Q: Do you guys still feel like the January 20th deadline for closing Gitmo is within reach?
Q Robert, back in June when you were asked about whether or not the deadline to close down Gitmo could be reached you said, "absolutely." Over the weekend I'm sure you heard the Secretary of Defense saying that "it's going to be tough. "What happened?
GIBBS: I would believe the Secretary, he always trumps me. (Laughter.)
Q I'm sure he did. But what happened between the "absolutely" and "it's going to be tough"?
GIBBS: I think we're continuing to make progress. I think we've had more and more people transferred out of Guantanamo Bay. I think first and foremost, Dan, look what you saw this weekend: You had Secretary Gates and Senator McCain both believing strongly, as the President believes, that we have to shut Guantanamo Bay, that it makes us safer, that it improves our image around the world. Obviously we've still got work to do, work that's progressing in reforming military commissions and in locating a permanent detention facility for those that would remain.
Q So is the White House resigned now — resigned to the fact now that that deadline cannot be met?
GIBBS: Well, we're not focused on whether or not the deadline will or won't be met on a particular day; we're focused on ensuring that the facility is closed and doing all that has to be done between now and the 22nd of January to make the most progress that we can that's possible.
Also please note the nomenclature used by State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley when discussing detainees at Guantanamo:
Q: Talk to us a little bit about response and talks and any commitments that you may have gotten from our European and other friends in the international community about taking in Guantanamo detainees as the camp in Guantanamo is expected to close at some point in the near future. Have you gotten any commitments from our European friends and anybody else?
CROWLEY: Ambassador Dan Fried continues his efforts to resettle, you know, Guantanamo refugees to various places around the world.