Hopes of 'Gitmo' closing dim
January 29th, 2013
12:46 PM ET

Hopes of 'Gitmo' closing dim

By Elise Labott

The State Department has reassigned the special envoy dealing with closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and has no plans to replace him, two senior State Department officials tell CNN.

Daniel Fried's office has been closed and his duties will now be handled by the State Department's legal adviser's office, according to a State Department internal announcement.

The decision leaves little indication that the administration has pressing plans to follow through on a chief promise of President Barack Obama regarding the "Gitmo" facility in Cuba.

It was established in 2001 within a remote U.S. naval base to house those classified as enemy combatants.

Fried's post was created in 2009 shortly after Obama announced his intention to close Guantanamo Bay within his first year in office.

Fried has traveled the world since negotiating the repatriation of about 30 low-level detainees and resettling about 40 more eligible for release but unable to return to their home countries due to fears of abuse.

But significant congressional restrictions on further detainee transfers left Fried's job less demanding. Most recently, he spent some of his time working to help resettle a group of Iranian exiles, known as the MEK, living in a refugee camp in Iraq.

"Guantanamo hasn't been a full time job for a year," one senior official said, citing the new congressional restrictions.

Obama signed the limits into law as part of a 2013 defense spending bill.

Administration officials initially said he might veto the defense measure if the legislation included detainee transfer restrictions, which would undercut his pledge to close the facility.

Officials insist the administration still is intent on closing it.

Fried, a career diplomat, will now become the State Department's coordinator for sanctions policy, which includes prohibitions against Iran, North Korea and Syria.

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  14. Emmer

    I know someone on duty at Gitmo. Says the facilities are much nicer than most public schools in the US and his family has been all over the country. Most of the people dogging the facility and treatment of those being held there are just money grubbing lawyers and activists.

    January 30, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Reply
  15. George Patton-2

    Another promise made by that right-wing thug Obama in 2008 later to be reneged upon! Gitmo remains a national disgrace and those creeps running it need to be indicted and prosecuted at the War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague!!!

    January 29, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Reply
    • Clinton

      GP-2: what exactly would you have done with the inmates of GITMO, these are violent terrorists, many of whom have killed US servicemen. What would you do with them?

      January 29, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Reply
      • Kerry

        I don't know about you Clinton, but since these prisoners had to endure so much torture while they were at Gitmo, I say turn them loose!

        January 29, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
      • David

        Have them shot bythe firing squad using pig blood laced bullets and let one loose to tell peoples of their country what happens there I like general Pershings method it works

        January 29, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
      • John Geheran

        Gee David, you sound like another hateful Tea Partier. Don't you think that those men have suffered enough? I do and this activity, like George already said above, is truly a national disgrace!

        January 29, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • Dave

      GP2, Kerry, and John,

      I guess you are opening your home for these nice guys to come and stay with you? Deep down inside you like to talk and blow your horn but you dont want these guys living next to you or anyone else you care about for that matter! Try to look past the party line; yes some (not all) were treated wrong and some (not all )gave up information that protects you and me, So I do agree we need to clean it up but lets not forget who and what GITMO is about: Protecting Americans from people who want to kill us for nothing more than being American!

      January 30, 2013 at 5:15 am | Reply
  16. BillyJoe

    Hey...what's an executive order anyway?

    January 29, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  17. The Other Bob


    A failed campaign promise that President Obama would prefer to ignore.....
    I guess you missed the part about Congress restricting transfers of detainees.

    January 29, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Reply
    • steve

      Why should that stop him, he does everything else without Congressional approval....Dream Act, Recess appointments.

      January 29, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Reply
      • Dave

        "Why should that stop him"

        A little thing called the US court system.

        January 29, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
      • BillyJoe

        It did not stop him. He wrote and executive order closing this and when asked by a reporter what was in the order he had to refer to someone else to answer th question. Back to the question as to 'why that should stop him"...funny thing happened on the way to reality.

        January 29, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • nclaw441

      When did Congress take that action? I don't think the President could be stopped from closing Gitmo if he were so inclined. Certainly if this had been a GOP President's promise he would be called a liar for not doing what he said he would do. Even those who insisted on closing Gitmo while Bush was president are strangely silent today. That means only one thing: They are not devoted to their cause, only to politics.

      January 31, 2013 at 9:50 am | Reply
  18. steve

    Come on libs let's hear your excuses why Obozo failed his promise. Could it be he didn't know what he was talking about? Oh, I guess it was just Bushe's fault!

    January 29, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Reply
    • Dave

      Sorry to break it to you, Steve, but Gitmo WAS Bush's fault and always WILL BE Bush's fault. He in fact looks worse for having STARTED Gitmo than Obama does for not closing it. That's the historical record. Deal with it.

      January 29, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Reply
      • John in NY

        Oh sort of like how the left bashed Bush constantly for use of drones, but it's okay when Obama not only continues it but also increases their use?

        Right now Obama could be recording killing and gutting puppies on the lawn of the whitehouse and the left would find a way to excuse his actions, and likely blame them on Bush.

        January 29, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
      • Descartes

        Worse is subjective.

        He never had any intention of closing the base. It was a talking point for his faithful. He gets away with it because people such as yourself endlessly parrot "previous administration" when confronted with anything that might paint Christ 2.0 in an unpleasant light.

        January 29, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
      • David

        Too bad you live in a nice safe place like the USA, and it is because of" GITMO" or you could say "BUSH", the people being held in Gitmo are dangerous to not only me as a Military member but you as an American citizen so please get off you high horse and say thank you for the place and the people that protect your freedom to complain and accuse people of doing wrong! So sorry you probably dont understand becasue you have most likely never put on a uniform and/or served anything other than yourself! Thanks to all the guys/girls at GITMO keep up the good work it important and the people that know like our President support what you are doing!

        January 29, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  19. Andy

    A failed campaign promise that President Obama would prefer to ignore.....

    January 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  20. hector

    close it?!!! Screw that we need to open a few more. Ive lived in he middle east for the past 5 years. Believe me, we need more Gitmos.

    January 29, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Reply
    • George Patton-2

      Another senseless comment by another mindless Tea Partier! Is that you Phunnie boy, blogging under the name of hector now? It appears that way!

      January 29, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Reply
      • U.S.M.C. 1371

        Next time your boyfriend is busy go sneak your pair out of his "man purse"

        January 30, 2013 at 6:12 am |

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