Obama's Speech: A Preview

In his speech, President Obama decries what he'll call an "ad hoc" legal approach to terrorism taken by the last administration, one that was "neither effective nor sustainable - a framework that failed to trust in our institutions, and that failed to use our values as a compass."

He promises to honor his commitment to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, a place that "rather than keep us safer," has "weakened American national security." Obama will caution that he does not have "the luxury of starting from scratch" -- cleaning up something that is "a mess that has left in its wake a flood of legal challenges that we are forced to deal with on a constant basis and that consume the time of government officials whose time would be better spent protecting the country."  Obama will outline a tripartite process for disposing of the remaining 240 prisoners at Gitmo:

*        when feasible, try those who have violated American criminal laws in federal courts.

*        when necessary, try those who violate the rules of war through Military Commission

*        when possible, transfer to third countries those detainees who can be safely transferred.

Obama will discuss the 24 detainees have been ordered released by the U.S. courts.  He'll note that the  court orders don't have anything to do  with the decision to close with Guantanamo. "It has to do with the rule of law. The United States is a nation of laws, and we must abide by those laws."
According to administration official, Obama  will discuss the ways he'll reform the state secrets privilege, which recognizing that there are legitimate uses of that privilege and promising to protect critical national security information.