Obama Still Wants to Close Guantanamo Bay Facility

Prisoners at the detention facility are engaged in a hunger strike to protest lack of trials.
5:19 | 04/30/13

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Transcript for Obama Still Wants to Close Guantanamo Bay Facility
Probably aware that there's going. Oh. One come home. It's surprising news. -- No end in sight of their confinement. Well. It is not a surprise to me that we've got problems in Guantanamo which -- wire. When I was campaigning in 2007 and 2008. And when I was elected in 2008 I said we need to close Guantanamo. I continue to believe that we've got to close Guantanamo. I think well. -- I think it is critical for us to understand that. Guantanamo is not necessary. To keep America safe. It is expensive. Did is. Inefficient. Did. Hurts us. In terms of our international standing -- -- cooperation with our allies on counterterrorism efforts. It is a recruitment tool for extremists. It needs to be close now. Congress. Determined that they would not let us close. And despite the fact that there are a number of the folks four currently in Guantanamo who -- the courts have said. Could be returned. To their country of origin or its potentially a third country. I'm gonna go back after us I've asked my team to review everything that's currently being done in Guantanamo. Everything that we can do administratively and I'm gonna re engage with congress. -- try to make the case that this is not. Something that's in the best interest of the American people. And is not sustainable. In the notion that we're gonna continue to keep over hundred individuals. And a no man's land. In perpetuity. Even at a time when we've wound -- the war in Iraq were winding down the war in Afghanistan we're having success. Defeating al-Qaeda -- we've. Kept the pressure upon. All these. Transnational. Terrorist networks. When we transfer. Detention authority. In Afghanistan. The idea that we would still. Maintain. Forever. A group of individuals who have not been tried. That is contrary to who we are discomfort -- interests and needs to stop. Now it's -- hard. Case to make because. You know I think for a lot of Americans the notion -- out of sight out of mind. And it's easy to demagogue the issue that's what happened the first time this came up. I'm gonna go back get it because I think it's important -- you must think we're. So I don't I don't want -- individuals to die. Obviously the Pentagon. Is -- trying to manage the situation as best as they can. But I think. All of us should reflect on why exactly are we don't us. Why -- we don't touch me we've got a whole bunch individuals who have been tried. Who are currently in maximum security prisons. Around the country. Nothing's happened -- Justice has been served. That's been done in a way that's consistent -- Our constitution consistent -- -- process consists of -- rule of law consistent with our traditions. That the individual who attempted to bomb. Times Square. In prison serving a -- -- Individual a truck bomb plant in Detroit. In prison serving a life sentence. -- who was part of also. Who recaptured. In prison. So we can handle us -- and and I understand. That. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11 with a -- that -- taking place why. For a lot of Americans the notion was somehow that. That we had to create a special facility like Guantanamo and we couldn't. Handle listening in a normal conventional fashion I understand. That reaction. But we're -- over a decade out. We should be wiser. We should have more experience -- in how we prosecute. Terrorists. And this is grave lingering. Problem and that is not gonna get better -- gonna get worse its gonna faster. And so I'm as I said before -- Examining every option that we have administratively. To try to deal with this issue but ultimately -- -- -- some help from congress and I'm gonna. Ask some. Some folks over there who. Don't care about. Fighting terrorism but also care about. Who we are -- -- people choose to step up and and help --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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