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Report: Obama Administration Is ‘Not Pursuing’ an Executive Order to Close Guantanamo

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Then-Sen. Barack Obama pledged to close the facility while campaigning for president in 2008.

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The Obama administration is not planning to use an executive order to close the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after officials determined that such an order would not be a “viable” strategy, “sources familiar with the deliberations” told Reuters.

According to Reuters, the decision “narrows the already slim chances that President Barack Obama can fulfill his pledge to close the notorious offshore prison before leaving office in January.”

The entrance to Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay is seen on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010. Canadian Omar Khadr, 24, who has been in U.S. custody since he was a teenager, could see an end to eight years of legal limbo on Monday as his war crimes trial resumes amid talk of a possible last-minute plea deal to spare him a life sentence. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Colin Perkel) The entrance to Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Colin Perkel)

While campaigning for president in 2008, then-Sen. Barack Obama promised to close the controversial facility if elected. Earlier this year, the president announced a plan to close the facility that was met with opposition in Congress.

The source told Reuters that the administration won’t pursue an executive order to close the facility, although the president is eager to close the prison.

"It was just deemed too difficult to get through all of the hurdles that they would need to get through, and the level of support they were likely to receive on it was thought to be too low to generate such controversy, particularly at a sensitive (time) in an election cycle."

Myles Caggins, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, told Reuters, “The administration's goal is to work with Congress to find a solution to close Guantanamo."

Follow Kate Scanlon (@kgscanlon) on Twitter and Facebook.

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