Huffpost Politics

Obama: Gitmo Not Likely To Close In First 100 Days (VIDEO)

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In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week," President-elect Barack Obama said that he was committed to closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay but was not sure it would be possible to do so in his first hundred days.

"I don't want to be ambiguous about this. We are going to close Guantanamo and we are going to make sure that the procedures we set up are ones that abide by our Constitution," Obama said. "That is not only the right thing to do but it actually has to be part of our broader national security strategy because we will send a message to the world that we are serious about our values."

However, Obama explained, "it is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize." "Part of the challenge that you have is that you have a bunch of folks that have been detained, many of whom may be very dangerous who have not been put on trial or have not gone through some adjudication. And some of the evidence against them may be tainted even though it's true. And so how to balance creating a process that adheres to rule of law, habeas corpus, basic principles of Anglo-American legal system, by doing it in a way that doesn't result in releasing people who are intent on blowing us up."

Watch:

The full exchange:

STEPHANOPOULOS: You also agreed on Guantanamo when you say you want to shut it down. You say you're still going to shut it down. Is it turning out to be harder than you expected, will you get that done in the first 100 days?

OBAMA: It is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize and we are going to get it done but part of the challenge that you have is that you have a bunch of folks that have been detained, many of whom who may be very dangerous who have not been put on trial or have not gone through some adjudication. And some of the evidence against them may be tainted even though it's true. And so how to balance creating a process that adheres to rule of law, habeas corpus, basic principles of Anglo American legal system, by doing it in a way that doesn't result in releasing people who are intent on blowing us up.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So not necessarily first 100 days.

OBAMA: That's a challenge. I think it's going to take some time and our legal teams are working in consultation with our national security apparatus as we speak to help design exactly what we need to do. But I don't want to be ambiguous about this. We are going to close Guantanamo and we are going to make sure that the procedures we set up are ones that abide by our constitution. That is not only the right thing to do but it actually has to be part of our broader national security strategy because we will send a message to the world that we are serious about our values.