Obama: Indefinitely Holding Detainees 'Gives Me Huge Pause'
By Michael D. Shear
President Obama still has reservations about the prospect of indefinitely holding those detained at the Guantanamo Bay military prison, and he may not follow through on his administration's intention to develop such a policy, he told the Associated Press today.
"It gives me huge pause," he told the news organization in an interview.
Obama's intention to close the detention facility in Cuba -- announced on his first full day in office -- has forced difficult decisions about what to do with the detainees still there. The administration is trying to send some to other countries and hopes to try others in courts or military tribunals.
But the president has acknowledged that there are likely to be some who won't be taken by other countries and are impossible to try. He told the AP that he will not establish an indefinite detention system by executive order because that would cut Congress out of the process.
"We're going to proceed very carefully on this front, and it may turn out that, after looking at all the dimensions of this, that I don't feel comfortable with" it, Obama said.
In the wide-ranging interview, Obama also discussed the late Michael Jackson with the AP, calling him "one of our greatest entertainers" and adding that he still had "all his stuff on my iPod." But he called Jackson's life tragic and sad in many ways.
He also weighed in on the important question of whether he is a bigger fan of retired basketball player Michael Jordan or current star Kobe Bryant.
"Michael," he told the AP without hesitation. "I haven't seen anybody match up with Jordan yet."
July 2, 2009; 3:54 PM ET
Categories: Barack Obama
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