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Obama signs order to shut down Guantanamo

January 22, 2009 by  

Guantanamo will be closed within a yearPresident Barack Obama signed three executive orders on Thursday relating to the war on terror, showing a definitive break from the policies of the past administration.

One order requires the Guantanamo Bay detention facility to be shut down within a year, which Obama said would "restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great."

A second order states that terror interrogations must follow rules set out by the Army field manual, which ban physical abuse, coercion and waterboarding. However, the Associated Press reports the administration is considering adding some more aggressive tactics to the manual in the future.

Commenting on the decision to put an end to the use of harsher interrogation methods, Obama said that observing "core standards of conduct" during challenging times is an idea that dates back to the founding fathers.

Another order creates a task force for reviewing detention policies and procedures and reviewing individual cases. This will help determine where future detainees will be held.

The decision to close Guantanamo immediately generated controversy among some Washington lawmakers. Michigan representative Peter Hoekstra, a Republican, suggested the move could be "unnecessarily risking the safety of our nation," CNN reports.
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