- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Pentagon team is planning to visit a “handful” of potential new sites on the mainland to house the remaining Guantanamo Bay detainees as the Obama Administration pushes to shut down the military prison in Cuba. 

The Defense Department has not revealed the new potential sites, saying the list is not final, The Hill reported.

The new locations would be military and non-military, and surveyors are also looking for a site where military commissions for the detainees can be held, the Pentagon said. 

Defense officials were met with fierce opposition during preliminary tours of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, South Carolina. The states’ Republican governors, senators and lawmakers protested the visits, saying they would not have terrorists housed in their backyards. 

The latest round of tours will help the Pentagon form a plan — requested by Congress — for closing Guantanamo, which President Obama had promised to do during his first run for the White House in 2008. 



But now officials across the administration are unsure Mr. Obama has the will or the support to close the facility. 

On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter admitted closing the facility would be a good move, but it would be very difficult to accomplish. 

“It would be good if possible, to close Guantanamo Bay. If it can be done safely,” Mr. Carter told troops on Tuesday, The Hill reported. “It would be a nice thing to do and an important thing to do if we can do it, but we got to be realistic about the people who are in Guantanamo Bay. They’re there for a reason.”

 

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