Obama urges Guantanamo closure this year, shift from 'permanent war footing'
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - President Barack Obama told Americans that 2014 should be the year to finally close the US prison at Guantanamo Bay as the United States winds down its military role in Afghanistan and shifts away from a "permanent war footing."
In his annual State of the Union address on Tuesday, Mr Obama renewed his old vow - dating back to the start of his presidency five years ago - to shut the internationally condemned jail at the US Naval Base in Cuba, and he called on Congress for further action to help him do so.
"This needs to be the year Congress lifts the remaining restrictions on detainee transfers and we close the prison at Guantanamo Bay," Mr Obama said.
"Because we counter terrorism not just through intelligence and military action, but by remaining true to our constitutional ideals and setting an example for the rest of the world."