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Cuba The Guantanamo Bay prison will not close before Bush leaves
Gates, who has advocated closing the controversial prison at a U.S. naval base in Cuba since taking over at the Pentagon in late 2006, called Guantanamo "a real liability for the United States."

In comments to news agency reporters at the Pentagon, Gates said the Bush administration had concluded that closing Guantanamo would require legislation but there was little chance of getting it passed in a heated

political climate with the presidential and congressional election on November 4.

"This is an issue that'll have to be addressed early on by a new administration," Gates said.

The prison, and the justice system for its detainees, has been widely condemned by human rights groups and governments around the world, including close allies of the United States, who say it does not meet

international legal standards.

Asked to state whether the prison would be closed before the Bush administration leaves office on January 20, Gates replied: "No, regretfully."

Both candidates seeking to replace Bush in the presidential election -- Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama -- have pledged to close the detention center.

Gates said that would require legislation, for example to ensure that no Guantanamo detainees would have the right to emigrate to the United States.  


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