to set an exact date because a lot of this is also going to depend upon co-operation from Congress.”
The announcement confirmed what many already predicted from glances at the marred process of moving prisoners out of the Guantanamo facility.
Resistance in transferring the prisoners to the mainland United States and in finding host countries for those who the government no longer deems a threat has made it difficult to empty the prison. Half a year ago, legislators rejected an administration request for $50 million for the costs associated with closing the prison.
Obama had originally pledged to close the prison by January 22, 2010.