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State Dept. Shuts Office in Charge of Closing Gitmo

Daniel Fried gets moved to sanctions-policy issues
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2013 5:43 PM CST
Officials 'Reassign' Guy in Charge of Closing Gitmo
Daniel Fried, US State Department's top official for European relations as well as US President Barack Obama's special envoy to oversee the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, speaks to the media during his press conference at Hungary's American Embassy in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, June...   (AP Photos/MTI, Lajos Soos)

(Newser) – The State Department all but raised the white flag on closing Gitmo today, quietly reassigning the special envoy in charge of shutting down the notorious prison, the New York Times reports. The office of Daniel Fried is being closed, with no one to replace him, as his work is "assumed" by a legal-advisory office inside the department, according to an internal memo. Yet President Obama's administration still says it plans to shut down Guantanamo Bay.

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Meanwhile Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Gitmo prisoners facing the death penalty over 9/11 appeared in a military tribunal today. Mohammed and another defendant delayed proceedings by an hour when they refused to answer questions about a request to replace one of their military lawyers; the judge eventually did it anyway, the AP reports. Click for the full Times story, which recounts Obama's failure to close Gitmo and his agreement to stop repatriating its detainees. (Read more Khalid Sheikh Mohammed stories.)

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