Obama: Gitmo Made Us Less Safe

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2009 10:40 AM CDT
President Barack Obama delivers an address on national security, terrorism, and the closing of Guantanamo Bay prison today at the National Archives in Washington.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Standing in front of the Constitution, President Obama today delivered a watershed speech on terrorism, arguing that President Bush’s approach to war was, “quite simply, a mess.” He outlined his plan to clean up, saying he’ll try Guantanamo detainees in both federal court and military commissions and reiterating his intention to close the prison camp, MSNBC reports. Detainees who can’t be tried will be held indefinitely, within a “legitimate legal framework.”

He also rebuked Congress for resisting his efforts: “I am not the only person in this city who swore an oath to protect the Constitution.” He also addressed the controversy around the torture photos. “Nothing’s been concealed,” he said. The abuses are well known, he argued, and releasing the photos could only serve to hurt America’s image and endanger troops.