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Author Topic: Obama's Gitmo Task Force Blows Its Deadline  (Read 564 times)
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« on: Jul 21, 2009 02:04 PM »

Exclusive: why a key report on closing the facility has been delayed.

By Michael Isikoff | Newsweek

An Obama administration task force set up to develop a plan for the closure of the U.S. detention facility at Guantánamo Bay will miss its first deadline this week—and put off a key report—amid continued divisions over how to resolve one of the president's thorniest policy dilemmas.     

The task force, set up on Obama's second day in office, was charged with preparing a report to the president by Tuesday, July 21, outlining a long-term detention plan for detainees captured in counterterrorism operations after Sept. 11. But continued debate within the task force over the legal basis for holding detainees who are not charged with any crimes—and where to house them once they are moved from Guantánamo—has forced the task force to postpone its report by a "few months," a senior administration official told NEWSWEEK. 

A separate task-force report on interrogations—also due this week—is being put off as well, said the official, who, like others quoted in this article, asked not to be named talking about private deliberations. 

The postponement of the two reports is sure to raise fresh questions about whether Obama will be able to shut down Guantánamo by next January as he pledged immediately after taking office. While publicly saying they remain committed to next January's deadline, officials privately acknowledge that a host of political and diplomatic problems—including the reluctance of foreign countries to accept detainees and fierce opposition from members of Congress to moving them to the United States—has made closing the facility far more daunting than they had anticipated.   

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