White House Counsel May Quit Over Gitmo Struggles

Craig taking heat as January closing deadline slips away
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2009 4:47 AM CDT
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, White House Counsel Greg Craig, center, and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs watch as President Obama speaks in the White House .   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
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(Newser) – The Obama administration's promise to close Guantanamo Bay within a year is in serious danger of being broken, and White House counsel Greg Craig may be leaving his post because of it, senior officials say. Craig ordered the January deadline after being advised not to by outgoing Bush administration officials and "the entire civil service," sources tell the Washington Post. He is no longer leading the team tasked with closing the detention center, which is quickly trying to regroup, officials say.

Craig acknowleged yesterday that his timetable may have been based on mistaken assumptions about "a broad consensus about the importance to our national security objectives to close Guantanamo." If Craig does quit, however, it may not have anything to do with Guantanamo, argues Marc Ambinder in Atlantic. The closure program can be counted as a major success even if it is behind schedule, but mismanagement of other national security issues may be pushing Craig out the door, Ambinder writes.
(Read more Greg Craig stories.)