6
   

Obama on Torture

 
 
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Thu 1 Oct, 2009 10:52 am
@FreeDuck,
FreeDuck wrote:
I'm going to ask again that you quote me.


I'll point out again that I have quoted you. I'm not misrepresenting your position at all. You have said you "forgive" Obama's lack of action. You said you were "defending the absence of action" on rendition.

And I am saying I find that wholly unacceptable, and to be tantamount to apologism for torture. It indicates that you just don't think that the torture is important enough to immediately address and this represents a level of acceptance of torture that I don't find acceptable.

Quote:
There is a huge difference between defending the practice and defending (admittedly erroneously, again) the absence of action to stop it.


I agree, but I find both completely unacceptable.

Quote:
Dial down the moral outrage for a second.


Why? I clearly don't feel the same about torture as you do. I find "defending the absence of action" to stop torture to be morally unacceptable. Why shouldn't I express moral outrage over something I find morally outrageous?
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Oct, 2009 11:26 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

And I am saying I find that wholly unacceptable, and to be tantamount to apologism for torture. It indicates that you just don't think that the torture is important enough to immediately address and this represents a level of acceptance of torture that I don't find acceptable.

Not only that, but I apparently think that addressing some torture is good, even if it doesn't stop all torture. Clearly I love torture as long as Obama does it. You've caught me.

With that out of the way, the reason I started this thread was to find out just how much is being done with respect to rendition -- to examine the original claim that he hasn't stopped it -- because I wasn't aware of the details. I have to agree with those that say he hasn't stopped it -- certainly not to the level of his campaign promises (as quoted in the NY Times article). The door is certainly still open for people to be sent to other countries to be tortured.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Oct, 2009 11:47 am
@FreeDuck,
FreeDuck wrote:
Clearly I love torture as long as Obama does it. You've caught me.


Could you provide a quote where I said this? Laughing

Funny, after all those requests for quotes insinuating that I'm misrepresenting you, when I'm merely passing judgment you don't agree with, this actually is a misrepresentation.

I know you don't "love torture", you are simply more forgiving of inaction about it than I can accept.

But yes, with that out of the way:

Quote:
Not only that, but I apparently think that addressing some torture is good, even if it doesn't stop all torture.


We may not also agree on what torture he stopped, if any. I have to go back to work, but I recall several people (who were involved in the interrogations) saying that certain programs stopped during the Bush administration.

I'm not sure what, other than make speeches, statements and promises, he's actually done about it. In short he might have only stopped what had already been stopped.

I'd argue that doing that may be more dangerous, it took the wind out of the anti-torture sails, and convinced a lot of people who follow politics relatively closely that he's taken care of it. Meanwhile not much at all has changed.

I appreciate the difference in public position on it, if nothing else, but it may just be a change back to doing it quietly and not trying to publicly argue for it like some in the Bush administration did.

If so, then all that really changed is the public posture.

Quote:
I have to agree with those that say he hasn't stopped it -- certainly not to the level of his campaign promises (as quoted in the NY Times article). The door is certainly still open for people to be sent to other countries to be tortured.


I'd go so far as saying he's being completely two-faced about it. The talk about trying to assure that they aren't tortured in foreign countries ignores that that is the main purpose of sending them there.
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Oct, 2009 03:25 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

FreeDuck wrote:
Clearly I love torture as long as Obama does it. You've caught me.


Could you provide a quote where I said this? Laughing

Funny, after all those requests for quotes insinuating that I'm misrepresenting you, when I'm merely passing judgment you don't agree with, this actually is a misrepresentation.

I know. It was my lame attempt at sarcastic humor. (For the record I believed you were misinterpreting, not misrepresenting me. I asked for the quote so I could understand where it was coming from since, as you say, I didn't agree with your judgment.)

Quote:
We may not also agree on what torture he stopped, if any. I have to go back to work, but I recall several people (who were involved in the interrogations) saying that certain programs stopped during the Bush administration.

I read something like that as well.

Quote:
I'm not sure what, other than make speeches, statements and promises, he's actually done about it. In short he might have only stopped what had already been stopped.

He ordered the CIA to use the Army Field Manual as a guide for interrogations -- something that I and others argued for. He ordered that all people detained by the US be treated according to the Geneva Conventions. That was in January which is also when he ordered a commission(? working group, something like that) to look into the whole interrogation thing and make recommendations. The report cited in the article is a summary of those recommendations. Everything I've read seems to be going under the assumption that he adopted these recommendations, but I haven't seen that explicitly stated.

So yeah, he may not have stopped any actual torture sessions, but he appears to be putting systems in place to prevent it from happening again.

Quote:
I'd argue that doing that may be more dangerous, it took the wind out of the anti-torture sails, and convinced a lot of people who follow politics relatively closely that he's taken care of it. Meanwhile not much at all has changed.

That's a fair point. Bush was very obvious about it so it was easy to oppose it. Much harder to oppose something that is more or less invisible.

Quote:
I'd go so far as saying he's being completely two-faced about it. The talk about trying to assure that they aren't tortured in foreign countries ignores that that is the main purpose of sending them there.

I'm not quite there but I hold open the possibility that you're right.
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Thu 1 Oct, 2009 07:22 pm
@FreeDuck,
FreeDuck wrote:
I know. It was my lame attempt at sarcastic humor. (For the record I believed you were misinterpreting, not misrepresenting me. I asked for the quote so I could understand where it was coming from since, as you say, I didn't agree with your judgment.)


I don't think there's misinterpretation either, just different values on torture. I get that you weren't aware that he'd explicitly promised to end rendition, I also get that you didn't know he'd then decided to sanction it, and I even get that you don't condone torture. But all that aside I just don't think there's room for any political compromise on torture. I have no understanding for delay in stopping it, and I was very surprised to see you advocate patience and forgiveness for it.

Simply put, I have a zero tolerance for torture, and had expected you to as well. I do think that compromise about it is a moral outrage, and am not sure if you agree or not but can't see how else you can forgive delay on such matters.

Failure to act immediately against torture is a significant moral failure in my opinion. And in that, at least, it seemed that you did not agree. If I misinterpreted that, then there was misunderstanding, if not then my position stands. I find any acceptance of failure to act against torture to be morally indefensible.

Quote:
He ordered the CIA to use the Army Field Manual as a guide for interrogations -- something that I and others argued for. He ordered that all people detained by the US be treated according to the Geneva Conventions. That was in January which is also when he ordered a commission(? working group, something like that) to look into the whole interrogation thing and make recommendations. The report cited in the article is a summary of those recommendations. Everything I've read seems to be going under the assumption that he adopted these recommendations, but I haven't seen that explicitly stated.

So yeah, he may not have stopped any actual torture sessions, but he appears to be putting systems in place to prevent it from happening again.


I have very mixed feelings about this. See, this is the old status quo, where torture went on when the CIA felt like it but nobody cared and everyone pretended that we were above torture.

So while I like his words on torture, and how he emphatically refutes it, I don't see how he can possibly reconcile that with sanctioning outsourced torture. I welcome that he's rolled back the public debate about whether it's acceptable, by saying it isn't, but if he's unwilling to punish those who tortured, and if he's willing to outsource it I have to wonder if he's advanced this cause or just made political hay out of it while continuing business as usual. Telling the CIA that they can't do it directly but that they can outsource it is really not much of a change from Bush.

The Bush administration was unique in that it actually publicly argued for torture, and Obama's a breath of fresh air when it comes to the rhetoric about it but I am not happy with just giving lip service to this issue. I want it to stop.

Quote:
I'm not quite there but I hold open the possibility that you're right.


I'm not completely there, in that I don't completely believe he accepts torture morally, but I think he's too afraid of loss of political capital through a terrorist attack that comes after him being seen as soft on terror. My main qualms about Obama are his moves to not be seen as a dove in case that happens.

So I don't actually think he accepts torture as a strategy, but I think he lacks the testicular fortitude to face up to the possible loss of face if he reins it in and we are attacked.

The rendition issue is completely duplicitous, there's no reason at all for Egypt and Syria to be interrogating anyone we capture except for the fact that they are willing to torture and don't worry about answering to their people about it. Portraying it as a matter of oversight is also duplicitous, there are Americans watching these torture sessions, feeding the questions and supervising the whole affair. Torture in rendition is no accident, it's the whole point of the rendition. Otherwise they could let the interrogation happen in Germany, or whatever friendly country they are captured in.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Oct, 2009 07:48 pm
I get the argument between FD and RG, or I think I do. I do see Fd's comments. Y'all know me, I'm the emotional anti bomb person, who fails in certitude in some circumstances that I'm not sure I've seen yet.

I see no excuse for torture - just a few weeks from reading Jacob Burckhardt on the era of Constantine and another book, about the Medici. Burckhardt recites torture after torture with no elaboration, it's all cold, amid other maneuvers of various forces. I see it as useless except as a political tool, besides being horrible. Making horrible perform for the political, I despise it, obviously.

I can see defending Obama on lateness, but I just don't. On the other hand, I get it, but I don't like it. I finally agree he is just another get along person, though I imagine the need to get along with a batch of strong cultures (the standing agencies and people in place) is strong.





ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Oct, 2009 07:53 pm
@ossobuco,
I do figure that it would be problematic to house worldwide suspects here in the US when we are busy housing low level drug dealers for many years. (No data on that, I figure that judgements vary across the US.)

Think of the prison industry to be built up in this recession.

0 Replies
 
revel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2009 05:09 am
Perhaps you all Joe Chicago and Robert Gental are right and Obama is still continuing on with the Bush policies of torture and he is doing so because he is afraid if we are attacked, it would be used against him. If so, I hope he changes him mind.

I am not sure why he kept the rendition program in place if not to be sent to torture; like you all said, there can't be any other reason other than to outsource torture. It is dismaying and disappointing if all that is true. I don't know why they would have an agency set up to oversee this program to ensure no one gets tortured if they are really going to just send people to be tortured anyway. To me that makes no sense either.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  2  
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2009 08:08 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

I don't think there's misinterpretation either, just different values on torture. I get that you weren't aware that he'd explicitly promised to end rendition, I also get that you didn't know he'd then decided to sanction it, and I even get that you don't condone torture. But all that aside I just don't think there's room for any political compromise on torture. I have no understanding for delay in stopping it, and I was very surprised to see you advocate patience and forgiveness for it.

Perhaps I chose the wrong point to use when in fact I was only trying to show how maporsche was refusing to acknowledge any progress at all on anything, and not trying to make a point about stopping torture at all. I was surprised to see you take that point as an indication of some deeper values. It seemed to me a wholly illogical extrapolation.

Quote:
Simply put, I have a zero tolerance for torture, and had expected you to as well. I do think that compromise about it is a moral outrage, and am not sure if you agree or not but can't see how else you can forgive delay on such matters.

I do agree but that conversation was a rather fact free toss of hypotheticals in which I'm not very comfortable. It wasn't clear to me what, in fact, Obama had done or not and what it was he was expected to do about rendition that he had not. For instance, I don't have information about whether actual rendition continued to occur while his task force was looking at it. Again, that's not a place that I'm comfortable arguing in and I probably should have avoided accepting other peoples' premises in order to make an obscure point.

Quote:
Failure to act immediately against torture is a significant moral failure in my opinion. And in that, at least, it seemed that you did not agree. If I misinterpreted that, then there was misunderstanding, if not then my position stands. I find any acceptance of failure to act against torture to be morally indefensible.

Well, I thought he had acted immediately against it and was making the assumption that if he had not ended rendition completely it was because it was something that is not easy to end. Perhaps that was an unreasonable assumption, but I hadn't thought it made me a torture apologist.

Quote:

I have very mixed feelings about this. See, this is the old status quo, where torture went on when the CIA felt like it but nobody cared and everyone pretended that we were above torture.

Not sure... when McCain was pushing legislation to "end torture" (and I don't remember if that passed) I remember arguing that it only applied to the military, which isn't where most of the torture was happening anyway. Making the standards the same for the CIA and the military seems to me to be a big deal. Is the question whether or not the CIA can then just disregard the Army Field Manual because there's no oversight?

Quote:
So while I like his words on torture, and how he emphatically refutes it, I don't see how he can possibly reconcile that with sanctioning outsourced torture. I welcome that he's rolled back the public debate about whether it's acceptable, by saying it isn't, but if he's unwilling to punish those who tortured, and if he's willing to outsource it I have to wonder if he's advanced this cause or just made political hay out of it while continuing business as usual. Telling the CIA that they can't do it directly but that they can outsource it is really not much of a change from Bush.

Completely agree about the unwillingness to punish those who tortured (except for the ones that the DOJ is planning to prosecute) and think it should go further to punish those who attempted to effectively legalize it with trumped up legal opinions. I understand the political reasons for it but I don't like it at all. I think he has to completely overturn any hint of precedent. I'm withholding judgment on the outsourcing bit only because I'm unsure of what is actually in practice. Not allowing people to be transferred to countries that have a history of torturing is a big first step. That Canadian that got sent to Syria? Presumably that couldn't happen again. But relying on diplomatic assurances in other cases... not so reassuring.

Quote:
The Bush administration was unique in that it actually publicly argued for torture, and Obama's a breath of fresh air when it comes to the rhetoric about it but I am not happy with just giving lip service to this issue. I want it to stop.

One of the reasons why I value Obama's words is that I thought that the public debate about whether torture was acceptable was extremely dangerous. Having the leader of the country imply that it's acceptable or even debatable to me leads the way to a very widespread practice of torture above and beyond any systematic practices put in place by those attempting to control it. It opens the door to the sadists inside all of us. Words do matter and I certainly hope the current practice is in line with Obama's words.

Quote:

I'm not completely there, in that I don't completely believe he accepts torture morally, but I think he's too afraid of loss of political capital through a terrorist attack that comes after him being seen as soft on terror. My main qualms about Obama are his moves to not be seen as a dove in case that happens.

I can see that. The press release where he announced that all "high value detainee" interrogations will now be done by a team within the justice department was immediately followed by a lot of tough talk designed to mitigate any claims that he's weak on terrorism. I believe I even heard the press secretary use the words "bad guys" -- a throwback to Bush days.

Quote:
The rendition issue is completely duplicitous, there's no reason at all for Egypt and Syria to be interrogating anyone we capture except for the fact that they are willing to torture and don't worry about answering to their people about it. Portraying it as a matter of oversight is also duplicitous, there are Americans watching these torture sessions, feeding the questions and supervising the whole affair. Torture in rendition is no accident, it's the whole point of the rendition. Otherwise they could let the interrogation happen in Germany, or whatever friendly country they are captured in.

I agree I just don't know if this is actually still what's going on. Not saying it doesn't or can't, just that I don't know.
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2009 08:19 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:

Then why are they being sent to other nations?

The task force says they were considering the following types of transfers:
Quote:
extradition, transfers pursuant to immigration proceedings, transfers pursuant to the Geneva Conventions, transfers from Guantanamo Bay, military transfers within or from Afghanistan, military transfers within or from Iraq, and transfers pursuant to intelligence authorities.


That last one is the one I'm most worried about.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2009 08:25 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

It's also worth noting that the Bush administration (specifically Condoleezza Rice) denied that it was used for torture as well, and said that we don't send the kidnapped individuals to countries to be tortured.

Not much different from the Obama administration there either.

I see a distinction, though. Saying that we don't send detainees to other countries to be tortured to me is just saying, hey, that's not why we sent them there and we can't help it if it happens. But saying that we don't send detainees to countries who we know torture is more restrictive. That's an easy thing to catch them doing. You sent someone to Syria or Egypt? You violated your pledge.
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2009 10:55 am
Evidence in Robert's favor:
Quote:
A reader writes:

As a trial attorney with the Department of Justice, I am familiar with the al-Rabiah case (however, to be clear, I am not a trial attorney who worked on the case). My opinions stated GITMOmarkwilsongetty herein, of course, are not the opinions of the Department. I write for myself and myself alone.

I had a long conversation regarding the al-Rabiah case with colleagues when the decision came down. Our expertise and experiences are varied, but we all work on matters ranging from criminal matters to civil habeas cases. We are litigators, and we know what makes a case, and when a case is weak.

The conclusion drawn by each of my colleagues " some of whom are liberal Democrats, some of whom are conservative, law-and-order Republicans " is, to a person, that the detention and interrogation programs the United States implemented in the months and years following 9/11 is not only a complete abrogation and violation of international law and, in many cases, federal law " it is also fundamentally immoral. We also agree that the al-Rabiah case is by far the most egregious yet to come to light. To repeat: yet to come to light. I can only guess that there are other, far worse cases.

That said, I am surprised you did not highlight what me and my colleagues agreed was the single most horrifying passage from the Court’s decision. It was the Court’s quotation of something an interrogator said to al-Rabiah during his interrogation. The interrogator told al-Rabiah:

“There is nothing against you. But there is no innocent person here. So, you should confess to something so you can be charged and sentenced and serve your sentence and then go back to your family and country, because you will not leave this place innocent.”

Court Memorandum and Order, p. 41 (emphasis mine).

This was an agent of the United States saying this.

This was not a statement pulled from the transcripts of the Nuremburg trials, nor archival evidence taken from reports smuggled out of one of Stalin’s gulags. This was a statement made by an agent of this government less than 7 years ago to a detainee. The enormity of that is nearly incomprehensible.

But even worse " far worse " is the fact that the government would nevertheless still seek to convict based on the resulting confession.

To those of us who read that passage and who vowed and make it our vocation to serve and protect the Constitution of the United States, that fact is a gut-punch. For me and my colleagues, it literally took our breath away. It makes one wonder how far down into the abyss we have allowed ourselves to drop. And whether there is the political will to find our way out.

If the lawyers all know it then Holder knows it. And if Holder knows it then the president knows it. If there was no just reason to pursue this case that leaves only one thing.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2009 02:30 pm
@FreeDuck,
FreeDuck wrote:
I do agree but that conversation was a rather fact free toss of hypotheticals in which I'm not very comfortable. It wasn't clear to me what, in fact, Obama had done or not and what it was he was expected to do about rendition that he had not.


Well then color me confused, I don't get how you can agree on having zero tolerance for torture, and defending delay in stopping it. Something is lost in translation along the way. The only thing I can think of is that you started the position without some of the very significant facts that caused my reaction and then were largely just defending against the reaction.

But let's see if we can clear that up: all the fact aside, can you really defend failure to stop torture for political reasons? I can't. I am with you on the Obama argument, I like the guy a lot and think the complaints about do-nothing Obama have a lot more to do with know-nothing positions but this isn't something I can defend even without knowing that he actually hasn't just failed to act but has sanctioned the continuance rendition.

Quote:
Well, I thought he had acted immediately against it and was making the assumption that if he had not ended rendition completely it was because it was something that is not easy to end. Perhaps that was an unreasonable assumption, but I hadn't thought it made me a torture apologist.


I wouldn't blame him if he took a moral stand on it, but had trouble getting the rank and file to come along with it. Undoing the rendition really will take time, there's tough questions like what you do with dangerous individuals that you've been illegally torturing. Those don't have easy answers.

But all that shouldn't excuse failure to take an immediate moral stand on the issue. That shouldn't take time, that doesn't need a political delay and that is what I find morally unacceptable in the situation.

Quote:
Making the standards the same for the CIA and the military seems to me to be a big deal. Is the question whether or not the CIA can then just disregard the Army Field Manual because there's no oversight?


What they were doing was already illegal, so yes that is a big concern for me. I can't tell if it's just lipservice or not, and without any real action to stop it (e.g. stop approving renditions, punish the folks who torture) it isn't very comforting to me.

Quote:
One of the reasons why I value Obama's words is that I thought that the public debate about whether torture was acceptable was extremely dangerous. Having the leader of the country imply that it's acceptable or even debatable to me leads the way to a very widespread practice of torture above and beyond any systematic practices put in place by those attempting to control it. It opens the door to the sadists inside all of us. Words do matter and I certainly hope the current practice is in line with Obama's words.


I agree with this, and this is the silver lining I see in his position. We've at least gone back to the public moral rejection of torture. That is helpful in some ways. It might do things like help prevent Abu Ghraib scenarios where a culture of prisoner mistreatment is being rolled back.

But it would be very disappointing to me to see this stop at the PR level and not actually do away with torture. If he thinks that torture is necessary in some cases, I actually want that back out in the open in the public debate.

Quote:
I agree I just don't know if this is actually still what's going on. Not saying it doesn't or can't, just that I don't know.


And that's the downside to me of it no longer being a public debate. We will probably never know.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2009 02:33 pm
@FreeDuck,
FreeDuck wrote:
I see a distinction, though. Saying that we don't send detainees to other countries to be tortured to me is just saying, hey, that's not why we sent them there and we can't help it if it happens. But saying that we don't send detainees to countries who we know torture is more restrictive. That's an easy thing to catch them doing. You sent someone to Syria or Egypt? You violated your pledge.


Ok, I see that. But I think the plausible deniability thing is still almost as easy. They just don't "know" that Syria or Egypt currently tortures. If they get caught torturing, then now they know but they didn't back then of course.
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2009 06:16 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

Well then color me confused, I don't get how you can agree on having zero tolerance for torture, and defending delay in stopping it. Something is lost in translation along the way. The only thing I can think of is that you started the position without some of the very significant facts that caused my reaction and then were largely just defending against the reaction.

Err, yeah, that sounds about right.

Quote:
But let's see if we can clear that up: all the fact aside, can you really defend failure to stop torture for political reasons?

No, absolutely not. Even my one-off about CIA blowback was more about holding the government together than about political pressure.

Quote:

I wouldn't blame him if he took a moral stand on it, but had trouble getting the rank and file to come along with it. Undoing the rendition really will take time, there's tough questions like what you do with dangerous individuals that you've been illegally torturing. Those don't have easy answers.

No, no easy answers there. Unfortunately, so far the answer seems to be to try to convict them on confessions obtained through torture (see the case above). Fortunately our judiciary has the last say on that one. But yeah, that's the kind of thing I would expect to take time. And at the risk of opening this door again, it's why I would (not knowing the facts) have been able to cut him slack for not ending it.

Quote:
But all that shouldn't excuse failure to take an immediate moral stand on the issue. That shouldn't take time, that doesn't need a political delay and that is what I find morally unacceptable in the situation.

But other than words, how do you go about taking this immediate moral stand? Anything more official sort of needs to have answers to those questions worked out already.

Quote:

What they were doing was already illegal, so yes that is a big concern for me. I can't tell if it's just lipservice or not, and without any real action to stop it (e.g. stop approving renditions, punish the folks who torture) it isn't very comforting to me.

Yeah, but the justice department was giving them assurances that it was. Any idiot who sat through 10th grade civics should have known better, but it was cover nonetheless. If the cover is gone I don't see them sticking their necks out.
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2009 06:41 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

FreeDuck wrote:
I see a distinction, though. Saying that we don't send detainees to other countries to be tortured to me is just saying, hey, that's not why we sent them there and we can't help it if it happens. But saying that we don't send detainees to countries who we know torture is more restrictive. That's an easy thing to catch them doing. You sent someone to Syria or Egypt? You violated your pledge.


Ok, I see that. But I think the plausible deniability thing is still almost as easy. They just don't "know" that Syria or Egypt currently tortures. If they get caught torturing, then now they know but they didn't back then of course.

Yeah, I think the proof will be in the list. Hopefully there will be a list. Otherwise, yeah, the door is wide open.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2009 11:27 pm
@FreeDuck,
FreeDuck wrote:
But other than words, how do you go about taking this immediate moral stand? Anything more official sort of needs to have answers to those questions worked out already.


Well, that he's decided to continue rendition tells me he failed to take that moral stand all the way. And I don't think he needs the answers to those questions to take the moral stand. Especially not a forward-going moral stand.

For example, instead of agreeing to future renditions, he could instruct the CIA not to continue doing so. Most of the tough questions revolve around what to do with the folks you've already tortured, not what to do to avoid torturing them in the future.

I have a lot more understanding of his difficulty in unraveling things like Gitmo than what I believe to be his refusal to argue down the CIA on rendition.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » Obama on Torture
  3. » Page 2
Copyright © 2024 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 05/20/2024 at 08:53:23