Promising to return America to the "moral high ground" in the war on terrorism, President Obama issued three executive orders Thursday to demonstrate a clean break from the Bush administration, including one requiring that the Guantanamo Bay detention facility be closed within a year.
During a signing ceremony at the White House, Obama reaffirmed his inauguration pledge that the United States does not have "to continue with a false choice between our safety and our ideals."
The president said he was issuing the order to close the facility in order to "restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great even in the midst of war, even in dealing with terrorism."
A second executive order formally bans torture by requiring that the Army field manual be used as the guide for terrorism interrogations. That essentially ends the Bush administration's CIA program of enhanced interrogation methods.
"We believe that the Army field manual reflects the best judgment of our military, that we can abide by a rule that says we don't torture, but that we can still effectively obtain the intelligence that we need," Obama said. Watch Obama sign the orders Read full article »
CNN's Ed Henry, Barbara Starr and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.