May 21, 2009
Posted: 1814 GMT
Protecting the United States from attack was the topic of two wildly differing speeches today.
On the one hand, President Barack Obama, in the National Archives (a building which houses the U.S. Constitution) addressed the nation to talk about Guantanamo Bay and nationals ecurity.
Yesterday, the U.S. Congress denied the President funding to close Gitmo. Lawmakers said they needed to see concrete plans for what the President would do with the detainees before anything else could happen.
Barack Obama vowed to move ahead with the closure and said he would work with Congress to find solutions for all 240 remaining inmates. Some would go through civilian courts in the U.S. Others might be indefinitely detained in supermax prisons. A few might be resettled elsewhere.
For Mister Obama, whatever happens to the prisonners, the process must "enlist the power of our most fundemental values." The president wants the world to know this is a Bush-created mess and that he will not flout fundemental American values for the sake of expediency.
Just as the President finished his speech, former Vice President Dick Cheney was waiting for his cue to take to another podium, at the American Enterprise Institute in Washginton D.C..
Within seconds of the President, Mister Cheney defended Bush-era interrogations techniques and asked again for the release of memos he says would justify the use of what some call totture. The information obtained from practices such as waterboarding, said Cheney, prevented attacks.
For a man who barely said a word in public for eight years, the former Vice-President doesn't seem to be able to stop talking these days.
Also at the IDesk today, that alleged plot to bomb synagogues by suspected "homegrown terrorists" with no connection to international terrorist networks. We'll have a report from New York on the latest.
We'll also talk to Bill Scheider about the latest CNN/Opinion Research poll on how Americans feel about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The results are surprising in some cases. Not as many people as I thought agree with President Obama's strategy of increasing troop numbers in Afghanistan. We'll have the latest results.
Plus, we'll tell what countries have the highest life expectancy for women and men, according to the World Health Organization. There are a few surprises in there as well.
And the rest of the day's top news stories as always!
See you on TV,
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