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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Obama's War

Obama’s War on Terror May Resemble Bush’s in Some Areas

“Civil liberties groups praise Mr. Obama’s early executive orders on national security, but say other signs are discouraging.”

I have to concur. I was excited about the closing of Guantanamo, statement that waterboarding is torture, the administration is against torture (I know Bush said the same, but Obama seems to have policy to support that, rather than blatantly contradict it to some extent). However, the news about the loophole in the anti-torture policy, extraordinary renditions and state secrets policy were very disappointing.

Obama should take this opportunity to set things right. Stop using this “War on Terror” phrase. It is ridiculous to keep POWs for the duration of so-called wartime in this so-called war. It’s indefinite, unfocused, unending, and unwinnable. Like the War on Drugs. Did we win that one?

We should go back to the pre-Bush use of the state secrets policy (item by item rather than dismiss the whole thing based on one or two things) and extraordinary rendition (send the person back to their home country for legal proceedings rather than sending him to a 3rd party country to be held in detention indefinitely and probably tortured). Oh, I guess it’s not torture, it’s enhanced interrogation. Republicans (in my experience) are usually all about bashing PC language, but I guess Bush made it cool again with enhanced interrogation and illegal combatants, etc. Obama needs to draw a line in the sand and make a clear break with Bush’s more questionable policies and language. I'll cut him some slack on the posting a bill online for 48 hours (I heard an angry Republican blasting Obama for that on the radio the other day), but there's no excuse for continuing Bush's abuses of power, civil liberties, human rights and the like.

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