The Bush administration is nearing a decision to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba and move terror suspects from there to military prisons on US soil, it emerged last night.
President George Bush’s top national security and legal advisers are expected to discuss the move at the White House tomorrow.
It appears a consensus is developing for the first time among Bush’s inner circle, three senior administration officials said today.
They will consider a new proposal to shut the centre and transfer detainees to one or more US Defence Department facilities, including the maximum security military prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, where they could face trial, said the officials.
Officials familiar with the agenda of tomorrow’s meeting said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defence Secretary Robert Gates, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff, National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Peter Pace and Vice President Dick Cheney are likely to attend.
It was not immediately clear whether the meeting will result in a final recommendation on Guantanamo to Bush.