President Barack Obama reiterated his 2008 pledge to close the military prison facility at Guantanamo Bay during a taping of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Thursday afternoon. Obama signed an executive order his first week in office that ordered the Guantanamo Bay prison closed by January 2010, but Congress has inserted language into legistation Obama signed that prevented him from closing the facility.
“I still want to close Guantanamo. We haven’t been able to get that through Congress,” Obama said, according to a White House pool report. “One of the things we have to do is put a legal architecture in place, and we need Congressional help to do that so that not only am I reined in but any president’s reined in in terms of some of the decisions we’re making.”
Lawyers for terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay told TPM this spring they believed the public has lost interest in the legal issues posed by the reformed military tribunal system at Guantanamo since Obama took office.