Obama Officials at Odds Over Releasing Detainees in U.S.

As the federal government tries to find new homes for Guantanamo Bay detainees, conflicting statements from the Obama administration suggest there's an internal disagreement over whether to bring some of them to the U.S.

Meanwhile, a Yemeni detainee at the Guantanamo facility died of an apparent suicide, U.S. military officials said Tuesday. If confirmed, it would be the fifth detainee suicide at the prison.

President Obama plans to close by January, but a new Gallup poll released Tuesday shows overwhelming public sentiment against closing Guantanamo Bay -- 65 percent oppose shutting the facility while 32 percent favor closing it.

The facility has been a lightning rod for criticism in the past over treatment of the detainees there, and critics cite the latest suicide as evidence that the prison needs to be closed as soon as possible.

"This kind of desperation is caused by the uncertainty of not knowing whether one will ever be released or even charged," said Ben Wizner, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney.

Obama has pledged to close the prison but maintain its controversial military tribunal system to try at least some Guantanamo detainees. Eleven detainees are facing charges, including five men accused of organizing the Sept. 11 attacks.

But Obama's plan to close the facility has hit a snag: the Democratic-controlled Congress last month voted to deny the administration $80 million it was seeking to fund the closure until a concrete proposal on closing the facility is submitted, and a measure introduced in Congress would prohibit the transfer of detainees to the U.S.

Of the 240 detainees remaining at the prison, 17 are Uighurs, Turkish Muslims from Western China, who have been cleared for release.

Attorney General Eric Holder and National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair have said it's possible they would be released in the U.S., but Solicitor General Elena Kagan strongly disagrees.

Kagan filed a brief with the Supreme Court on Friday arguing that the Uighurs have no right to come to the U.S. "outside the framework of immigration laws."

Those laws prohibit entry into the U.S. by anyone associated with a terrorist group on the State Department watch list, and that would include the Al Qaeda-trained Uighurs.

Kagan supports an appeals court ruling that overturned a federal court's decision to order the Uighurs released in Washington.

The Weekly Standard found another sticking point: the 2005 Real ID Act, which then-Sen. Obama supported, expressly bans any foreigner from entering U.S. who "has engaged in a terrorist activity, endorses or espouses terrorist activity or has received military-type training from a terrorist organization."

The White House had little to say about the administration's stance on the Uighurs.

"We continue that progress and continue to try to make progress on that issue, but I don't have anything specific on that," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

FOX News' Catherine Herridge and The Associated Press contributed to this report.