A renewed push by the White House to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has been bogged down by an internal disagreement over its most controversial provision: where to house detainees who will be brought to the U.S. States for trial or indefinite detention, reports the Washington Post. The administration had considered sending some of the 116 detainees remaining at the prison to either a top-security prison in Illinois or a naval facility in Charleston, S.C. Scott Ferber, senior counsel to the deputy attorney general, said the Justice Department could not support the use of the federal prison in Thomson, Il. The 1,600-cell prison currently only holds 79 inmates. There are 116 prisoners remaining at Guantanamo.
The dispute is another sign of the many difficulties plaguing the White House's attempt to make good on Obama's promise to close the military detention facility before he leaves office in 2017. Another site officials have been discussing is the Consolidated Naval Brig in Charleston, S.C. where terrorism suspects have been held in the past. That location faces senatorial objections. “I would not support moving Guantanamo Bay detainees to Charleston, S.C.,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). “If the detainees need to be moved, they must be moved to a maximum security location in a remote area far from heavily populated areas with vital infrastructure. Charleston does not meet that criteria.”