Oath re-do, Gitmo dominate first White House press briefing
David Edwards and Ron Brynaert
Published: Thursday January 22, 2009

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White House Press Secretary Robert Gibb's first questions at the first Obama Administration White House press briefing were about Obama's moves to shut down Guantanamo and surrounding the redoing of his oath after Chief Justice Roberts flubbed it.

One reporter complained about the fact that there was no live video of the do-over: "Why didn't you show the world this?"

"We think we did it in a way that was upfront and transparent," Gibbs said about the oath.

After the oath, Gibbs was asked to go back to the Guantanamo decision and was pressed over and over again by CNN's Ed Henry to explain how it can be said that the executive order to close Guantanamo "makes America safer when we don't have a plan yet" on where to hold the detainees.

(Earlier, according to a McClatchy Newspapers blog, the Obama administration held a briefing for the press to provide background for today's Guantanamo act "with the condition that no one identify who was talking." A White House aide explained, according to McClatchy, that the condition was needed "because of the technical nature, in order to let them speak freely.")

About twenty minutes into the Gibbs briefing, Gibbs fielded a question from longtime White House correspondent Helen Thomas (who "rocks the fur lined collar coat," according to Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza's live twitter updates). Thomas asked point blank if Obama was "opposed to torture."

Gibbs unequivocally responded "Yes."

Thomas also asked a question regarding allegations surrounding torture in other overseas US prisons.

This video is from CNN.com, broadcast Jan. 22, 2009.

Download video via RawReplay.com