>> President Obama hasn't given up yet on a vow to close the notorious prison at Guantanamo Bay. But in an exclusive, reporter Jeff Mason learning Obama won't use an executive order to get it done.>> Currently there's a law on the books that would prevent the transfer of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to a US based facility.
So an executive order would of had to have overridden that law. And the decision was made or at least the conclusion was made that for legal reasons as well as political reasons, that would not be viable.>> Guantanamo was created soon after the 9/11 attacks to hold and interrogate enemy combatants, playing a controversial role in the Bush administration's War On Terror amid cries of abuse and detention without trial.
Obama moved to shut it down in his second day in office. Over the years, releasing many detainees to other countries such as Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Leaving only 80 left from a peak of nearly 800.>> So the President's effort to close Guantanamo Bay has not gone well.
It's taken seven and a half years and they've gotten to this point and it is still open.>> Without executive action, getting the number to zero hinges on convincing Congress to house the rest in maximum security prisons in the United States, something Republicans have said they'll never do.
>> Some White House officials believe that the way that they will be able to talk lawmakers into that despite resistance up until now is to reduce the number of prisoners who are currently there. And then getting down to a very small number and hoping that perhaps Congress at that point will decide it's too expensive to leave this facility open.
>> But if Congress holds firm, Obama faces impending failure on one of his most high profile goals as President.