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Military and civilian lawyers for prisoners at the Guantanamo naval base urged U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to improve conditions for detainees, putting more pressure on the Obama administration to make good its promise to close the camp.

The plea from 18 lawyers representing “high-value” prisoners came before a speech by President Barack Obama on Thursday when he will address counterterrorism measures such as drone strikes and closing Guantanamo.

Obama is struggling to emerge from a series of domestic scandals that critics say show his administration is secretive and bullies the media and political opponents.

Thursday’s speech at the National Defense University in Washington is meant as an effort to show he is eager to protect civil liberties.

Read more at Reuters

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