Closing Guantanamo

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From our colleague Bobby Ghosh:

Reality is catching up with the Obama administration’s Jan 21 deadline for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison. Speaking in Washington at the Center for Strategic and International Studies this morning, John Brennan, the President’s assistant on homeland security and counterterrorism, hinted that legal and political challenges may push the closing date back. “I don’t have a crystal ball that I can say with certainly (that Gitmo will be closed on Jan 21),” he said, in response to questions. “I can’t say what the conditions will be on Jan 1 or on Jan 21.”

Brennan said that the Administration is “working hard to realize” the President’s first executive order, but suggested that the timeline may be out of the White House’s control. The political firestorm over where to put some of the prisoners hasn’t helped. “Congress can help or hinder (the closure),” he added.

“It is our full intention to close Guantanamo, to meet the deadline,” he said. “Whether we come in a week or two early, or right on time, or whatever…”