WASHINGTON – There is no "imminent" decision coming from President Bush on whether to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the president told FOX News on Thursday.
Bush said his administration continues to consider the ramifications of last month's Supreme Court decision in Boumediene v. Bush, in which the court ruled Guantanamo detainees have the right to appeal their detention in federal civilian courts.
"We're analyzing the decision and how to move forward, and there's no decision that is imminent on Guantanamo. But nevertheless, we have an obligation to live under the law, so we are fully analyzing the impact of the law. ... We'll get it done as quickly as possible." Bush said.
Bush's comments followed reports Thursday that Bush might make an announcement regarding the prison -- where nearly 300 terror suspects are being held -- before heading to Japan next week for the Group of Eight meeting.
The White House press secretary and other administration officials also sought to lay those rumors to rest Thurdsay.
In the interview with FOX News, Bush repeated ealier statements, saying he is "very disappointed by the decision by the Supreme Court. ... The reason I'm disappointed is because the court at one poine said the executive branch and the legislative branch must work together to develop a way forward so that those being held in Guantanamo will have access to the judicial system, which we agreed."
But that law, worked out between the WHite House and Capitol Hill, was struck down.
He added: "This is a far-reaching decision where people taken off the battlefield, foreign fighters are now given the same rights as American citizens, which is an extraordinary decision."
The president, defense secretary and others are deciding how to handle the detainees at Guantanamo in the wake of Boumediene.
During a previous G-8 summit, the president was asked in a press conference about closing Guantanamo and he said he would like to do so.
He has the opportunity to say the same again during this trip, but no decision has been made at the principal levels about what the solution is — in essence, as a Pentagon source put it, "because there are no good solutions."
In an apparent effort to show the level of concern over Guantanamo detainees, the White House released a fact sheet on former Guantanamo detainees who were released and then turned back to terror activities.
So far, according to the Defense Intelligence Agency fact sheet, 37 former detainees have either been confirmed are are suspected of returning to terrorism, about 7 percent of those transferred from U.S. custody. The most recent was Abdallah Salih al-Ajmi, who performed a suicide bomb attack in Mosul, Iraq, in April.
The Defense Department is trying to return approximately 70 of the 270 or so detainees still at the Cuban island prison to their home countries as soon as possible. Those prisoners have been cleared to leave due to lack of evidence and intelligence value, but their home countries won't accept them or the Pentagon can't be assured they won't be killed by their home countries.
White House Press Secretary Dana Perino sought to put a lid on any rumors that the prison was closing any time soon. She said rumors that the camp would close on Saturday are not true.
Perino added that the the president is concerned the court's decision could mean that alleged enemy combatants might be released in the United States, should they successfully argue that they are being held without enough evidence.
Whether Congress needs to act before the president leaves office, Perino wouldn't say.
"I'm not going to put a timetable on it," she said.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman similarly said no decisions were coming immediately.
"As you know, the president would like to see Gitmo closed. It is also accurate that people are meeting to discuss how to comply with Boumediene, as the President said we would. ... I'm not anticipating any announcements or decisions today."
FOX News' Mike Emanuel, Jennifer Griffin, Justin Fishel and Wendell Goler contributed to this report.