Tuesday, November 11, 2008

No Torture, Obama

Via Andrew Sullivan, note this, especially the portion also highlighted by Sullivan:

As a candidate, Mr. Obama said the CIA's interrogation program should adhere to the same rules that apply to the military, which would prohibit the use of techniques such as waterboarding. He has also said the program should be investigated.

Yet he more recently voted for a White House-backed law to expand eavesdropping powers for the National Security Agency. Mr. Obama said he opposed providing legal immunity to telecommunications companies that aided warrantless surveillance, but ultimately voted for the bill, which included an immunity provision.

The new president could take a similar approach to revising the rules for CIA interrogations, said one current government official familiar with the transition. Upon review, Mr. Obama may decide he wants to keep the road open in certain cases for the CIA to use techniques not approved by the military, but with much greater oversight.

No. Let's hope this is a case of misrepresentation of Obama's views by the "current government official" or that it's an instance of the highly improbable side of the spectrum for a transition team "keeping all options open." If not, Obama's already wrong on one of the worst parts of recent US history. It would also be a sign either that he hasn't thought clearly about the issue of torture or that he's being advised by the wrong people.


John@NRCAT said...

Thank you for discussing this issue in your blog. I thought you might be interested in information about today’s National Day of Witness for a Presidential Executive Order to Ban Torture.

On Wed 11/12, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) is organizing a National Day of Witness involving more than 50 delegations visiting more than 60 congressional offices across the country to build support for an Executive Order that would dismantle the torture infrastructure established by the current administration. There will also be a solemn procession and public witness in front of The White House.

We are presenting a Declaration of Principles for such an Exec Order. Nearly 200 prominent faith leaders from Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh communities, as well top officials from every Administration since the 1970s, have joined together to endorse the Declaration of Principles.

For more information about the National Day of Witness and the Declaration of Principles, visit our website: www.tortureisamoralissue.org.

There will be a national press teleconference at 10:30am EST on Nov 12.

troutsky said...

Who might be the "pro-torture" advisors? If Obama does not have a solidified belief we would necessarily have to wonder about his credentials as an intellectual and a Christian.