5. Closing the Guantanamo Bay Prison…Finally
Years after his initial promise to close the Guantanamo Bay Prison, President Obama is expected to announce today the beginning of re-energized effort to close the controversial prison. This news comes in the wake of a hugely publicized hunger strike happening among the prisoners.
Not the best news on the whole America-doesn't-torture-people front.Click here to read more
6. Sending Many Guantanamo Detainees Home
The New York Times reports that President Obama is expected to discuss ways to limit the prison population at Guantanamo Bay, including sending some of the inmates home. Many of the prisoners there have been held for years without a trial and have not been found guilty. The New York Times writes,
Officials said they would make a fresh push to transfer detainees to home countries and lift the ban on sending some back to Yemen. The president plans to reappoint a high-level State Department official to oversee the effort to reduce the prison population.
7. Changing the CIA Forever
CIA Director John O. Brennan has become anxious as of late to return the CIA to an intelligence gathering organization rather than a branch of the armed forces. President Obama is expected to announce this re-statement of the CIA’s purpose this afternoon.
8.Being More Honest with the American Public
After years of criticism, the public is anxiously awaiting President Obama to declare his intentions to make the war on terror a more transparent process so as to allow more government and civilian oversight.
9. Ending the War on Terror As We Know It.
Obama will most likely declare today the start of a new era in the war on terror. With all of the reforms proposed in the speech, this may be a shift in counter-terror policy. The new approach is expected to me more refined, relying more in intelligence, pragmatism, and diplomacy, rather than the shoot first approach that characterized the counter-terror tactics of the last few years.
10. Ending the Never-Ending War
Over ten years into the war on terror, President Obama has had enough. A good portion of the speech today may be dedicated to imaging an America not caught up in the quagmire of a never-ending war on terror. The New York Times writes,
In his speech, Mr. Obama is expected to reject the notion of a perpetual war with terrorists, envisioning a day when Al Qaeda has been so incapacitated that wartime authority will end. However, because he is also institutionalizing procedures for drone strikes, it does not appear that he thinks that day has come. A Pentagon official suggested last week that the current conflict could continue for 10 to 20 years.