Obama to close Gitmo

Jan. 12, 2009 at 9:12 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- President-elect Barack Obama plans to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, shortly after taking office this month, a source said.

CNN reported Monday that the move would be in keeping with one of Obama's campaign promises.

"The president-elect has repeatedly said the legal framework at Gitmo has failed to successfully and swiftly prosecute terrorists," said an official close to the Obama transition team.

Obama said Sunday he may not immediately shut the controversial prison down.

"It is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize and we are going to get it done, but part of the challenge that you have is that you have a bunch of folks that have been detained, many of whom who may be very dangerous who have not been put on trial or have not gone through some adjudication," Obama said on ABC's "This Week."

In a letter to Obama Monday, five human rights and civil liberties groups said he should suspend the Guantanamo Bay military commissions. The organizations urged the president-elect to stop the military proceedings against Guantanamo Bay prisoners such as Omar Khadr and Mohammed Jawad, Human Rights Watch said in a news release.

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