Obama: I Will End Torture

Here is Obama on 60 minutes giving the unequivocal answer we wanted to hear:

A response to this has been 'Bush said we do not torture.' My reply - Barack Obama is not George Bush. I could not ask for a better answer.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    I concur (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by NMvoiceofreason on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 09:36:41 AM EST

    Obama's torture answer was legalistic parsing... (none / 0) (#11)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 03:01:40 PM EST
    Obama didn't say he would "end" or "stop" torture. If he had used those words he would have clearly conceded that, under the Bush Administration, America does torture detainees.

    Instead Obama said: "America doesn't torture. And I'm gonna make sure that we don't torture".

    This verbal slight of hand entirely fails to address the past and present torture policies of the Bush/Cheney cadre.

    And it gives Obama plenty of wiggle room as to the "enhanced interrogation" techniques he would allow during his administration.


    Hardly (none / 0) (#12)
    by squeaky on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 03:47:01 PM EST
    The statement was made in the context of Obama's desire regaining America's moral stature in the world.

    Legal parsing will do nothing. The eyes of Americans and the world are watching. Obama has not minced words, imo.

    But we will see. I am encouraged and optimistic. That does not mean that I trust the guy.  


    obvious loopholes "legalistically" (5.00 / 0) (#3)
    by Salo on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 09:49:50 AM EST
    ...in that statement?

    One thing that I liked about the Obama formulation is that he said he'd end it.

    He openly admits the US is torturing people. A good start to fixing the problem.

    Bush simply stated that "we don't do torture..." which suggested that it was being done by third party groups like Morrocco or Syria or France perhaps.

    It's interesting... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Salo on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 09:51:36 AM EST
    ...because it does seem definitive.

    [we are torturing people], and I will end the practice.

    a fair interpretation?


    That's my interpretation (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 09:54:29 AM EST
    Agreed, about the legal loopholes ... (none / 0) (#13)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 03:51:16 PM EST
    But, in the context of the 60 Minutes interview Obama didn't:
    openly admit the US is torturing people.

    Obama said: "America doesn't torture". If a co-worker said that to me, I would take the statement at its disingenuous face value and say: you're right, insofar as America is in the habit of outsourcing torture.

    Your comment make this point in reference to Bush:

    Bush simply stated that "we don't do torture..." which suggested that it was being done by third party groups like Morrocco or Syria or France perhaps.

    Obama's parsing allows the Bush Administration to keep that legal loophole intact.


    Transition Team Members Do Not Look Promising (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Pedalman on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 11:06:49 AM EST
    The headline over at Democracy Now! does not look good for this topic.  "Ex-CIA Officials Tied to Rendition Program & Faulty Iraq Intel Tapped to Head Intelligence Team".

    I am trying to temper my concern by remembering the interview I just read with William Ayers and Bernadince Dorhn, but this headline worries me.

    Personally, I'd have preferred (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 12:49:12 PM EST
    a more clear answer, re: waterboarding.

    The only way... (none / 0) (#2)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 09:48:37 AM EST
    to possibly end torture in our names and on our dime is to disband the CIA.  Absent that, I honestly believe the president doesn't have the power...the CIA does what they want to do, and I doubt the president is even privy to all of it.  

    In the parlance of the election season, they've "gone rogue".

    If there ever was ... (none / 0) (#5)
    by Salo on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 09:53:41 AM EST
    ...a ticking nuke and the device was proven to exist, I doubt any jury would convict the torturer. So they really don't need a Presidential CYA for that scenario or scenarios of a slightly lesser magnitude.

    It is difficult to process quickly and deftly (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 09:55:15 AM EST
    that due to my close military proximity my life will change this drastically for the better in the near future.  He is also serious about Al Qaeda and though I don't feel Al Qaeda is our gravest threat almost everyone serving right now does and it is why they have continued to serve under some of the worst conditions.  Based on what I know about NLP he wasn't that prepared to answer questions about Gitmo so that was a fresh not overly rehearsed off the cuff response.  He's made up his mind about dealing with Al Qaeda though.  I used to think that the military would end up disliking Obama in somewhat the same fashion they disliked Bill Clinton but now I'm thinking I'm wrong about that.  Different circumstances for different leaders, but what Obama has made up his mind to do and do well is going to endear him to the military.  That'll be a strange world to occupy.  When our military tortures though, torturers come home to live with us and among us and we've seen what it creates.  My son asked me why Obama wasn't crazy delirious happy after winning the election and I told him that yes......Obama had won but things are really a mess.  He won the responsibility to do the hardest job in the world right now at a really horrible time in history.

    Wait and see. (none / 0) (#8)
    by ctrenta on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 10:30:27 AM EST
    While it's true Obama said he would do what he could to end torture, I'm curious what his team plans to do with the new court system designed to handle "national security cases."  

    Democracy Now! covered Obama's alternative to torture and they should have the transcripts up by this afternoon.

    To my understanding, Democracy Now (none / 0) (#14)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 03:57:23 PM EST
    wasn't talking about:
    Obama's alternative to torture

    They were talking about his alternative to Gitmo, weren't they? Best I can tell, they didn't specifically address the subject of torture at all today.


    The reason they are related strongly (none / 0) (#15)
    by coigue on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 05:38:08 PM EST
    (according to an interview I saw with Michael Schauer) is that if you close Gitmo without a continental plan to deal with the prisoners and their "special status" , what you end up doing is more extrordinary rendition...which means more torture in our name.

    Just a thought.


    What about torture of other detainess (none / 0) (#17)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 08:57:05 PM EST
    who aren't at Gitmo?

    Do we have any word on Obama's plans for them?


    Just the ones (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by coigue on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 10:21:45 PM EST
    from the 60 minutes interview, which, I believe you have a clear expressed opinion of already.

    It looks like progressives are (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 01:23:20 AM EST
    keeping the initial focus, and pressure, on resolving the predicament of the detainees at Gitmo.

    I'm assuming that the prospective, improved treatment of Gitmo detainees will be used as precedent for humane treatment of detainees who are being held elsewhere.

    If that is the strategy, it makes sense. Although, I would prefer to see an immediate, across-the-board ban on torture of all detainees.


    Actions talk and Bull Sh'''''t walks (none / 0) (#16)
    by Saul on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:00:48 PM EST
    He has our benefit of the doubt.  Let's see what he does.