Former George W. Bush adviser: Defying Congress on Gitmo would be bad politics

The bipartisan passage of the National Defense Authorization Act is a roadblock to President Obama's pledge to close the Guantanamo Bay military prison, leaving him with few options but to sign an executive action that will shutter the facility.

Will he defy Congress?


According to John Bellinger III, the former legal adviser to the Department of State under President George W. Bush, Obama likely will not act unilaterally.

"Now that Congress has spoken on the eve of an election year, including many dozen Democrats saying that they agree with these restrictions, for the president to then ignore those would seem to be simply bad politics going into an election,” he says.

Bellinger also says that while Republicans in Congress have signaled they are prepared to work with the White House if it provides them with a plan to close the facility, he is not optimistic that will happen.