To read about F's and my London trip, start here and click "newer post" to continue the story.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I am confused.

Obama Reverses Key Bush Security Policies

WASHINGTON — President Obama reversed the most disputed counterterrorism policies of the Bush administration on Thursday, declaring that “our ideals give us the strength and moral high ground” in the fight against Al Qaeda. But Mr. Obama postponed for months decisions on complex questions the United States has been grappling with since the terrorist attacks of 2001.

Mr. Obama signed executive orders closing the detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, within a year; ending the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret prisons; and requiring all interrogations to follow the noncoercive methods of the Army Field Manual.

Okay. Guantánamo is to be closed ... eventually. It's my understanding that there's no real plan yet for where some of the people will be put. They may just end up in a different prison elsewhere.


In offering a warning that was also sounded by other Republicans, Mr. Hoekstra noted that in briefings for Congress, administration officials “could not answer questions as to what they will do with any new jihadists or enemy combatants that we capture.”

Could not answer questions. Well, they can be (1) taken to Gitmo, (2) taken to another prison somewhere (whoopee), (3) turned loose immediately (really whoopee), or (4) shot immediately.

Then later in the article:

The immediate practical impact of the orders was limited, in part because the most aggressive Bush policies were scaled back long ago. Military interrogators have been required by law to abide by the Army Field Manual since 2005, and since 2003 the C.I.A. has not used waterboarding, the near-drowning technique described as torture by Mr. Obama’s choice as attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr. Only a handful of prisoners have passed through the C.I.A.’s secret overseas detention program since 2005.

So Gitmo won't be closed immediately, and there's no substantive plan for it to close; the army field manual must continue to be used for interrogations, as it has since 2005; the CIA has not waterboarded since 2003 (so why am I still reading about it as though it were a current practice?); and according to the NYT "only a handful" of prisoners have passed through the CIA's secret prisons ("passed through" not being equivalent to "left to rot").

Is that it?


Deb said...

Much ado about nothing, much like Obama himself.

Great blog, by the way.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Thanks, Deb.

Unfortunately, it looks like Obama really did lift the ban on federal funding for abortion-as-birth-control. Wish that had been some more look-good do-nothing stuff but it wasn't.
: (

Deb said...

WE have more of this to look forward to. We can only hope that his arrogance backfires on him at some point.