State Department Closing Its Guantanamo-Closing Office

By Matthew Waxman
Monday, January 28, 2013, 6:09 PM

The New York Times has this story by Charlie Savage, amusingly titled "State Dept. Closes Office Working on Shutting Guantánamo Prison."  My colleagues and I will likely have something to say on what this means (Savage writes that it "appeared to signal that the administration does not currently see the closing of the Guantánamo Bay prison as a realistic priority, despite repeated statements that it still intends to do so."  I agree, though this has been evident for a long time).

The story notes that the special envoy who had headed that office, Ambassador Daniel Fried, will now become the State Department’s coordinator for sanctions policy, with emphasis on Iran and Syria.   Fried is a very skilled and experienced diplomat, both externally and inside Washington, and I hope to find time soon to write on that organizational transition, too.