Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pentagon: Gates Requests Plan to Close Guantanamo

News in Balance

News in Balance:

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2008 -- Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has requested a proposal for shutting down the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a Pentagon official said today.

Gates wants to be prepared to provide a plan for closure if President-elect Barack Obama requests it, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters at the Pentagon.

“The president-elect has made it perfectly clear throughout the course of the campaign that he wishes to address this issue early on in his administration,” Morrell said. “So the secretary wants to be prepared to assist him in trying to figure out a solution to this thorny problem.”

Gates has stated that requirements for closing the facility include constructing legislation that provides statutory framework for housing detainees outside the confines of Guantanamo Bay, Morrell said.

“He has asked his team for a proposal on how to shut it down [and] what would be required specifically to close it and move the detainees from that facility, while at the same time ensuring that we protect the American people from some very dangerous characters,” he said.

(Report by John J. Kruzel, American Forces Press Service.)

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