"It's not for lack of trying. It's because the politics of it are difficult," insisted Obama at a White House press conference.
"We have succeeded on delivering a lot of campaign promises that we made. One where we have fallen short is closing Guantanamo. I wanted to close it sooner. We have missed that deadline," he said, referring to the January 22, 2010 date set -- a year after he took office -- by when he had hoped to close the facility.
On the eve of the September 11, 2001 anniversary , Obama was asked of the fate of the remaining Guantanamo inmates including five men accused of having a hand in the devastating attacks on New York and Washington, including alleged mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
"We should be able to lock them up and make sure that they don't see light of day. We can do that. We have done it before," Obama said, adding: "We've got people who engage in terrorist attacks who are in our prisons, maximum security prisons all across the country."
He also acknowledge, however, the issue of moving detainees from the prison to the US mainland had "generated a lot of political rhetoric" and said portions of the American public were "understandably... fearful."
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