President Obama has given up on his long-sought goal of closing the Guantanamo Bay prison. White House press secretary Josh Earnest Wednesday acknowledged that the prison, which houses some of the worst terrorism suspects apprehended by the United States, will not close before Obama leaves office.
“This is a political situation that members of both parties, to be fair, have allowed to persist that prevents this kind of common-sense policy to be implemented,” Earnest said. He said efforts to whittle down the number of prisoners would continue. “We’re going to continue to do everything we can” before Obama leaves office “to reduce the prison population at Gitmo.”
Earnest blamed Congress for the failure.
“We have been deeply dismayed at the obstacles that Congress has erected to prevent progress on this significant national security priority,” he said. “Congress has repeatedly thrown up obstacles that prevent the successful closing of the prison.”