Obama: Gitmo 'Needs To Be Closed' "Well, it is not a surprise to me that we've got problems in Guantanamo. Which is why, when I was campaigning in 2007 and 2008, when I was elected in 2008 I said we need to close Guantanamo. I continue to believe we've got to close Guantanamo. I think it is critical for us to understand that Guantanamo is not necessary to keep America safe, it is expensive, it is inefficient. It hurts us in terms of our international standing. It lessens cooperation with our allies on counter-terrorism efforts. It is a recruitment tool for extremists. It needs to be closed."