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Obama spells out policy plan

Broadcast: 17/11/2008


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: The US President-elect Barack Obama has given a glimpse of the priorities
that will shape his first months in office.

He's pledged to move quickly to legislate for a new economic stimulus package, pull troops out of
Iraq and shut down Guantanamo Bay.

Here is a report from Conor Duffy.

BARACK OBAMA, US PRESIDENT-ELECT: A man touched down on the moon. A wall came down in Berlin.

CONOR DUFFY, REPORTER: It's two weeks since the US celebrated a famous election victory, but the
party is definitely over and Barack

Obama is now working out how to tackle what he says are the enormous problems confronting the

In his first interview, Barack Obama has told CBS his top priority will be breathing life into a
stalled economy and that he'll act immediately.

BARACK OBAMA: We have to do whatever it takes to get this economy moving again. We're going to have
to spend money now to stimulate the economy and that we shouldn't worry about the deficit next year
or even the year after.

CONOR DUFFY: He says his first legislative goal will be a major economic stimulus package aimed at
restoring consumer confidence and re-regulating the financial industry.

Barack Obama says another top priority is to stamp out Al Qaeda once and for all, though he's
pledging to take a more humane approach to the war on terror. The President elect says he'll use
his executive powers to shut down Guantanamo Bay and outlaw harsh interrogations.

BARACK OBAMA: I've said repeatedly that America doesn't torture. And I'm going to make sure that we
don't torture. Those are part and parcel of an effort to regain America's moral stature in the

CONOR DUFFY: The closing of Guantanamo Bay will be welcomed by many, but it may create a major
headache for the incoming administration, as it will have to find a new way of dealing with alleged
terrorist masterminds like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Hambali.

US media say sources close to the Obama team are considering trying some of them in the Federal
Court, some in a special national security court when intelligence is an issue and releasing

Mr Obama wouldn't comment on speculation that Hillary Clinton would be his new Secretary of State,
though he says he will announce his cabinet soon and that it'll include Republicans.

The President elect also wants to begin working on a plan for the 150,000 US troops still in Iraq.
And Barack Obama says he'll also move quickly to begin transferring troops to Afghanistan.

BARACK OBAMA: As soon as I take office, I will call in the Joint Chiefs of Staff, my national
security apparatus and we will start executing a plan that draws down our troops.

CONOR DUFFY: The President elect's comments on a speedy withdrawal from Iraq came as the Iraqi
Cabinet voted to allow US forces to remain in Iraq until the end of 2011.

The deal will be voted on by the Iraqi Parliament in the next week.

Conor Duffy, Lateline.