Obama’s toughest sell on Guantanamo: Senate Democrats

By Donna Cassata
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Barack Obama, over Detainee behind fence at Camp 4, Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base, Cuba. (AP Photo)

Barack Obama, over Detainee behind fence at Camp 4, Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base, Cuba. (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama’s hardest sell in closing the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, may be fellow Democrats.

Moderate Senate Democrats facing tough re-election bids in the strongly GOP South have voted before to keep the facility open. They indicate they will do the same again this year.

Obama is stepping up pressure to close the naval facility, driven in part by his revised counterterrorism strategy.

Civil liberties groups have criticized him for failing to fulfill his 2008 campaign promise to close Guantanamo and find another home for its 166 terror suspects.

Republicans and some Democrats have resisted Obama’s attempts to close the facility, arguing the prisoners are too dangerous to be held on U.S. soil.

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