Jan. 22, 2009
"We are not ... going to continue with a false choice between our safety and our ideals. We think that it is precisely our ideals that give us the strength and the moral high ground to be able to effectively deal with the unthinking violence that we see emanating from terrorist organizations around the world."
President Obama, signing an Executive Order to shutter the Guantánamo Bay detention facility within a year
The President begins undoing the policies of his predecessor on Day Three by issuing a trio of Executive Orders dealing with torture including one calling for the closure of Gitmo by 2010 and another banning torture and other harsh interrogation techniques like waterboarding.
The day itself is dominated by foreign policy news from the Administration. Newly confirmed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives for her first day of work at the State Department, where Obama attends a ceremony appointing former Senator George Mitchell as his Middle East envoy and Ambassador Richard Holbrooke as his Afghanistan and Pakistan envoy. Obama uses the event to call for the opening of Gaza's border crossings and extend U.S. support for an international donors' conference to bring much-needed humanitarian aid and reconstruction to the Gaza Strip.