- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The White House is in the “final stages of drafting a plan” to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, officials said Wednesday.

President Obama has made closing the facility a top priority since his early days in office, but he has encountered resistance on Capitol Hill and still faces the thorny question of what to do with terrorist prisoners who cannot be transferred and cannot be brought to trial in U.S. courts.

Still, the White House reportedly is mounting a last-ditch effort to close the prison before Mr. Obama leaves office. Officials said a plan soon will be presented to Congress.

“The administration is, in fact, in the final stages of drafting a plan” to close the prison, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters. “It is a priority of the president. He believes it’s in our national security interest to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay.”

The population at Guantanamo this year has dropped from 127 to 116, Mr. Earnest said, as the administration transfers prisoners to countries such as Oman.

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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