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White House Says Gitmo Plan Coming on Thursday

The White House on Tuesday said President Barack Obama will lay out a detailed strategy Thursday for closing the Guantánamo Bay prison as part of an effort to free up money from Congress for implementing the plan.

“We agree with Congress that before resources [are provided] they should receive a more detailed plan,— White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said. Gibbs indicated that “a hefty part— of a speech by Obama addressing treatment of detainees will focus on the facility at Guantánamo, Cuba.

“The president still believes it’s in our national interest to close Guantánamo Bay,— Gibbs said.

Obama will directly address the disposition of prisoners who will leave the prison amid concerns that some could end up in the United States.

But Gibbs said it was not clear when the administration will resurrect its request for the resources. “We’re going to work with Congress on a timeline that makes sense for us and for them,— he said.

Gibbs noted there is no change in the timeline for closing the base, which by an executive order signed by Obama is supposed to happen early next year.

Thursday’s speech will cover “a basket of issues,— Gibbs said, including issues related to detainees suspected of terrorism, the U.S. facilities for detaining them, the photos taken of interrogations of detainees and memos authored by Bush administration Justice Department officials authorizing harsh interrogation techniques.

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