Deadline for closing Guantanamo prison to be missed: Obama 2009-11-19 06:23:24   Print

    WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- The deadline set for the closure of the Guantanamo prison will be missed, U.S. President Barack Obama has said in a TV interview broadcast on Wednesday.

    "Guantanamo -- we had a specific deadline that was missed," Obama told NBC television during his Asia tour.

    It was the first time Obama admitted in public that the Guantanamo prison is not likely to be closed by Jan. 22, 2010, a deadline he set right after he was sworn into office early this year.

    The U.S. government is still contemplating how to try, transferor release more than 200 detainees in the prison, including suspects of some headline terrorism cases.

    The Department of Justice announced last week to have five suspects of the 9/11 terror attacks tried in a New York federal civilian court, and another five Guantanamo detainees in a military tribunal.

    On the controversy triggered by the decision, Obama said in a separate interview with CNN that Americans should not be "fearful" of the prospect of transferring the five men to New York for trial.

    "I think this notion that somehow we have to be fearful, that these terrorists possess some special powers that prevent us from presenting evidence against them, locking them up and exacting swift justice, I think that has been a fundamental mistake," he said.

    However, a CNN survey released on Tuesday showed that almost two-thirds of Americans disagree with the Obama administration's decision, saying terrorist suspects should be tried in a military court.

Editor: Yan
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